Author Topic: Webcomic-The Meridian Way  (Read 27774 times)

Offline lamontagne

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3236
  • Otterburn Park, Quebec,Canada
  • Liked: 3330
  • Likes Given: 585
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #160 on: 08/03/2022 02:27 pm »
End of this little sequence.
We'll be back.
The lighting in the grow room is reduced for the visit.  Actual grow rooms have very strong lighting and personnel (at least here in Canada) wear color correcting glasses.  This little base definitively cannot feed itself, but Mardsen is ambitious!
« Last Edit: 08/03/2022 02:53 pm by lamontagne »

Offline lamontagne

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3236
  • Otterburn Park, Quebec,Canada
  • Liked: 3330
  • Likes Given: 585
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #161 on: 08/03/2022 09:11 pm »
Updated the last 2 pages a little, to increase readability and make some poses more dynamic.
« Last Edit: 08/03/2022 09:15 pm by lamontagne »

Offline lamontagne

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3236
  • Otterburn Park, Quebec,Canada
  • Liked: 3330
  • Likes Given: 585
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #162 on: 08/06/2022 06:07 am »
On the road again....

Offline lamontagne

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3236
  • Otterburn Park, Quebec,Canada
  • Liked: 3330
  • Likes Given: 585
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #163 on: 08/10/2022 01:36 pm »
The dome uses subdivision to create safety.  Each glass pane is sufficiently small that in case of blowout our accidental damage maintenance can fix the leak before pressure in the dome goes down too much.

The access to the underground chamber is through pressure tight doors, usually held open but closing at low pressure.  Similar in arrangement and function to fire doors in large buildings.  In case of a solar storm, the Way Station can serve as a refuge for the people in the vehicle.  Solar storm warnings should be early enough to provide the time required to reach a way station and safety for the occupants.

The glass does provide some radiation protection, but mainly to plants.  Most of these do not live long enough to suffer significant radiation damage however.  There might be some damage from a solar storm though, requiring some horticulture to keep everything nice and green.

There is a solar field beside the station to provide energy for fuel production, mainly methane and oxygen, and general power. 

Offline MickQ

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 665
  • Australia.
  • Liked: 119
  • Likes Given: 443
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #164 on: 08/11/2022 10:28 am »
In the event of a storm warning arriving just after departing from the way station, would protocol be to return or to run for the next shelter ?   Would they dump the trailers to be retrieved later or if not, would there be appropriate large turnaround points for such a long vehicle ??

Offline lamontagne

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3236
  • Otterburn Park, Quebec,Canada
  • Liked: 3330
  • Likes Given: 585
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #165 on: 08/11/2022 04:00 pm »
In the event of a storm warning arriving just after departing from the way station, would protocol be to return or to run for the next shelter ?   Would they dump the trailers to be retrieved later or if not, would there be appropriate large turnaround points for such a long vehicle ??
A little research provides me with a delay of 12 to 18 hours between detection of a coronal mass ejection event ( 8 minutes after the fact at light speed) and the arrival of the plasma wave ( moving at about 3-400 km/s?) for Earth, so practically double the time for Mars seems reasonable.
So I guess that with a 24 hour warning period, they would just go on to their destination, and the way stations would be conservatively placed at perhaps 8-12 hours from one another.
So on this trip they've probably passed another way station, but I didn't mention it because it had no impact on the story.
While in the case of the Olympus Mons way station....  ;)
« Last Edit: 08/11/2022 04:01 pm by lamontagne »

Offline lamontagne

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3236
  • Otterburn Park, Quebec,Canada
  • Liked: 3330
  • Likes Given: 585
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #166 on: 08/11/2022 04:16 pm »
In the event of a storm warning arriving just after departing from the way station, would protocol be to return or to run for the next shelter ?   Would they dump the trailers to be retrieved later or if not, would there be appropriate large turnaround points for such a long vehicle ??
I hadn't though of this before, but my first professional job as an engineer (34 years ago!!) was designing double trailer road trains for the transportation of construction lumber.  So perhaps that's an unconscious influence on this story ;).  In any case, the train would turn at low velocity, so the radius might be fairly short.  There are side roads now and then on the Meridian Way, leading to small communities or mines, that would give an opportunity to turn around.  the drivers of these rigs have amazing control.
Decoupling remains a problem/manual operation even today, as far as I know.  You don't want an automated system to drop the trailer by accident at full speed.

