Space&Energy                                  *          *think outside the planet Expand your horizon on www.thinkoutside...
NASA    “ How inappropriate to call    this planet Earth when it is    quite clearly Ocean.”    Sir Arthur C. Clarke2     ...
NASA    Contents Space&Energy                                                                                             ...
Introduction to                                                                              Space&Energy                 ...
NASA           Inner and outer           space                                                          Here’s a little-kn...
NOAA     In 1979, American oceanographer Sylvia Earle     performed the deepest untethered walk     (381 metres) by any hu...
NASA                                                                                                 Robots:       Robonau...
The unknown subsea >> That a computer which had been ex-            Although the subsea environment is far       developme...
Romsenteret, Bjørn Ottar Elseth, bjorn.elseth@spacecentre.no                                                              ...
A selection of NASA space technology spinoffs For every public dollar invested in space research and development, the US g...
NASA                                                                                                                      ...
ESA >> is a big bonus in an environment where          from ruggedised, commercially available           By their very nat...
ESA                                                                                                                       ...
NASA                                    >> equivalent of 500 litres, or three barrels,   elevator to vibrate like an extre...
1.5 million BC: Primitive humans discover fire     40,000: First use of oil lamps     8000: Domestic animals are used as a...
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
Space energy magasin 2010
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Space energy magasin 2010

  1. 1. Space&Energy * *think outside the planet Expand your horizon on www.thinkoutsidetheplanet.com 1
  2. 2. NASA “ How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.” Sir Arthur C. Clarke2 3
  3. 3. NASA Contents Space&Energy 25 6 Introduction to Space & Energy 30 Space and energy facts 8 Inner and outer Space 35 Arena Integrated Operations Fewer people have visited the deepest point on our own planet than have been to the Moon. 46 Ipark – the Stavanger Innovation Park 12 Robots: doing our dirty work 48 More efficient satellites from Now we know who really went to all those dangerous CMR Prototech places in outer space. 50 Real time environmental monitoring 15 The unknown subsea energy source with Biota Guard Methane hydrate might be our next major fossil fuel resource. 52 Eatops uses space technology to monitor offshore oil and gas fields 18 A selection of NASA space technology spinoffs 56 The Norwegian Space Centre 20 Rechargeable fuel cells in space 60 STM heads next generation open broadband NASA sponsored the first commercially viable fuel cell. interactive satellite technology effort for the ESA 21 Space spinoffs on the continental shelf In years to come, many space-based technologies will 62 Using ASIGN in Situational Awareness “Drilling up” make an impact offshore. systems 23 Observing the oceans from space 64 Taking Space & Energy to the Next Level Space offers an excellent vantage point for remote The core of enthusiasts behind the Space & Energy network sensing and observation of the Earth. 28 Space and energy timeline are all passionate about technology and space. 66 Only one millionth ... – The future of © 2010 ONS - Space & Energy Park, Stavanger, Norway - www.thinkoutsidetheplanet.com Art director: Klas Jønsson - www.artdirector.no Graphic Design: Muskat Design - www.muskatdesign.no Print: Gunnarshaug Circulation: 15 000 energy in space 16 36 38 40 42 44 54 58 The Norwegian Safer drilling with Telenor Satellites Houston – we have Remote, ONS – Space WORLD CLASS Oceaneering Space Industry Seabed Rig to focus on offshore the solution! complex and and energy – achieved with – operating in and shipping expensive to fix people, technology space and deep markets and dedication waters4 5
  4. 4. Introduction to Space&Energy The parallell challenges and opportunities within the space and energy industry hides a vaste potential for competence and technology transfer. “The link between space and offshore is interesting because We believe the intersection and interaction of these two large industries it may lead to development of exciting technology and new business in Norway. will generate new solutions and new business opportunities. And we believe ” the examples and visions will ignite new interest and new perspectives Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske on both industries from politicians, professionals, students and public. During the ONS 2010 we will show this through conferences, seminars, “ONS has always been focused on new technology areas. the Space&Energy park and this magazine. Oil and gas industry is coupled with the rest of the energy cluster in front of significant technological challenges, and it is natural to find inspiration, knowledge and technology from the aerospace industry. ” Kjell Ursin Smith “My aim as editor of this magazine is to kindle an interest ONS in the often surprising interaction between the development of ocean and space. Despite our many challenges, we “Offshore and space activities both need innovative solutions, inhabit a world filled with possibilites and promise – if we are willing to think outside the planet. skilled people and technology with extreme qualities. It is therefore natural to exchange knowledge and experience ” Erik Newth – M.Sc. and editor across these industries and to take a joint effort to stimulate of Space & Energy interest in education in technology and science. ” Odd Roger Enoksen – CEO Andøya Rakettskytefelt AS and former Minister of Petroleum and Energy Thanks to our partnerships that made this possible: Norsk Romsenter NORWEGIAN SPACE CENTRE6 7
