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Old 12-10-2018, 11:55 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Default The shape of prime base

The the little base I proposed, and some of the others being talked about the recently I think a series of rings, with different functions in the rings will suffice. each ring is 1600 feet in diameter, as that is the turning radius of a Tunnel Boring Machine.

For some manned bases, particularly Prime Base this will lead to far too much separation. Even if a tram system is used having such distances between sides of a level can eat up a lot of time.

The towers in the original module are unworkable as designed. They are fixed to the living rock and would be placed under far too much stress to survive. I am beginning to wonder if towers are not the way to go though, or some other sort of vertical structures. Elevators are much easier to engineer and operate than trains or trams.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:26 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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And therein is the problem.

But, perhaps, a combination of towers and tunnels might do the trick. If we use the tunnel boring machines to carve out two of these rings, to be used for stores of raw material/finished goods. Then connecting tunnels with bays that will contain the various labs and production facilities and storage vaults and connecting in a central chamber, housing the command center and it's supporting functions, the living, recreation and training facilities, etc.. Then it may be possible to build blocks housing these facilities. It would even possible set aside one of two of the connecting tunnels for additional living quarters, hospital and possibly a school.
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:32 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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I'm chewing on this. I do see towers and tunnels (are there trolls as well?)
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:57 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Tried some sketches to see how it looked.

First problem is the number of personnel assigned. How many singles? Married? Will there be space for teams in transit? Dependents?

How many months of supplies will be needed? What type of production facilities?

Aviation support? Transport support? How about naval?

How many beds in the hospital? What scale of care? Medical labs? Morgue?

Space for a gym, classrooms, firing ranges?

Lots and lots of concerns!
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:38 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
The the little base I proposed, and some of the others being talked about the recently I think a series of rings, with different functions in the rings will suffice. each ring is 1600 feet in diameter, as that is the turning radius of a Tunnel Boring Machine.
I am just wondering where you got your 1600 foot turning radius. I have seem specs on Robbins TBMs and they can turn much tighter than that. One that I have read the report on has a 4.62m (15ft) boring diameter has a 105m (344') turning radius. A similar CTS TBM that has a 4.58m (15ft) tunnel diameter has a turning radius of 61m (200ft). Even if the turning radius grow faster than the diameter of the tunnel, I have a hard time envisioning the turning radius being 5 time greater when the tunnel diameter is just doubled.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:48 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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I think I answered my own question. I found a patent application for improving the calculations for turning radius of TBMs. It seems it is dependent upon the desired tunneling speed, the cutting pressure, and the strength of the material being bored. So I guess 1600' tunnel diameter could be as correct as any other number.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:37 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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I was looking at a 26 foot bore.
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:13 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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I was looking at a 26 foot bore.
For the regular use tunnels, workable. for a storage tunnel, and just thinking of the fun of maneuvering a 20-foot long cargo container in and out, you are more likely looking at a pair of tunnels drilled side-by-side for say a 50-foot diameter?
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:17 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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That would be a huge tunnel. Plus 26 feet wide would be plenty wide enough for moving tractor trailers and loads
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:38 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Quote:
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That would be a huge tunnel. Plus 26 feet wide would be plenty wide enough for moving tractor trailers and loads
True...don't know about doing a 20' container and its tractor in a 26' wide tunnel, certainly would be something to watch! But a lot of it depends on what system of storage do you use? 20'ft containers have the advantage of bulk storage and being able to be stocked several high. Pallets are smaller, easier to move around, but can't be stacked more than 3-4 high (depends on the pallet). Or you can go with shelf storage, these can be several courses high, but would require wide aisles to allow the lift platforms to maneuver.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:41 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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That would be a huge tunnel. Plus 26 feet wide would be plenty wide enough for moving tractor trailers and loads
I am not so sure. While I haven't found any reports or guidelines for turning radius of a 20' trailer and have not worked the formulas, there are plenty for 45' trailers. For a semi to do a 180deg turnaround requires a straight road about 91' wide. If this were a tunnel, the 91' would be where the front outside corner of the truck was just brushing against the wall. If this scales close to linear, then you still need about 40' wide straight tunnel, more if it is a circular tunnel. It is possible to use specialized mules that are close in size to the hitch to minimize the turning and turn the prime movers with no trailer. This will reduce the efficiency but may do the job. But if you just want to hook up the trailer and go, a double wide tunnel is in order.
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:26 AM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is offline
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I may be oversimplifying things but if the tunnel is circular, would you really need to 180 the rig or would you just drive around the circle and save a lot of tunneling?
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:37 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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You could. It's about one mile underground, but you could go the long way around if it were all open. But since this is also a base, if there are any buildings in there for infrastructure or other purpose, then you have those bottle necks to consider.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:46 PM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is offline
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You could try to go the way of Norwegan's and add periodic roundabouts to the tunnel. This also provides points for branch tunnels if desired.

