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  • Drive Systems

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  • Native Species of Alchibah

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  • Constitution

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  • Farming and Farmland — Liberty Twp

    by EAB

    Farming - Initial Agriculture

    How much land we will need to plant will be determined by our population size and farming efficiency. Back on Earth the most efficient farmers the world had ever seen resided primarily in the United Stated of America on the North American continent at the end of the 20th century. With about 300 million acres under cultivation a population of 300 million was supported. Naturally some foodstuffs were imported but there was a large net export advantage especially in grain crops. Of this land almost 25% was planted in corn, a major portion of which was used for livestock feed and ethanol production. With corn the astounding output of 120 bushels an acre had been achieved by the late 20th century

    The factors which made such an unprecedented productivity possible were, on the natural side, climate, soil condition and an abundance of water. The human induced factors of large scale farms, machine use, fertilization, insecticide development and genetically modified plant species were equally important.

    The site of our initial landing was chosen with a view to climate and water availability. In terms of temperature we should be fine but the growing season will be 2 and a half times as long. This will add problems of storage and the need to grow multiple crops each year. Timing of planting so that the crops become available sequentially rather than all at once will be important for an efficient harvest. If the soil type is favorable, a factor which presently appears likely, we will not have for some time the amount of special machinery, insecticides, and fertilizers employed on earth.

    Some types of foodstuffs require special types of pollination; the use of bees for instance. We have brought along bees, but will they survive? Or if they cannot will another of Alchibah’s species take over their function? Even the presence and actions of earthworms have a large effect on crop yields and we have brought worms with us but the same questions asked about bees apply to them. We have only limited abilities to improve yield by genetic modification. It will be critical that we overcome any of the problems which present themselves as rapidly as possible.

    We have hydroponics on board the Mayflower but this is a stopgap and short term aid at best. Incapable of rapid expansion, production requirements and transportation make it more labor intensive than food grown planetside. Most colonists have never eaten a real, non greenhouse tomato, when they do another one of the reasons will become obvious.

    In the efficient areas on Earth direct farm work is the occupation of less than 2% of the population. Seven of the colonists were engaged as such before they joined us, luckily a higher number than chance alone would have provided. A survey and average of this “expert opinion”, suggests that we will be doing very well indeed in the short term, (short being 5 Alchibah years), to reach 15% of Earth values with 10% being far more likely.

    Therefore, planning for a population of 200, to include expected births, about 2000 acres, or over three square miles, should be put under cultivation as quickly as possible. We will need double or triple the number of farmers initially though the use of robots might eventually minimize or eliminate this problem. Until we learn enough to teach the robots there seems no alternative. Provision for preserving and storing foodstuffs during the long non-growing times will also require additional labor at first but could well be taken over by the farmers once they were established.

    It is already certain that the agricultural output will not be needed for fuel production as the abundant forests and clearing of land will provide more than enough biomass into the foreseeable future.

    For additional discussion see Farming Livestock and Animal Husbandry.

    Posted in A, F, L | Comments Off

    Liberty — Forming a Civilization, Jobs Needed

    by EAB

    This is the front end of the game program written by L. Monroe and played by all of the Mayflower’s stay awake crew. They would change the numbers and job titles and a simulated disaster would strike. The disasters were changed repeatedly. The goal was to survive the disaster with little or no loss of life. A 90% survival rate was considered a win. That happened rarely. Survival rates of 0% were all too common. A surprising result was that with out at least one person in the Tavern class survival numbers were always bad. Monroe called this the “Morale Factor”. Clarke called it the “More-Ale” factor.

    What will we do on Alchibah. A Pre Landing Simulation. The numbers may change but the problems remain. There are only 168 of us and 33 are children. What occupations do we need? A First Estimate. Every job ought to have backups in training.

