An evolution of the same linear motor technology used in the ZipLine Tether Transport System and tracked transport systems developed for use by the Modular Unmanned Orbital Factory - MUOF the MagTrack would be a rigid track multi-function transport system assuming the roles of PRT and PPT systems within a habitat.
The basic MagTrack system would be based on an alloy channel profile with active components integrated to it and small drive shuttles traveling magnetically isolated within it and linking to external connectors through a channel slot. Special slip-plate ports would allow quick removal of shuttle units, or if necessary sections of profile could be detached to remove them if stuck or obstructed. Unlike the ZipLine, the MagTrack would be capable of automated track switching and simultaneous bi-directional travel allowing for very complex transit networks. It would also be capable of much higher speeds, though most uses would still be for slow or moderate speeds. These tracks can be used singly or in groups of two or more to propel various forms of carrier units.
A single track, open access, low speed system is likely to be employed within the human transit vias of a habitat and would be used with handhold units similar to those of the ZipLine and simple cargo frames or pallets to which quick-release plug-in containers and soft satchels can be attached. Traveling in the open within the human traffic areas, these would be limited to quite slow speeds and would rely on proximity sensors along the track to detect obstructions.
In very large settlements, more options become available when mounting MagTrack systems on the outside of primary habitat truss structures in order to isolate them from the human traffic areas within the truss while providing access through the sides of the truss structure. A simple but flexible multipurpose transit system would be based on a wide two-track system retrofit to the exterior of primary truss structures. Supported entirely from the outside edges, the track would allow access from either facing side of the track. An open-center carriage frame would further facilitate this, allowing cargo containers to attach to the outer side of the carriage but still be accessed through the frame from the inside of the structural truss. This would be particularly useful for PPT and PRT applications. A PPT system would employ simple quick-connect containers ‘docking’ with special access ports that allow the container to be accessed through a door on the carriage mount side. For PPT applications two scales of track system may be used, one for small containers and one matched to a general PRT scale, with special ‘collection’ carriages of progressively large size picking up smaller containers for group transport over longer distances, allowing PPT and PRT systems to be combined for efficiency and economy.
Using this same strategy, a passenger PRT system could be implemented with relatively flat cabs using a simple clamshell chassis design, a wide chaise lounge (hosting up to three people) with pull-down bar restraints facing ‘bottom-out’, under-seat cargo compartments, and accessed through windowed sliding doors from the ‘top’ at elevator-like terminals on track network sidings. As with any PPT/PRT system, extensive proximity, motion, and carriage tracking systems would be employed throughout the network for safety. Additional safety isolation could be provided by sections of detachable tensioned netting over simple alloy loops surrounding the track volume. Passengers would climb into the cab in a feet-forward position and operate the system with an over-head mounted touch display integrated into the windows of the sliding top door. Normal operation would have cabs traveling in the feet-forward position. Vented front and back farings would provide ventilation and would provide streamlining for the otherwise rectilinear cab form, allowing for moderately high speeds.
Exterior space variants of the MagTrack would also be possible, though in general the design of Asgard EvoHab type habitats would not leave many pressurized zones of structure isolated from each other. However, there are situations where this could be necessary and it would have a potentially desirable tourist application –allowing for the creation of a very convenient exterior colony tour ride based on a track system that traverses the colony hull exterior. (also very likely for large habitat interiors as well, allowing a hull-edge track to provide grand views of the Urban Tree habitat –also a potential design strategy for terrestrial rides that would showcase future Asgard development…) Pressurized MagTrack containers would feature pressure-sealed structures while passenger cabs would employ a very similar design to their non-pressurized form but with flush mounted window hatches instead of the usual sliding doors and a short duration life support system with emergency backup. They could employ designs that link exterior cabs and containers by access-hatch through a pressure hull or they may employ whole vehicle airlocks in-line with the MagTrack lines –a much larger and more complex system that would likely be rarely used except in the largest of habitats.
- Urban Tree Housing Concepts
- Asgard Digitial Infrastructure
- Carrier Pallets
- WristRocket Personal Mobility Unit
- RocShaw Personal Mobility Units
- Pallet Truck
- ZipLine Tether Transport System
- SkyGarden and SkyFarm Systems
- Meat Culturing
- Microgravity Food Processors
- Pools and Baths in Orbit
- Solar Sails
- Plasma and Fusion Propulsion