Home / Publications / Science and technology / Steel laboratory is being built in Japan to train lunar robots

Steel laboratory is being built in Japan to train lunar robots

Science and technology
1 116

A futuristic robotics research center will be set up at the Avatar X space research campus in Japan, suspended by steel cables over a moon-like crater.

Steel laboratory is being built in Japan to train lunar robots

The pioneering space technology research campus, which will be used as a testing ground for a consortium of global technology companies, is set to begin operations in Japan in 2020. The project is a partnership between ANA Holdings Inc. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) - expert companies for launching vehicles into the atmosphere - and will be part of Avatar X, a joint program to promote space exploration and exploration.

Avatar X has identified three areas that will benefit from campus research: remote space construction, operation and maintenance of space stations and objects from Earth, and space entertainment and travel for the general public.

"The overall structure looks like a bicycle wheel that fits on a crater, and the building itself forms a central hub and rests on the spokes of a steel cable to form a tensegrity structure," says Masayuki Sono, project architect.

Oita is a coastal prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan, and the former mining site already resembles the surface of the moon. The new campus will consist of several buildings, as well as a lunar simulation area that will be used to experiment with remote semi-autonomous construction of lunar terrestrial habitats using robotic avatars.

The Clouds Architecture Office - a New York-based firm known for its 9/11 Staten Island monument and working with NASA to create the Mars Ice Home - has completed concept designs for the master plan and three buildings on the Oita campus: Research and Development Center lunar simulator the environment and laboratory building Avatar X, which will be located in the center of the campus above the moon-like crater.

The Avatar-X center will house the most modern research and development institution in robotics.

Masayuki Sono, Project Architect and Co-founder of Clouds Architecture Office, comments:

“We started with a master plan for the entire complex. As activities in and around craters will be critical in exploring the lunar surface and in relation to the existing topography, a large crater has been placed in the center of the site to simulate the lunar environment.

All objects are located around the crater in a radial organization, and the Avatar X central laboratory contains a visitor center, simulator and avatar display, research center, and other public amenities. To control and monitor the testing activities that take place in and around the crater, the laboratory is suspended in the middle of the crater, creating an inspiring symbol. ”

The design of the building is deliberately iconic, expressing the pioneering spirit of flight using construction methods drawn from space architecture and aviation.

Steel ropes hang the center over a simulated lunar crater

The state-of-the-art research facility will be formed of translucent and transparent fluoropolymer membrane panels wrapped around a steel frame. The bulkheads will be made of carbon fiber, with honeycomb floor tiles and fiber-reinforced plastic overlays designed to reduce weight.

Member of the design team and assistant professor at the University of Tokyo, Civil Engineer Jun Sato, explains the design further:

“The overall structure looks like a bicycle wheel, which is laid on a crater, and the building itself forms a central node and is supported on a steel cable with“ spokes ”, forming a tensegrity structure. Here, a set of compressive elements are resisted and balanced by a continuous tensile force, creating an internal pre-stress that stabilizes the entire structure.

The spindle-type steel bushing is a double quadrangular pyramid 40 meters high with a convex frame that can act as compression elements, so that some of the beams inside this hub can be tension members and the structure becomes lightweight.

After exploring different material options, due to a complex set of criteria, steel was selected as the most feasible and proven system to achieve unique designs, ”said Masayuki Sono, project architect.

The project is progressing to the next phase and construction is expected to begin in 2020, when the selected site will be equipped to fully simulate a crater on the moon.

For the structural calculations of the Avatar X lab building, we must consider gravity, horizontal and vertical vibration due to earthquakes and wind, soft ground conditions and thermal shrinkage of cables, ”says Jun Sato.

Translucent and translucent panels will fit around the steel frame, forming the center of robotics.

Architect Masayuki Sono clarifies:

"Main construct

Add a comment
Сomments (0)
To comment
Войти с ВК Войти с ФБ Войти с Яндекс
Sign in with:
Войти с ВК Войти с ФБ Войти с Яндекс