  5. 5. NASA Inner and outer space Here’s a little-known, but important fact: Fewer people have visited the deepest point on our own planet than have been to the Moon. I n fact, while twelve Americans have matched innovation in the field of manned NOAA walked on the lunar surface, only two spaceflight. people have ever seen the bottom of the 10,911 metre deep Mariana Trench with The two great frontiers their own eyes. The parallel explosion in deep sea and space exploration was no coincidence. Those intrepid explorers were Jacques Pic- World War Two left mankind with two great card and Don Walsh. Their craft was the Tri- frontiers left to explore, and the technology este, a submarine designed to withstand with which to explore them: SCUBA gear more than one thousand times atmospher- and the space rocket. This technology, ic pressure. which matured in the 1950s and 60s, paid dividends during subsequent decades, from 20 minutes at the bottom deep-sea oil wells to satellite TV. The Trieste reached the floor of the Mariana Trench on January 23, 1960. Worried by a The similarities do not end here, however. crack in one of the windows, Piccard and The ocean and deep space are both incom- Walsh stayed for only twenty minutes, patible with human life. Pressure is a chal- which was time enough to make the stun- lenge in both environments (although in ning, and since confirmed, discovery that opposite ways), as are temperature, isola- fish and shrimp can thrive even at this tion and the sheer physical danger and ex- depth. pense of operating under such conditions. The Trieste mission was followed by a series Now what? of innovations in the 1960s, such as the There’s a less inspirational comparison to world’s first underwater habitat, deep-tow be made here as well. The US manned space sonar and the underwater robot. This was programme is effectively closing down in also the heyday of Jacques Cousteau, the 2010, with no plans to go back to the Moon world-famous explorer and populariser of or venture further afield. Likewise, no hu- all things oceanic. man has dived deeper than 6500 meters since the Trieste mission – it actually took Lieutenant Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard Meanwhile, Soviet Russia and the United 35 years for a robotic vehicle to reach the in the cramped quarters of the Trieste. States were engaged in the Space Race, same depth. >> which would result in a decade of un-8 9
  6. 6. NOAA In 1979, American oceanographer Sylvia Earle performed the deepest untethered walk (381 metres) by any human before or since. >> In more ways than one, it seems as if we ter all, it was the pictures taken by Apollo have lost our spirit of adventure. This is not astronauts that made us appreciate that just a question of exploration for its own we live on an ocean planet. sake, though. As land-based resources are depleted in our quest to satisfy a growing, In 1979, American oceanographer Sylvia more affluent population, the two final Earle performed the deepest untethered frontiers can only increase in importance. walk (381 metres) by any human before or since. Earle used a “Jim suit”, a bulky metal But if we are to make use of the huge re- diving suit designed to maintain a pressure sources hiding beneath the waves and of one atmosphere regardless of the exte- above the atmosphere, we need to reinvig- rior pressure. The Jim suit was used exten- orate human exploration of both spheres. sively by the offshore oil industry for years, And you can’t do one without the other. Af- before being phased out in the 1990s.  *10 11
  7. 7. NASA Robots: Robonaut 2 is a NASA project aimed at creating a humanoid robot that can work alongside humans in space and on Earth. doing our dirty work The iconic TV series Star Trek had the tag line "To boldly go where no man has gone before." Now we know who really went to all those dangerous places in outer space: robots. F or the foreseeable future, space be- mission that might last decades is there- stereoscopic images from which scientists longs to our robots. Likewise, robotic fore carried in a plutonium "battery". on Earth will identify target destinations. It Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) is then left up to the rover to calculate a tra- reign supreme in the deep oceans. But al- Communication is slow and cumbersome, jectory that enables it to travel safely for though ROVs may have the same general as the number of bytes transmitted per about 100 metres per Martian day (24.5 appearance as space robots, the differences second plummets as the distance increas- Earth hours). are significant. es. The receiving stations on Earth need to be large and evenly distributed around the In addition to the navigation software, EX- First and foremost, ROVs are tethered to a globe to catch the exceedingly weak signals OMars is equipped with close-up collision vessel on the surface, and operated