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  • Liberty — Initial Power Requirements

    by EAB

    Nuclear Batteries, Windmills, Power in General

    Robots

    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

    Population Dynamics

    by EAB

    Population Demographics: Primary edit. H.Parker

    An inspection of the “Forming a Civilization” simulation shows the key parameter leading to colony survival was always the reproductive rate. With the result of all disaster scenarios, independent of this variable, leading to higher death rates, fractional percentage changes, over time of the reproductive rate lead to large differences in survivability.

    By the end of the 20th century, virtually all economically advanced countries were in a state of population decline. Some 50 years later, at mid century, it appears that the total population of Earth may have peaked at 17 billion . Due as much to UNWG policy as economic status and resource depletion, a gradual decline is expected.

    On Alchibah with a small initial population base it seems imperative that a high reproductive rate be maintained in order to enhance the colonies survivability. A contrarian position would be: “Population growth, who cares? Won’t matter a bit after I’m gone.” This is a fine philosophical point but seems emotionally unsatisfying. With the aforementioned in mind, what factors in our new society might lead to high population growth?

    With the state of medical care in an advanced Western nation on Earth the rule of thumb number was that each woman must bear 2.1 children in order to maintain population stability. Knowing this number was not being maintained a few plausible reasons might have been.

    1. We no longer need large families in order to maintain us in old age.

    2. The availability of birth control made accidental or unwanted pregnancies avoidable.

    3. The world population was already too large and we should bring it down.

    4. Cultural changes such as, divorce rate increase, woman’s financial independence, longer time spent in education and hence later marriage age leading to a delayed age of first born, and others.

    5. The somewhat heretical notion that when given a choice we really don’t like children as much as the popular norms would suggest.

    6. The religious commandment to be fruitful and multiply is no longer an important factor in procreation decisions.

    Whatever the reasons, if we are to make a lasting civilization on Alchibah, population growth must exceed the mortality rate.

    The rapid population growth evidenced by the Polynesian Islanders as they expanded throughout the Pacific indicate that in a relatively favorable environment a growth rate of 3% per year was the norm. See Easter Island a Retrospective. Starting with 100 people you end up with 2000 after 100 years. It seems likely that if deaths due to new disease forms, accidents, new life forms, and especially should inter colony strife become the norm, an even higher reproductive rate would be desirable. This does not even take into account the chance of war with forces of the UNWG sent to subdue us. What rate of growth is best? If we wish to form a society which survives the higher the better. Starting from such a small number there seems to be no alternative.

    Factors which might lead to rapid population growth include.

    1. A deliberate decision by women, and men, to have more children due to concerns about maintaining our society.

    2. Medical interventions increasing fertility and providing for more multiple births.

    3. Medical intervention increasing the proportion of female births.

    4. Rewards for having children.

    5. Artificial means such as using the incubators we intend for raising our farm animals to grow instead humans.

    6. Additional immigration from Earth.

    7. A religious revival.

    Without using immigration, or artificial incubation as means for increase, what would a 3% growth rate for the next 20 years mean in terms of our current colony group? Until complete medical profiles are constructed an inspection of the colonist lists shows 80 women on board, 20 of whom are either beyond child bearing age or within several years of that point. There are 33 children aboard 18 of them females below the age of reproduction. This leaves 42 women some of whom can not or will not chose to have children. Medical technology should rule out most of the can’t factor and so to simplify let us set the initial number of fertile women at 40. Using a fertility age lifetime of 25 years and with the age spread in our sample group the average number of women of child bearing age for the next 20 years should remain relatively constant if mortality rates remain low in this group.

    In order to improve ease of calculation the basic assumption for mean life expectancy will be 80 years. As a population we are shifted about 7 years towards the younger end of the spectrum. Over time this will balance out. If 2 people die every year for the next 20 years each woman in the fertile group must have I child so that our population remains stable. This is only in the short term however because of the 40 children conceived only half, 20, will be female and that number will be insufficient to maintain population during the next generational cycle. Thus we arrive at the 2 children per woman figure plus a bit just to maintain stability.

    In order to reach a 3% growth rate, which would give the colony a population just over 300 in 20 years time, the number of births must be about 4 per woman of child bearing age and this assumes no deaths in that. population. This seems so unlikely that another solution to the population problem must be found..

    Birth by Tube Raised by Robot:

    Onboard the Mayflower are a dozen incubation chambers large enough to bring a human fetus to gestation. Using nine of them for that purpose would insure another 12 children added to the colony every year. Caring for the newborns would be time well spent in terms of insuring survivability. 120 children in addition to the 20 or so we would expect naturally in the first ten years of the colony’s existence would probably require robots to be dedicated to the task of assisting the nominal parents. More than just help the mothers or families involved to raise them the use of robots would free up time to devote to other areas those involved were expert in. After that first group reached adulthood though, the benefits to the colony would far outweigh the trouble involved due to time spent on their care. If mortality rates are high, as they are likely to be, these children could be the only hope for the colony to survive.

    Posted in P | Comments Off