For the mechanics of 3D modeling I use to create the images, every change in direction or position is rather like stop motion animation.  I need to create a separate model, move the wheels, adjust the angles, etc so it all seems realistic. 

Offline MickQ

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 665
  • Australia.
  • Liked: 119
  • Likes Given: 443
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #167 on: 08/12/2022 09:12 am »
DON'T get me wrong, Michel.  I am not criticising at all.  Just trying to offer ideas.

Another thought.  Say the prime vehicle is 10 meters long, what about digging/boring a 15 - 20 meter tunnel into a cliff or hillside close to the highway in places between way stations to act as emergency rad protection in case of a breakdown or other emergency delaying the Landcruiser.  Just drive straight into the tunnel and sit out the CME in the vehicle then back out and continue on.

Just a thought.  :D

Offline lamontagne

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3236
  • Otterburn Park, Quebec,Canada
  • Liked: 3330
  • Likes Given: 585
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #168 on: 08/12/2022 01:42 pm »
DON'T get me wrong, Michel.  I am not criticising at all.  Just trying to offer ideas.

Another thought.  Say the prime vehicle is 10 meters long, what about digging/boring a 15 - 20 meter tunnel into a cliff or hillside close to the highway in places between way stations to act as emergency rad protection in case of a breakdown or other emergency delaying the Landcruiser.  Just drive straight into the tunnel and sit out the CME in the vehicle then back out and continue on.

Just a thought.  :D
Goodness me, I hope I don't come across as overly defensive.  I love the questions and comments, it's the best way to improve the story! It's just that I really enjoy thinking about theses subjects and explaining what is behind the scenes.

The tunnel idea would work.  That was actually what I wanted to do in the first draft of the story, an interaction with a solar flare and a period spent in a cave.  but then I had another idea, that will start unfolding (finally!) in the next few pages.

Another point is that with the solar flare and the tunnel there was no drama.  As part of a well designed system they would get a message, note the solar flare risk, drive into a tunnel and wait.  Nothing really happens.  There is no real risk because the event is correctly handled by the design of the system.  For a story, I felt I needed an unexpected, and slightly outrageous, event.  But not totally outside the realm of possibility.

Offline lamontagne

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3236
  • Otterburn Park, Quebec,Canada
  • Liked: 3330
  • Likes Given: 585
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #169 on: 08/13/2022 08:44 pm »
What might get shipped by container on Mars?  Container shipping is remarkably cheap on Earth, in the order of 10 cents per kg or less.  Bulk shipping is probably even less.  But on Mars it seems impractical to ship by any other mode than container so perhaps everything would be containerized?
I've just realized that although I've thought a lot about the passengers the Landcruiser caries, I have little idea of its cargo.  I expect most settlements would be independent on the large items, the same ways cities on Earth are independent from one another on air, water and most foods.  When we designed the cities or Arkadia and Surya, we expected the equatorial city to have marginally cheaper energy, so perhaps things that require a lot of energy to produce might be produced at a cost sufficiently low that the cost of transportation is offset?  That's one of the reasons aluminum was produced in Canada, for example, event though the bauxite comes from South America, or even from Australia.
Aluminum ingots would not require  container though, they can be strapped to a flatbed.  So the Landcruiser is serving a more limited market, products that require significant pressure or that the control through containers is useful.  Could the containers be full of bananas, for example?