directly as our planets rotates. avoidance cameras. Basically, long before by a human being. Power and communica- the first astronaut sets his or her foot on tion are readily available through the um- Beyond the moon, having remote control in Mars, the planet will have been explored for bilical cord connecting the ROV to the sur- the usual sense of the word is impossible. us by robots with a level of intelligence sim- face. If something goes wrong, the vehicle The travel time of signals from Mars, com- ilar to an insect. can usually be hoisted to the surface and paratively nearby, is of the order of half an repaired. hour. This means that space probes need to Remote patching have a high degree of autonomous behav- If anything goes wrong – and something Autonomy in space iour. usually does – engineers have to solve the Space probes and rovers, on the other hand, problems without having direct access to need to be as self-sufficient as possible. Robotic mission to Mars the affected machinery. Take the Voyager 2 Outside the inner Solar system, solar panels The EXOMars mission, which is scheduled space probe, which in May this year devel- are no good, and all the energy needed for a to arrive on the Red Planet in 2019, will take oped a potentially lethal software problem.>> 12 13
  8. 8. The unknown subsea >> That a computer which had been ex- Although the subsea environment is far development. Kongsbergs HUGIN AUV is posed to the radiation and vacuum of space more complex than the barren surface of a typical example. This battery-driven free- energy source for 33 years was still running, was less im- Mars, it is easy to imagine a future where swimming vehicle has a high degree of pressive than the fact that a fix was up- deep-water subsea installations are moni- independence, and is used for seabed map- loaded successfully at a distance of 13.7 bil- tored and maintained by the advanced ping and imaging, geological surveys, in- lion kilometres. descendants of todays AUVs. Many of these spection of underwater structures such as robots could resemble and emulate the pipelines, search operations, environmental Underwater robots behaviour of fish, moving in schools and missions, and military applications such as The nearest equivalent to space probes in driven by with artificial curiosity. surveillance and reconnaissance. the ocean are the autonomous underwater vehicles, or AUVs. Today, these robots are of- Kongsberg Maritime, based in Kongsberg, Robonaut 2 is a NASA project aimed at crea- ten used to make detailed maps of the Norway, is a leader in the field of AUV ting a humanoid robot that can work along- It looks a bit like ice but burns when you light it, and is mostly ocean floor prior to installing subsea infra- side humans in space and on Earth. At its structure. But their role and importance current stage of development, Robonauts found in sediments at the bottom of the ocean. Methane hydrate could be increasing, as oil exploration and advanced hands allow it to use the tools exploitation moves into deeper and colder built for astronauts, which removes the might be our next major fossil fuel resource. waters. need for tools made just for robots. Robo- naut could perform repetitive and hazard- Autonomous robots make sense from an ous extra-vehicular activities (EVAs) on the economic perspective. By performing rou- International Space Station, or serve as the Wikimedia Foundation tine subsea tasks, AUVs will be crucial to the “crew” on a robotic precursor mission to a automation of the offshore sector. human landing on Mars.   * M Conceptual drawing of ethane hydrate is a frozen mix of the future ExoMars Rover. water and methane which forms in conditions of low tempera- ture and high pressure. Crystals of deep- ocean methane hydrates were discovered a few decades ago. Although its true extent is unknown, it is estimated that hydrates represent energy reserves twice as large as all conventional gas, oil, and coal deposits combined. Recently, Japanese scientists dis- covered a methane hydrate deposit large enough to meet the energy-poor countrys needs for a decade. Carbon capture combination As yet, no one knows how to exploit this re- source in a safe and profitable manner without damaging impacts on the environ- ment. Methane is known to be a powerful greenhouse gas, and deposits of hydrates may contain free methane which could be released into the atmosphere during sub- sea mining operations. Alaskan trial run A block of methane hydrate crystals (white) Two scientists at the University of Bergen, Another advantage of Kvamme and Graues embedded in sediment found at a depth of 1200 metres offshore Oregon, USA, by scientists Bjørn Kvamme and Arne Graue, are devel- approach is the reduced risk of sedimentary aboard the research ship FS SONNE. oping a method which could solve two fracturing and landslides on the ocean floor problems at once. In cooperation with caused when the CO2 replaces the volume ConocoPhillips, Kvamme and Graue are of the methane hydrate lost through min- working on a technique to extract methane ing. A trial run of the method will be carried gas by injecting liquid carbon dioxide into out on the North Slope region of Alaska, hydrates, combining carbon capture with which is known to contain huge reserves of fossil energy extraction. methane hydrates.   * NASA14 15
