Lifting Suburbia Up, and Putting it on Wheels

Question: What is the Future of Suburbia?

Mitchell Joachim: So if you think about the future of suburbia, there is no future. Sprawl is kind of a failed pattern so we don’t want to throw good money after bad. We want to rethink the future of America’s infrastructure alongside its existing arteries of mobility, its existing highways, for instance. Alongside the interstates there is ample opportunity to fit out these interstates with new types of renewable technologies.

Things like geothermal, algae energy systems, solar based systems and certainly wind turbine systems, etcetera. If we were to move along those existing arteries we could easily retool our infrastructure; make it smarter and renewable. And one of the things, in our opinion at Terreform 1form, we don’t actually want the suburbs to continue. We’d rather see them just rot or kind of return to nature. And a few of those elements could be kind of preserved in some fashion and become mobile.

America has always been a country on wheels. So one of our propositions and it’s forcibly out there and it’s awfully provocative, is to pick up some of those suburbs, some of those houses in the suburbs, put them on some kind of a movement device, anything possible, it doesn’t matter, a tractor, a low bed, a combine, and place it along side America’s highways, which would be expanded, getting slightly larger. And you’d dwell on the fly. Everyday you’d be moving, kind of like a new kind of trailer park I guess, between city core to city core. You could stay in one place alongside these highways and stay there for six months when the weather’s nice and then go to Florida if it gets too cold. And you move at 13 miles an hour or 30 miles an hour but you move very slowly. But you never have to be permanently in one location.

The idea here is that you are right next to this smart infrastructure. You’re right next to this food production zone, this energy production zone and your refuse zone. So the suburbs kind of become a line. A kind of linear city that attaches itself kind of like two ends to a barbell to these city centers that already exist. So that’s our reconception of the suburbs, is put America on wheels and connect them to a smart and renewable grid.

Recorded on: September 11, 2009

 

 

Mitchell Joachim describes the 'non-future' of suburban sprawl and the need to rethink mobility in America: to uplift future-less locales and place them along moving, smart, renewable grids.

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First off, let's be clear what we mean by "hear" here. (Here, here!)

Sound, as we know it, requires air. What our ears capture is actually oscillating waves of fluctuating air pressure. Cilia, fibers in our ears, respond to these fluctuations by firing off corresponding clusters of tones at different pitches to our brains. This is what we perceive as sound.

All of which is to say, sound requires air, and space is notoriously void of that. So, in terms of human-perceivable sound, it's silent out there. Nonetheless, there can be cyclical events in space — such as oscillating values in streams of captured data — that can be mapped to pitches, and thus made audible.

BepiColombo

Image source: European Space Agency

The European Space Agency's BepiColombo spacecraft took off from Kourou, French Guyana on October 20, 2019, on its way to Mercury. To reduce its speed for the proper trajectory to Mercury, BepiColombo executed a "gravity-assist flyby," slinging itself around the Earth before leaving home. Over the course of its 34-minute flyby, its two data recorders captured five data sets that Italy's National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) enhanced and converted into sound waves.

Into and out of Earth's shadow

In April, BepiColombo began its closest approach to Earth, ranging from 256,393 kilometers (159,315 miles) to 129,488 kilometers (80,460 miles) away. The audio above starts as BepiColombo begins to sneak into the Earth's shadow facing away from the sun.

The data was captured by BepiColombo's Italian Spring Accelerometer (ISA) instrument. Says Carmelo Magnafico of the ISA team, "When the spacecraft enters the shadow and the force of the Sun disappears, we can hear a slight vibration. The solar panels, previously flexed by the Sun, then find a new balance. Upon exiting the shadow, we can hear the effect again."

In addition to making for some cool sounds, the phenomenon allowed the ISA team to confirm just how sensitive their instrument is. "This is an extraordinary situation," says Carmelo. "Since we started the cruise, we have only been in direct sunshine, so we did not have the possibility to check effectively whether our instrument is measuring the variations of the force of the sunlight."

When the craft arrives at Mercury, the ISA will be tasked with studying the planets gravity.

Magentosphere melody

The second clip is derived from data captured by BepiColombo's MPO-MAG magnetometer, AKA MERMAG, as the craft traveled through Earth's magnetosphere, the area surrounding the planet that's determined by the its magnetic field.

BepiColombo eventually entered the hellish mangentosheath, the region battered by cosmic plasma from the sun before the craft passed into the relatively peaceful magentopause that marks the transition between the magnetosphere and Earth's own magnetic field.

MERMAG will map Mercury's magnetosphere, as well as the magnetic state of the planet's interior. As a secondary objective, it will assess the interaction of the solar wind, Mercury's magnetic field, and the planet, analyzing the dynamics of the magnetosphere and its interaction with Mercury.

Recording session over, BepiColombo is now slipping through space silently with its arrival at Mercury planned for 2025.

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