Offline SpeakertoAnimals

  • Member
  • Posts: 91
  • Oregon
  • Liked: 73
  • Likes Given: 24
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #170 on: 08/13/2022 11:08 pm »
Interesting. On Earth, Shipping by water is the cheapest method, followed by ground, then air, then rocket, which is so expensive, we don't even do it. On Mars., no shipping by water or air. So, container shipping by ground is cheapest. Self-driving road trains, at very low speeds for unpressurized cargo? For pressurized cargo, manned road trains with "box cars" that maintain pressure and/or temperature? Landcruisers could carry items with yet more value. Organs? Hard currency? Prisoners? Fresh lobsters? Livestock?

Offline SpeakertoAnimals

  • Member
  • Posts: 91
  • Oregon
  • Liked: 73
  • Likes Given: 24
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #171 on: 08/13/2022 11:17 pm »
Interesting. On Earth, Shipping by water is the cheapest method, followed by ground, then air, then rocket, which is so expensive, we don't even do it. On Mars., no shipping by water or air. So, container shipping by ground is cheapest. Self-driving road trains, at very low speeds for unpressurized cargo? For pressurized cargo, manned road trains with "box cars" that maintain pressure and/or temperature? Landcruisers could carry items with yet more value. Organs? Hard currency? Prisoners? Fresh lobsters? Livestock?
If road trains are cheapest, someone must have thought of railroads. Why aren't they in use? Dust storms? Train robbers? Cost to build?

Offline MickQ

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 665
  • Australia.
  • Liked: 119
  • Likes Given: 443
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #172 on: 08/14/2022 12:33 am »

[/quote]
Goodness me, I hope I don't come across as overly defensive.  I love the questions and comments, it's the best way to improve the story! It's just that I really enjoy thinking about theses subjects and explaining what is behind the scenes.

[/quote]

Hell no.  You're cool 😎.  I'm often told that I come across as too critical, that's all.

Anyway, containers for any and all foodstuffs, delicate medical and electronic equipment , precision mechanical devices and anything that can be spoiled by dust.  Also anything in large quantities going point to point between cities.  Load on a full container at one end and unload it directly to the end user at the other end.  This could be a way station, mining camp or Dome C at wherever.  Less handling at either end IMHO.





Offline lamontagne

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3236
  • Otterburn Park, Quebec,Canada
  • Liked: 3330
  • Likes Given: 585
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #173 on: 08/14/2022 12:48 am »
Interesting. On Earth, Shipping by water is the cheapest method, followed by ground, then air, then rocket, which is so expensive, we don't even do it. On Mars., no shipping by water or air. So, container shipping by ground is cheapest. Self-driving road trains, at very low speeds for unpressurized cargo? For pressurized cargo, manned road trains with "box cars" that maintain pressure and/or temperature? Landcruisers could carry items with yet more value. Organs? Hard currency? Prisoners? Fresh lobsters? Livestock?
If road trains are cheapest, someone must have thought of railroads. Why aren't they in use? Dust storms? Train robbers? Cost to build?
Low volume kills trains in this case.  There is no bulk trade (or at least that was our conclusion, other teams at the 2021 Mars Society contest came up with very different opinions!!!)  The dirt road is really cheap to build on Mars, as there is no soil to remove, no swamps, few mountains, at least on the plain the Meridian Way crosses. No lakes to cross. 
However, there would be no trade at all if the road hadn't been built to carry modules down to Surya from Arkadia.  Or just a very basic trail.  People move by rocket, most of the time.

Here is a spreadsheet about trains on Mars.  They are clearly advantageous as far as friction, and therefore energy, goes.   But energy costs are not everything, infrastructure costs, opportunity costs, development costs all are in the balance.

It's a known fact in Canada that mines follow roads.  Open up a new road, mines pop up along the road, as sites that were not viable economically become reachable.  In the case of this story, the Meridian Way was used heavily for a while to transport ammonia and methane clathrates, that are clearly a volume product. To be honest, if there was real value in these products, the best solution wight well have been a pipeline.