  9. 9. Romsenteret, Bjørn Ottar Elseth, bjorn.elseth@spacecentre.no This image of a model of AISSAT-1 being handed over to Senior Adviser Bjørn Ottar Elseth at the Norwegian Space Centre by Chief Scientist Bjørn T. Narheim at NDRE, shows how small the satellite is. The Norwegian We are still waiting for the moment when the first Space Industry Norwegian enters space, but Norwegian scientists and businesses are heavily involved in all other aspects of space exploration. T he Norwegian space industry em- dition) facility on Svalbard is used for train- communications antenna-pointing mecha- satellite was launched in July of 2010, and One of Norways most important contribu- ploys 3000 people, with an annual ing for unmanned and manned Mars mis- nisms for the European Space Agencys new will monitor maritime activities in Arctic tions to space exploration is the Svalbard turnover of more than $1 billion. This sions on a regular basis. climate satellites, Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-3A. waters through the Automatic Identifica- Satellite Station (SvalSat), which was estab- makes it larger than the traditional forestry tion System (AIS), a short range coastal lished in 1997. At 78°13 N, SvalSat is the industry. Supplying space missions Designing hybrid rockets traffic system currently used in shipping. northernmost ground station in the world. Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA) pro- Nammo, which has developed advanced This gives it a uniquely favourable position ESA As one of the leaders in solar science, vided systems integration for the Cassini- rocket motors for military clients since the Seagoing vessels of more than 300 gross for supporting satellites in a polar orbit. Norway has played a central role in the Huygens mission, which is still delivering 1960s, recently signed a contract with Ari- tons are required to be fitted with AIS, and Presently, SvalSat comprises a station build- development and processing of data from data of astonishing quality from the planet anespace for the delivery of 700 rocket en- AISSAT-1 will use this to track ship move- ing and six antenna systems, up to thirteen the SOHO solar observatory. At a time when Saturn. The Norwegian Defence Research gines during the next five years. Nammo is ments in a region of great importance to metres in diameter. Kongsberg Satellite the influence of the Sun on the Earths cli- Establishment (NDRE) developed one of the currently working on a unique hybrid rocket Norway. The Norwegian Space Center owns Services also runs the Trollsat ground mate is a hotly contested topic, research into "space weather" and other Sun-Earth- instruments aboard Cassini, and is also in- volved in instrumentation for the ExoMars design, where the fuel is stored separately in one solid and one liquid component. the project, with the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment responsible for the station, located at 72°S in Antarctica.  * related processes is of great value. project. Hybrid propulsion offers solutions which technical implementation at a cost of ap- are both safe and environmentally friendly. proximately $6 million. Training for Mars on Svalbard KDA delivered the mechanisms that rotate Researchers from the Norwegian University the solar panels on the Rosetta spacecraft, Making an Arctic nanosatellite NDRE will test the satellite for a year before In 2014, the European Space Agencys Rosetta of Science and Technology in Trondheim which in 2014 will be the first of its kind to AISSAT-1 is an ambitious Norwegian space Kongsberg Satellite Services takes control. lander will touch down on the nucleus of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. have conducted biological experiments at orbit and deploy a landing craft to the project. This "nanosatellite" consists of a The Norwegian Coastal Administration will the International Space Station, and the nucleus of a comet. KDA also won the con- cube measuring only 20 by 20 by 20 centi- integrate the data from AISSAT-1 in its land- AMASE (Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expe- tract for the delivery of the solar panel and meters, weighing in at six kilograms. The based AIS system.16 17
  10. 10. A selection of NASA space technology spinoffs For every public dollar invested in space research and development, the US government receives $7 back in the form of taxes from space-related business. H ere are some of the many scientific NASA has also contributed to the develop- breakthroughs and products directly ment of smoke detectors, flat panel televi- derived from the space industry: sions, high-density batteries, food packag- advanced scheduling systems, structural ing, freeze-dried technology, hair styling analysis software, air quality monitors, vir- appliances, fogless ski goggles, self-adjust- tual reality and telepresence systems, en- ing sunglasses, composite golf clubs, hang riched baby food, scratch-resistant lenses, gliders and art preservation. pool purification systems, a more aerody- namic golf ball, shock-absorbing materials for sports shoes, programmable pacemak- ers and breast cancer detection systems.18 19
