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Gerlachs oneill cylinder and torus - how the work

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jasonbrisbane jasonbrisbane's picture
Gerlachs oneill cylinder and torus - how the work
Hi All I am sending my players to Gerlach and onto other places around venus and wanted to not only understand how Gerlach works, but to make it a place that comes alive and felt very real. To that end, I am trying to understand how Gerlach.... "is". Firstly, its an O'Neill cylinder with a torus on one end rotating faster to simulate Venusian gravity. OK, a cola can with a spinning wheel on one end (on a straw?). I can imagine that. Inside there are nine pyramidal arcologies. How would that even work? Well, the diamter is 1km and its 4km long. that means the surface interior is close to 3.14kms (pi * diameter?). so that gets the 3 arcologies whose base is 900m each inside the cylinder with another 1.3kms spare... Lets say the arcologies arent square but rectangular at 1.25x900 meters. The arcologies are oly 250meters high so the central core may be up to 500m wide.(?) Include space for window slots, and you might have a workable habitat Here. You couldnt face the side of the 'can' at the sun as any "window" panel's would simulate day and night cycles with rotating shadows every few minutes. As far as I can see, the "can" would be bottom towards the sun, with the central core being a reflector bouncing light into a central shaft. That shaft then reflects light down the central chamber bouncing light of mirrors into the central core of the arcologies (think spokes of a wheel). The torus (itself 1.5ks long) so it would get light easily. The mirror could be closed for night and openned for day. Peoples cycles would be able to cope (people still need to sleep etc). The centrifugal gravity would mean that gardens could be grown on the bottom levels (more space) to create not only oxygen but food. Waste products, and waste recycling could filter from the top to the bottom for adding to the soil, or even to be fed into larger DCM, etc machines to great soil. The suns energy would be harnessed to generate electricity, light, powerand other purposes. The living spaces could be on the upper levels with the top most level being a Security checkpoint to screen people entering the arcology proper. The middle levels would house businesses, research and living quarters. Entertainment districts (including tourism, VR suites, etc) would be likely nearest the top near hotels and then living quarters. Am I missing how these are supposed to work or is this correct as other people see it? What would be in the space between the central core and the arcologies roof? Would there be shuttles taking people in the central core from one arcology to the next? (needed for biomorphs, but synths could effectly walk along the inside of the central cylinder). Would the central core be 500 meters wide? How would you build/envisage a pyramidal arcology inside an O'Neill cylinder? Thanks in advance. Jason Brisbane
Regards, Jason Brisbane
Chernoborg Chernoborg's picture
Some observations:
Some observations: When you did your calculation for the surface area of the cylinder you missed multiplying the circumference (3.14km) by the length (4km) so the interior has about 12.56 sq. km easily enough for nine .81 sq.km arcologies . A while ago I did a quick sketch comparison (on graph paper!) of various ships and stations and was surprised at how narrow the torus was in comparison to the cylinder! While the torus is 1.5 km in diameter that's only 250 m on either side of the cylinder and it's only 100m wide . As for arrangement, I also put the torus at the end of the cylinder thinking that having it next to the spaceport would make sense. However, being closer to the sun, I now think using that extra width as part of the sun shade is better with the port and radiators kept out of the sun. For the cylinder, the windows are up to you. My feelings on it are that a window in the sunshade connected to an axial light source with no strip windows would be better for radiation protection. For the arcologies they would be in a balanced configuration ( in rows or a checkerboard arrangement) to prevent wobbling. As a last note, the torus and cylinder don't have to be separately rotating elements. Although I'm not sure if the math works out, the longer radius of the torus means you could get the 1 Venusian G with the same rotational rate as the shorter .5 VG(?) cylinder. That would be mechanically much simpler to transit between the two. A really good book for getting a feel for colony design is Colonies in Space by T.A. Heppenheimer though its a bit dated technology-wise ,it was published in 1977! Hope this helps a bit.
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