Japanese Researchers to Test Residence Sustainable Under Extreme Environments

2019/09/14 14:15
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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The Antarctica Mobile Base Unit (source: Misawa Homes)
The unit being transported (source: Misawa Homes)

Four Japanese organizations announced Aug 26, 2019, that they will jointly conduct a verification test in the aim of establishing a housing system sustainable under extreme environments at Showa Station in Antarctica.

The four organizations are Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), National Institute of Polar Research (NiPR), Misawa Homes Co Ltd and Misawa Homes Institute of Research and Development Co Ltd.

For "Space Exploration Innovation Hub," for which JAXA called for proposals from the public in 2017, JAXA selected "The Establishment of New Sustainable Housing System," which was proposed by Misawa Homes and Misawa Homes Institute of Research and Development. The system is based on the development of (1) a "construction method for saving energy required for construction" and (2) "autonomous circulation system for housing energy."

Because technical elements such as "easiness of construction," "renewable energy system" and "monitoring using sensor technologies," which are required for manned bases in space, are also useful in the extreme environment of Antarctica, the verification test was proposed.

For "Antarctica Mobile Base Unit," which will be used in the verification test, two units (size: approximately 6,100 x 2,500 x 3,050mm each, floor area: 11.82m2 each) are connected. A steel frame unit structure and 120mm-thick bonded woody composite panels were combined to add heat insulation properties. As external walls, Galvalume steel plates and and solar panels are used.