  11. 11. NASA NASA Field testing rovers on Svalbard, such as this model during the AMASE 2006 expedition, is useful for scientists planning future Mars missions. Rechargeable fuel cells in space Although the principle behind fuel cells was discovered in 1838, it was NASA that sponsored the first commercially viable fuel cell as a part of the manned Gemini project in the 1960s. Space spinoffs on the continental shelf Remote sensing and positioning services based on GPS are two areas where the offshore industry profits from space research. In years to come, many other space-based technologies will make an impact offshore. S S ince then, fuel cells – batteries where Potential satellite boost Without hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells, the oon, the detection of hazardous gas to "tune" the sensor to find gases of interest. electricity is generated in reactions Communications satellites are powered by Apollo missions to the Moon would have on oil and gas installations could be The space applications for the 0.5 square between a fuel and an oxidant – have solar panels, which stop working when the been impossible, as the batteries and solar faster, more reliable and cheaper centimetre detector are obvious: aboard a been a mainstay of manned space explora- satellites pass through the Earths shadow. panels of the 1960s were too inefficient. thanks to a project co-funded by the Euro- manned spacecraft or space station, air tion. Hydrogen and oxygen fuel cells are Today, batteries are used as back-up power Fuel cells were a disadvantage during the pean Space Agency (ESA) and the Microsys- quality is a matter of life or death, and gas light and highly effective, and produce wa- supplies in dark conditions. But batteries ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, however, as the tems and Nanotechnology Laboratory at the concentrations need to be monitored con- ter as a by-product, which is always useful are heavy, which in turn increases launch explosion that destroyed most of the Norwegian research organisation SINTEF. tinuously. in the vacuum of space. costs. Lightweight fuel cells could poten- spacecrafts oxygen supply (visible on the tially reduce launch costs and facilitate original photo above) also left it critically A tiny detector Avoiding false alarms Fuel cell in reverse greater transponder capacity onboard the low on power. The three Apollo astronauts The detection device is known as the Con- In the offshore industry, methane is the Recently, the Norwegian company Proto- satellite. were saved by the batteries and consuma- trollable Diffractive Optical Element (CDOE), main target for the MEMS sensor. Methane tech, in collaboration with the Energy Re- bles aboard the lunar module, which were and is based on MEMS or micro-electro- is a colourless and odourless gas which can search Centre of the Netherlands, has de- veloped a regenerative fuel cell. As the In a longer-term perspective, the technolo- gy may also find a market in the transporta- unaffected by the explosion.  * mechanical-systems technology. Basically, the CDOE is a silicon chip that detects be lethal in high concentrations, causing explosions or asphyxiation. Methane leak- name suggests, it runs the fuel cell process tion sector, where fuel cells have struggled methane. It does this by using tiny shifts, age is a common phenomenon in natural in reverse, generating hydrogen and oxygen to gain a foothold. equivalent to one hundredth of the width gas drilling operations, and the high relia- from electricity. of a human hair, of grid-like silicon gratings bility and ruggedness of a MEMS system >>20 21
  12. 12. ESA >> is a big bonus in an environment where from ruggedised, commercially available By their very nature, space projects are com- false alarms can be very costly. shelfware, and it has the ability to analyse plex and costly, involving a large number of Observing the oceans samples from considerable distances. processes and technologies that need to be As the cost of manufacturing the CDOE monitored in order to guarantee reliability. chip falls, it is easy to imagine a wide variety Drill fluid analysis ESAs Envisat is a typical example, involving from space of uses, from air quality monitoring in office Statoil is currently testing an instrument the continuous monitoring of more than buildings to locking systems that prevent assembly that includes a Raman laser in or- 20 000 parameters. This is comparable an intoxicated driver from starting his car. der to improve the accuracy and speed of with a large offshore installation. the drill fluid analysis. When drilling for oil The Raman Spectrometer and gas, the quality of the fluid can tell ge- The "intuitive" part of the acronym refers to In cooperation with Norwegian space ologists a lot about the geology of the stra- the unique three-dimensional parameter scientists, Statoil is testing technology ta it comes form. representation, which was developed to im- developed for the European Space Agencys prove visibility on satellite projects. RIVOPS EXOMars mission, which is scheduled for The Raman spectrometer examines the was developed with the future exploration launch in 2018. mineralogy of the drill cuttings in the fluid, of the Arctic in mind, where extremely and immediately transmits the results to harsh conditions place a premium on the The mission consists of a rover that will travel around on the surface of Mars and the drilling deck. This makes it possible con- tinuously to evaluate the various geological safety and reliability of all systems.  * drill for soil and rock samples at up to two formations encountered by the drill bit. metres beneath the surface. The samples The Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition will be ground up and transferred to small Keeping production safe with 3D was launched in 2003 and is still running. Its boxes on a carousel mechanism, which will Norwegian offshore operators are currently goal is to study the geochemical and geo- move them past a battery of instruments. evaluating RIVOPS (Remote Intuitive Visual physical features, and look for biosignatures One of these is a Raman spectrometer, Operations System), an alarm interface that and life forms, at various field sites on the which can analyse the chemical content of is located on top of existing control sys- Svalbard archipelago. The sites were chosen a mineral sample by exposing it to laser tems. RIVOPS was developed by a French- because they are thought to resemble simi- light. Dutch start-up company in collaboration lar areas on Mars, and AMASE is a training with ESA, making use of the agencys expe- ground for scientists and engineers from The Raman laser, named after the Indian rience in satellite monitoring and emergen- around the world. It is also a test bed for physicist who discovered its properties in cy management. instruments and equipment that could be 1928, has many advantages: it can be built used on future Mars missions. M EMS or Micro-Electro-Mechani- cal Systems is made up of com- ponents that measure distances of between 1 and 100 micrometres. MEMS production is based on tried and tested mi- It is often said that the planet Mars is better cro-fabrication technology, and the finished units combine various mechanical ele- mapped than the Earth. This is not the fault ments, sensors, actuators and electronics on a silicon substrate similar to that used in of oceanographers, but rather a result of the computer memory chips. planets’ respective geological histories. T he obvious reason is that Mars no swathes of the surface with great detail in longer has any oceans, and only lim- a short time, as any user of Google Maps ited ice cover. A probe orbiting Mars will know. But remote sensing satellites do provides excellent views of the whole far more than take pictures of the visible planet, while at any given time more than surface. three-quarters of our planet is covered in liquid or frozen water. Ocean data sensing NASAs pioneering Seasat mission was Even so, space does offer an excellent van- launched in 1978 and used a synthetic aper- tage point for remote sensing and observa- ture radar and other instruments to collect tion of the Earth. A satellite can cover vast data on sea-surface winds and tempera- >>22 23
  13. 13. ESA NASA >> tures, wave heights, atmospheric water, create air drag which would reduce the sat- Aquarius will change this radically. Within sea ice features and ocean topography. ellites orbital altitude over time. the first three months of the mission, more salinity data will have been gathered from The TOPEX/Poseidon mission and its suc- For this reason, GOCE is shaped like an space than in the previous 125 years of cessor, the Ocean Surface Topography mis- arrow and equipped with fins and an ion surface-based measurements. Oceanogra- sion, used similar instruments to acquire (electric) rocket engine that helps it main- phers expect the mission to cast light on data of great benefit to climate researchers, tain a stable orbit. GOCEs onboard power is the El Niño and La Niña phenomena, as well shipping companies, offshore industries, produced with advanced solar panels made as hurricane formation and the effects of fisheries management and biologists, to of composite materials, manufactured by the high-latitude "freshening" of sea water. mention just a few. Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. Offshore applications For offshore oil operators, satellites such as these deliver crucial information on ocean circulation patterns, which helps minimise the impact of currents when laying cables and pipelines, for instance. Remote sensing can also be a useful aid in oil and gas exploration, both onshore and offshore. Natural leaks and seepage in the oceans can be indicators of deposits be- neath the sea floor. The environmental im- “Drilling up” pact of oil exploration and production, such as oil spills, cloud cover, sea level rises or the increases in atmospheric CO2 are often best monitored from space. Ocean current insights The European Space Agencys Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explor- – The future of er (GOCE) is a recent and fascinating addi- Measuring salinity The surface of the ocean has “hills” and “val- tion. Launched in 2009, this satellite will NASAs Aquarius mission gives us a differ- leys” up to two metres in height/depth, and bring new insights into ocean currents by ent perspective on the oceans and the envi- the image above represents a map of the combining extremely accurate gravity data ronment. With its launch planned for 2011, topography of the ocean, similar to a topo- energy in space with information about sea surface topo- its goal is to measure the salinity or salt graphic map of the land surface. Unlike graphy. content at the sea surface. This is an impor- land topography, however, ocean topogra- tant factor in understanding the water cy- phy is influenced by a number of factors To achieve the required accuracy, the satel- cle, ocean currents and climate change. such as winds, ocean currents and tempera- lite must orbit as close to the Earth as pos- However, measurements to date have been ture. The velocity of ocean currents can be sible. Even at an orbital height of 260 kilo- limited mostly to summertime observa- calculated from the “slope” of the surface. metres, there is sufficient atmosphere to tions in shipping lanes. * What seems like an anecdote has huge implications for our energy future: all energy used on Earth originates in space in one way or another. The