    Input Factor No. V1.7

    Number of Game Cycles Years


    Basic Reproductive Rate %/Year


    Level 1-4








    Mechanical/Electrical Repair




    Power Systems


    Building & Construction


    Clearing & Forestry


    Metals Production


    Tavern /Hotel/Bakery


    Refinery & Drilling


    Ships Crew










    Pipe Fitter/Turbine Repair


    Plastics Processing


    Glass & Ceramics




    Posted in C, L | Comments Off

    Liberty — Initial Infrastructure

    by EAB

    Building the Township
    Starting on day eight the Liberty Council began meeting at least 3 hours every day with a couple of things in mind. The first was to draft a Constitution and Bill of Rights, the second was to get a start on colony infrastructure. The meetings were all public and at the end of each the infrastructure proposals were put out for immediate electronic vote. The results were announced the next day and went into effect at once if ratified. The Council was very careful early on to make sure all of these building proposals were going to pass with a large majority so any haggling was done in session and only then put to the vote.
    About a 150 grids were chosen for a communal farm. They were mostly meadowland so that logging and stumping would not be required before getting them into production. A tacit agreement was made that these cleared lands would in time be put up for sale with those in charge of the actual farming being given a priority for their purchase. There were a few complaints concerning the favoritism but the majority felt this only proper and so the proposal passed handily.
    A land registry was put into place and colonists began selecting Freeholds at once. Within the first four days over 70% had made a choice. A twenty day selection period was enacted and if anyone still had not been able to decide they would need to select from land not approved for some other use.
    A road was started which would run along the river from the hydroelectric power site Andy Stuart would build, past the Community building, and then due south bordering the township farm. For the time being it would end at the farm’s southeast corner. Routes were sketched into the map to continue that road to the lower bridge and port area and to eventually build a road along the east side of the river from the upper bridge to what looked to become Reye’s Farm. The road’s right of way was kept to 50 ft. in width and it was agreed to skirt only the edges of grid sections and adjust the boundaries of any grid the road passed through, if selected for a Freehold, so that no net land was lost. And with one exception no Freeholds would be split. Hanna Parker said to go ahead and run the right of way through her lower section. She said land on both sides of the main street into town would give a lot of options for the future.
    The continued existence and use of the general robotic labor pool was confirmed and assignments made from it towards the various projects.
    Half of the present lumber output would go to the Township, the other half by lottery to colonists at large. Emily parker was one of the earliest winners and she assigned her rights over to Hanna and Jules so that Hanna’s First Inn could begin construction at once. For now the Community Building would be used for anything suitable. Plans were started for food storage and processing and the start of a manufacturing center.
    None of the colonists had ever been involved with boatbuilding but Karl and Pamela Nash had grown up around and owned large yachts and so temporarily took on the titles of Port Captain and Ship Yard Superintendent respectively. Pretty fancy titles for a two person outfit but showing the advantages of getting in early. If they worked out those jobs were likely to become permanent. Their first task would be to put up a dock and see about building a small cargo and fishing vessel.
    All of the above were fairly easily decided and rapid progress made on other infrastructure issues. But the Monetary System and the Constitution and Bill of Rights were something else entirely.

    Posted in A, I, L | Comments Off

    Liberty — Initial Power Requirements

    by EAB

    Nuclear Batteries, Windmills, Power in General


    Charge life at 50% Duty Cycle - Capacitor type, 36 to 48 Hours. A.B. type, 1+ years. Max Sustained Output - 1.75 KW. Burst Mode - 3.1 KW. Charge Rate - 1.2 KWH/Min. Typical time 45 min.

    One H.P.= .75 KW.

    The 20 H.P. sawmill needs 15 KWH and has its own battery much larger than the ones powering the few robots that are nuclear powered. Any large earth moving equipment, if we can get something freed up from the Mayflower will likely not be nuclear powered. The NB Heater batteries put out 1 KW. They have the power to run robots at less than maximum output but would need modifications for voltage requirements and we don‘t have what we need to make the modifications just yet. There are a couple spare robot sized NBs but that’s it.

    The Robot batteries weigh about 35 lbs. each. Heater batteries about half as much and the sawmills battery proportionately heavier. The battery casings are a tough iridium alloyed with tungsten, aluminum, and thorium. Electrons are emitted inside from a radioactive tritium gas and the electrons captured. They along with what would be wasted thermal energy, provide for the output. Because the radioactive elements powering the batteries emit less energy over time they will all need to be replaced in a year or so.

    Wind Power

    If we get the windmills up in a hurry and they each average 50% of their 20 KWH max and we locate them at a site near or in camp, things are still very tight. Besides running our lights, water pump, small electric tools such as saws and drills, and comm systems, figure 10 KWH on average, we will have to charge the Nano-Capacitor powered bots, which means almost all of them, from the wind generators also. Eventually we will need to move the windmills to the best location we can find.

    The 20 KW of spare windmill capacity can probably give 2 days worth of charge to one bot an hour or enough to keep 40 robots pretty much fully charged. In addition the Nuclear powered bots could, with some modification, each charge one or too more up if they were not working 20 hrs a day. Since people are still getting used to the robots few will be used at the high end of their power requirement immediately. When the Galileo is down and unloading it too would have the ability to charge a couple of robots an hour. The Galileo has enough power to do more, just not enough charging equipment. Someone suggested we have a robot use the charging equipment on the Galileo to continually charge depleted Nano Capacitors and off load them whenever she lands. Good idea, that will help.

    Solar Power

    We lost much of what we had when the Copernicus crashed. We have about 5 KW worth of solar array still on the Mayflower to install but that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to what we need.

    So in the short term we can scrape by but we are in need of more generating capacity as we start using the robots to their fullest capacities. Once we begin to use power for additional things like manufacturing we will limit out pretty quickly. And this generating capacity will need to be installed before the “Half Life” of the Nukes cause them to weaken and fail.

    Posted in L, P | Comments Off