Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Airdrop Moisture Vaporator

Airdrop pulls moisture out of even the driest Aussie skies to provide water for farming, just like the moisture vaporators of Tatooine.


(Airdrop Moisture Vaporator)

Edward Linacre of Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne has tapped the Namib beetle - a desert dwelling species that survives in the most arid conditions on Earth - to create an irrigation system that can pull liquid moisture straight out of dry desert air.

Airdrop, as the system is known, borrows a trick from the Namib beetle, which can live in areas that receive just half an inch of rain per year by harvesting the moisture from the air that condenses on its back during the early morning hours. A hydrophilic skin helps to snare water molecules passing on the breeze, which then accumulate into droplets of consumable liquid water.

Airdrop mimics this idea, though on a larger scale. The self-powering device pumps air into a network of underground pipes, where it cools enough for water to condense. From there the moisture is delivered to the roots of nearby plants. Linacre's calculations show that about 11.5 millilitres can be harvested from every cubic metre of air, and further development could raise that number even higher.

As sf fans know, the only way to farm on Tatooine was to use moisture vaporators to pull water out of the air:, using a "vaporator sunk securely through sand and into deeper rock":

For human purposes, however, the water of Tatooine was only marginally accessible. The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance. It had to be coaxed down out of the hard blue sky -- coaxed, forced, yanked down to the parched surface.

Luke Skywalker was twice the age of the 10-year-old vaporator, but much less secure. At the moment he was swearing softly at a recalcitrant valve adjuster on the temperamental device.
(Read more about Lucas' vaporator)

Update: I should point out that there have been other attempts to build similar devices using the biomimicry approach. See Namib Desert Beetle-based Dune Dew Collectors for details. End update.

From PopSci down under; thanks to Nicholas Johnson for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/11/2011)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Moonwalkers AI-Controlled Electric Shoes
Now that's power walking that Hugo Gernsback would have approved.

Electric Catamaran 'Explorer Eco 40m' Has 'Solar Skin'
'On went the electric-yacht faster and still faster.' - John Baker Hopkins, 1885.

Harvest Power From Tears And Blinking With Smart Contact Lens
'...he realized that it was not quite a clear lens. Speckles of colored brightness swirled and gathered in it.' - Vernor Vinge, 2001.

AI Enhances Images Your Brain Sees
'I could have sworn the psychomat showed pictures almost as sharp and detailed as reality itself' - Stanley Weinbaum, 1935.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

SpaceX Wants A Moonbase Alpha
'And he had been sent with troops, supplies and bombs to command Russia's most trusted post, the Moonbase.'

Vast Apartment Living Will Get Even More Vast
'What is your population', I asked. 'About eighty millions.'

NASA Wants Self-Driving Or Remote-Controlled Vehicles For Lunar Astronauts
'THE autobus turned silently down the wide street of Hydropole. Robot-guided, insulated from noise and cold...'

Elon Musk Says Robotaxis Will Be Ready This August, 2024
'The car had no steering wheel, and no one drove!'

Moonwalkers AI-Controlled Electric Shoes
Now that's power walking that Hugo Gernsback would have approved.

Steve Jobs: 'Capture The Next Aristotle - With AI'
'It was disturbing to think of the Flatline as a construct...'

No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix
'...he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.'

Electric Catamaran 'Explorer Eco 40m' Has 'Solar Skin'
'On went the electric-yacht faster and still faster.'

Orbital Mechanics, The Liftoff, The Turnover, The Retrograde Burn
'...the huge vessel had spun, with a sickening lurch, through a complete half-circle, the instant the power was reversed.'

Harvest Power From Tears And Blinking With Smart Contact Lens
'...he realized that it was not quite a clear lens. Speckles of colored brightness swirled and gathered in it.'

Europa Clipper Plate Carries A Special Message
'...a universal cryptogram yet it is one which can be interpreted by any intelligent creature on any planet in the Solar System!'

Micro-Robots Are Smallest, Fully Functional
'With a whir, the Scarab shot from the concealing shadows of the corner where it had hidden itself.'

AI Enhances Images Your Brain Sees
'I could have sworn the psychomat showed pictures almost as sharp and detailed as reality itself'

Illustrating Classic Heinlein With AI
'Stasis, cold sleep, hibernation, hypothermia, reduced metabolism, call it what you will - the logistics-medicine research teams had found a way to stack people like cordwood and use them when needed.'

Deflector Plasma Screen For Drones ala Star Wars
'If the enemy persists in attacking or even intensifies their power, the density of the plasma in space will suddenly increase, causing it to reflect most of the incoming energy like a mirror.'

DIY Robotic Hand Made After Loss Of Fingers
'I made them... with the fine work of the watchmaker...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.