GOCE satellite orbits so close to the Earth that it requires an aerodynamic shape, guiding fins and an ion rocket to maintain altitude. The first large batch of GOCE data was released in 2010. F ossil fuel sources are stored solar side our planet. Not that this is going to The ultimate source of base-load electricity energy, and most renewable energy happen in the immediate future. generation is fusion power. For decades, sci- sources are driven by the Sun. Tidal entists have tried to replicate the physical power is of course driven by the Moon, and Energy on Earth processes that makes the stars shine, but nuclear and geothermal energy originate Hidden in sand and shale deposits, in mines with limited success. But sooner or later from radioactive materials forged by ex- and beneath the deep ocean, are energy they will succeed, and when they do, water ploding supernovae billions of years ago. reserves large enough to supply our needs will become an energy source in its own for decades to come. Add to this the known right. What this means is that when our Earth- reserves of uranium and thorium, and we based resources run out, we can access a are dealing with centuries power genera- One litre of water contains enough of the limitless supply of energy generated out- tion based on our Earth’s resources. isotope deuterium to provide the energy >>24 25
  14. 14. NASA >> equivalent of 500 litres, or three barrels, elevator to vibrate like an extremely long may stray into the energy beam, it is easy to of oil. Although the fusion of deuterium guitar string. imagine how consumers might react to the results in less radioactive waste than con- idea of radiation beams from space, no ventional nuclear power generation, an Inspired by the Ansari X Prize, which led to matter how weak they might be. ideal clean and efficient process requires the development of the worlds first com- use of the isotope Helium-3. mercial space aircraft (SpaceShip One), Despite this, a report in 2007 commissioned NASA is awarding cash prizes to developers by the US Defence Department recomm- Looking to the Moon of space elevator technology. In 2009, ends space-based solar power as an energy Helium is extremely rare and inaccessible NASAs "Centennial Challenges" programme source for its military forces operating on Earth, but is abundant in space. Our clos- awarded $900,000 to Lasermotive, a com- abroad. An 80-metre diameter antenna est source of Helium-3 is the Moon, which pany that uses laser light for wireless power could receive one MW via microwaves, may have enough of the element in its transmission. As power cables will be far enough to power a thousand homes, from crust to provide the human race with pow- too heavy for use on the space elevator, a satellite in low Earth orbit. "It is impera- er at current levels for ten thousand years. wireless power is crucial to its success. tive that this work for drilling up vs. drilling down for energy security begins immedi- Once we obtain commercially viable fusion Collision avoidance ately," the report concludes. power, the technology required to carry out However, the main reason is the cloud of large-scale mining operations in space will “space junk” consisting of tens of thou- A global thermostat – in space? also have developed. NASA is currently sands of discarded objects orbiting Earth at In the end, the dominant contribution from planning a trial lunar extraction mission as any given moment. The laws of celestial space may turn out to be in the form of en- early as 2015, and the Chinese have hinted mechanics decree that the orbit of every ergy reduction. The most daring – some that they are considering a similar project. piece of space junk below geostationary might say extreme – of the climate change orbit will intersect the Space Elevator sooner mitigating technology proposals is the Mining operations on the Moon will proba- or later. space-based cloud of mirrors envisioned by bly be unmanned. With a time delay of only US astronomer Roger Angel. Angel, who is a three seconds, it is fairly easy to operate The elevator requires a collision avoidance winner of the Norwegian Kavli Prize for As- robots remotely from Earth. Once enough system, and presently the best option tronomy in 2010, is proposing the launch of Helium-3 has been extracted in an auto- appears to be a movable oil rig which would thousands of mirrors into a stable orbit mated factory, it can be transported rapidly also act as a launch pad. When a piece of some 1.5 million kilometres above the Earth, to Earth by an electromagnetic canon or debris is detected to be on collision course, oriented in the direction of the sun. "mass driver", powered by solar panels. the rig can be moved in such a way as to divert the cable from the oncoming debris. Here, they will form a permanent “sun- The Space Elevator screen”. By adjusting the angle of the mir- However, even though the expected boom A successful Space Elevator will open space rors, incoming sunlight could be reduced in commercial space operators and tourism up to commercial exploitation. But this will sufficiently to reduce the Earths tempera- will result in reduced launch costs, conven- not change the fundamentals of energy ture by several degrees. The mirrors could tional chemical rockets are too expensive production. Energy must still be reasonably also be used to direct more sunlight to- and dangerous to permit the widespread priced and safe to use if it is to matter on a wards the Earth in effect creating a