« Last Edit: 08/14/2022 01:03 am by lamontagne »

Offline lamontagne

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3236
  • Otterburn Park, Quebec,Canada
  • Liked: 3330
  • Likes Given: 585
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #174 on: 08/14/2022 12:59 am »

Goodness me, I hope I don't come across as overly defensive.  I love the questions and comments, it's the best way to improve the story! It's just that I really enjoy thinking about theses subjects and explaining what is behind the scenes.

Quote
Hell no.  You're cool 😎.  I'm often told that I come across as too critical, that's all.

Anyway, containers for any and all foodstuffs, delicate medical and electronic equipment , precision mechanical devices and anything that can be spoiled by dust.  Also anything in large quantities going point to point between cities.  Load on a full container at one end and unload it directly to the end user at the other end.  This could be a way station, mining camp or Dome C at wherever.  Less handling at either end IMHO.

I love this quote:
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the *new*. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new: an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto, "Anyone can cook." But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist *can* come from *anywhere*. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.

Anton Ego, from Ratatouille.  Criticism is good.  Indifference is the most deadly response.
« Last Edit: 08/14/2022 01:01 am by lamontagne »

Offline MickQ

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 665
  • Australia.
  • Liked: 119
  • Likes Given: 443
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #175 on: 08/14/2022 09:41 am »
OK

Offline lamontagne

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3236
  • Otterburn Park, Quebec,Canada
  • Liked: 3330
  • Likes Given: 585
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #176 on: 08/14/2022 04:24 pm »
Restful, I hope.

Offline CameronD

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2210
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • Norton Consultants
  • Liked: 785
  • Likes Given: 491
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #177 on: 08/15/2022 01:53 am »
Interesting. On Earth, Shipping by water is the cheapest method, followed by ground, then air, then rocket, which is so expensive, we don't even do it. On Mars., no shipping by water or air. So, container shipping by ground is cheapest. Self-driving road trains, at very low speeds for unpressurized cargo? For pressurized cargo, manned road trains with "box cars" that maintain pressure and/or temperature? Landcruisers could carry items with yet more value. Organs? Hard currency? Prisoners? Fresh lobsters? Livestock?
If road trains are cheapest, someone must have thought of railroads. Why aren't they in use? Dust storms? Train robbers? Cost to build?

Considering the railroad through the Red Center of Australia, between Adelaide and Darwin, vs road trains over the same route as an analog for similar on Mars, the biggest problem with a railroad is *maintenance*.

Road trains are not only cheaper to build and run but can haul produce from one place to the other over seriously nasty surfaces and be repaired in civilisation at either end (and in the middle) if necessary, and if one breaks down someplace inconvenient it doesn't hold up the line.. whereas a single issue with a single piece of track in the most inhospitable section of railroad causes the entire rail system to come to halt until a crew can be dispatched to fix it.
« Last Edit: 08/15/2022 01:56 am by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline lamontagne

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3236
  • Otterburn Park, Quebec,Canada
  • Liked: 3330
  • Likes Given: 585
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #178 on: 08/17/2022 04:57 am »
Edit: made little changes to improve readability
« Last Edit: 08/17/2022 08:51 pm by lamontagne »

Offline lamontagne

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3236
  • Otterburn Park, Quebec,Canada
  • Liked: 3330
  • Likes Given: 585
Re: Webcomic-The Meridian Way
« Reply #179 on: 08/21/2022 05:37 am »
Sorry about the poor quality of the image in the lower left, I still  haven't mastered Unreal engine completely, and that is required for the poses more complex than the usual talking heads!  So I find it kind of jars the suspension of disbelief required to enjoy the story.  Will come back to improve it as soon as I can :-)
« Last Edit: 08/21/2022 05:40 am by lamontagne »

 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement SkyTale Software GmbH
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
1