global exploitation of resources in deep space. global scale. thermostat capable of managing tempera- ture shifts in either direction. The proposed Space Elevator – a cable low- Orbital solar power ered 36 000 kilometres from geostationary These criteria probably disqualify the other Although the consensus view is that we are orbit to a point along the equator – is cur- great space-based energy initiative: orbital heading for elevated global temperature in rently our best hope of reducing launch solar power plants. The main advantage of the coming century, there is always the pos- costs sufficient to permit large-scale mining these compared with earth-based photo- sibility of a massive volcanic eruption which Concept drawing of a operations on the Moon. voltaics is that they supply an almost con- within a few months might cool the planet completed space elevator. tinuous supply of undimmed sunlight in down by several degrees. This is where Norwegian offshore know- geostationary orbit. If the Space Elevator is how could come into its own. It was previ- successful, the cost of transporting and In this perspective, any climate change ously thought that the Space Elevator maintaining the panels may well turn out mitigating technology should have the needed to be anchored to solid ground, to be cost efficient in competition with capability to regulate both increases and which implied a location somewhere along ground-based systems. reductions in temperature. The Space Eleva- the equator in Africa, South America or Asia. tor will be hugely expensive, but could also The main challenge is our perception of serve as an "insurance policy" against cli- However, recent calculations show that the safety. The energy from the panels will have matic extremes such as the global cooling base of the elevator must be mobile. This is to be beamed down as microwave radiation that followed the massive eruption of partly due to the gravitational influence of to large receiving facilities on the ground. Mount Tambora in Indonesia in 1815.  the Sun and Moon, which will incite the Apart from the potential harm to birds that * 26 27
  15. 15. 1.5 million BC: Primitive humans discover fire 40,000: First use of oil lamps 8000: Domestic animals are used as a power source 3000: Coal is being exploited in China 1500: Egyptians invent the water-powered clock 850: Natural gas is exploited in China 400: The first oil well is drilled on a Greek island 65 BC: First known reference to the use of windmills 800 AD: The rocket is invented in China 1000: The water-wheel becomes Europes principal energy source From wood to coal 1200: Coal is mined in Europe 1400: Invention of the turret windmill 1500: Rockets are routinely used as weapons 1670: Gas is distilled from coal 1694: Oil is produced from oil shale 1800: Invention of the electric battery 1830: The discovery of electromagnetic induction 1832: The first electric generator is built 1869: The first use of hydroelectric power 1879: The first commercially successful oil well is drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania 1885: Invention of the transformer for alternating currents 1888: Invention of the dry cell battery 1900: The first offshore oil wells are drilled in the Caspian Sea 1913: The first geothermal power plant opens in Italy Space and 1920: Robert Goddard launches the first liquid-fuelled rocket The Oil Age 1941: The first German V-2 rocket is launched 1942: US scientists initiate the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction energy 1950: Soviet scientists invent the tokamak, which remains the mainstay of fusion power research 1953: The first commercial nuclear reactor opens in Britain 1954: Scientists at Bell Laboratories develop the solar cell 1957: Sputnik 1 is launched 1961: Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to orbit the Earth 1969: Neil Armstrong becomes the first man on the Moon 1976: Viking I and II land on Mars, and search for life 1981: The launch of Columbia, the first Space Shuttle 1989: Voyager II passes Neptune, after exploring Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus 1986: The ITER fusion power research group is formed 2001: Launch of the Toyota Prius, the first commercially successful hybrid vehicle 2003: The Spirit and Opportunity rovers start their exploration of Mars 2009: Wind power accounts for more than 20 % of Denmarks electricity production 2010: The worlds first synthetic cell is announced 2015: Regular tourist flights to an inflatable space hotel 2020: A large-scale thorium power plant goes onstream in India 2025: Synthetic algal biofuel becomes cheaper than petroleum 2040: Thorium mining becomes Norways sixth largest industry 2045: China lands the first humans on Mars 2046: Chinese "taikonauts" discover signs of life on Mars The Future 2050: Commercially-viable nuclear fusion is finally achieved 2060: Synthetic "scrubber cells" reduce atmospheric CO2 by 20 % 2066: A ticket to the Moon equals an average annual salary 2100: Nuclear fusion and fission account for 80 % of the worlds electricity 2120: Helium-3 mining operations start on the Moon and in the asteroid belt 2150: The first manned mission to Jupiter, a huge source of Helium-3 2166: A ticket to Mars equals an average annual salary 2186: Space-based mirrors prevent an ice age after the eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano timeline 2200: The worlds last coal-fired power plant is shut down in the African Union29

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