https://youtu.be/87K7gX9rVIE
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:01 PM
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Moving a TBM around is a big deal and draws attention. What cover story could be used to mask the movement and then disposal of the spoils from the tunneling operation?
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:43 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Moving a TBM around is a big deal and draws attention. What cover story could be used to mask the movement and then disposal of the spoils from the tunneling operation?
Failed Hyperloop test site?
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:34 PM
nuke11 nuke11 is offline
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Failed Hyperloop test site?
I guess but wouldn't that put this test site sometime around 2011/2012 or a bit later? But just based on timelines shouldn't Prime be one of if not the first place built for the project so it's completion would predate any public acknowledgement of a Hyperloop concept?
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:44 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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I guess but wouldn't that put this test site sometime around 2011/2012 or a bit later? But just based on timelines shouldn't Prime be one of if not the first place built for the project so it's completion would predate any public acknowledgement of a Hyperloop concept?
Vactrains, which Elon Musk's Hyperloop is only one of the more recent entries into the mix, have been proposed since the 18th century. This may not be Musk's Hyperloop, but from maybe a Morrow front company?
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Old 12-13-2018, 07:04 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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We have two basic problems with using TBMs or abandoned mines, etc..

Security is the biggest. An abandoned facility, being a mine, old factory, hyperloop etc., is that there are people AND documentation that shows its location. It would require a major cover operation to deflect attention away. Using a mine, for example, means that both Federal and State organizations have to be convinced that the mine is no longer their concern...and this includes convincing the EPA that there are no hazardous chemicals remaining on site.

Second problem is the footprint of the excavations. Spoil. hundreds if not thousands of tons of it. Its got to go somewhere. Calling it a mine brings the Feds/States into the middle of it. Calling it a "Nuclear Waste Disposal Site" will certainly get several Federal agencies into the loop. And a lot of them are going to want on-site inspections. Which leads us right back into the Security concern(s).

Because of these concerns, I'm not convinced that a TBM is the best approach. Rather, what is needed is something that can bore the tunnels, rapidly, discreetly, and be able to dispose of the spoil. We already have a Project with fusion power and lasers, perhaps a laser boring machine...yet another "handwaveium"?
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Old 12-13-2018, 08:26 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Second problem is the footprint of the excavations. Spoil. hundreds if not thousands of tons of it. Its got to go somewhere.
This is a big problem. The three rings suggested here will produce a little under 593000 cubic yards of material. This would take a Cat 797F Mining Truck about 1977 trips to haul away from the main bore hole, around 791000 tons.

If you bore near a natural cavern, you could just dump underground. Another possible solution could be to drill a network of shallow horizontal wells over a couple square miles and pump mix of water and pulverized rock into them, raising the ground level a few inches from below. Kind of like fracking, only with liquid rock into softer loam.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:26 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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If you bore near a natural cavern, you could just dump underground. Another possible solution could be to drill a network of shallow horizontal wells over a couple square miles and pump mix of water and pulverized rock into them, raising the ground level a few inches from below. Kind of like fracking, only with liquid rock into softer loam.
Wonder what the long term effect on the base would be?

This keeps presenting more arguments for smaller and fewer bases. Or moving spoil from one dig site to another to create artificial hills or even landfills.
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Old 12-13-2018, 02:56 PM
nuke11 nuke11 is offline
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We discussed a nuclear tunnel boring machine a few years back either here on on another list. I did a search for this on Google and there is alot of crap, but I did find this excellent science paper on "Micro-Thermonuclear Plasma Tunneling
by Rock Melting" some excellent information and lots of details https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1d8...0cf06af911.pdf

I do believe melting rock is the best thing to do.
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Old 12-13-2018, 04:50 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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http://www.sheepletv.com/nuclear-tun...thing-on-us-2/

I don't think a fusion powered TBM is handwavium for this setting. Fusion power is an established technology
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:38 AM
Gelrir Gelrir is offline
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An interesting document about plans for a super-hardened command bunker deep under Arlington, VA.

https://coldwar-c4i.net/DUCC/index.html

It wasn't going to be secret, just indestructible. The "austere" command center would take at least 15 years to be in operation, and would house about 50 persons in about 10,000 square feet of floor space. The "moderate" size version would be 300 persons in 100,000 square feet of space. Cost of the austere version projected at $110 million (as of 1964 planning); the "moderate" version was projected to cost $310 million. Keep in mind that the costs relate entirely to a non-secret project.

Some quotes:

  • "Almost two years is required to arrive at the 3,500 foot depth before construction of the main facility can begin."
  • "The feasibility of maintaining a truly classified location is open to question if survivable and secure communications are to be provided."
  • "It is not feasible, and is in fact counter to the deterrent objective, to attempt to build so extensive a facility in secret."


Of course the Morrow Project is more concerned about secrecy than protection from nuclear attacks; but it's an example on a rough scale of "big bunker planning."

--
Michael B.

Last edited by Gelrir; 04-02-2019 at 03:18 PM. Reason: removed errant parenthesis, duplicated word
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:23 PM
Gelrir Gelrir is offline
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$110 million and $310 million in 1964 dollars are, with inflation:
  • 1980: $266 million and $824 million
  • 2005: $693 million and $1,952 million
Our current campaign does feature a few fusion-powered laser-equipped TBMs, used in the creation of Prime Base and some of the larger depots. Somewhere (probably in Prime Base) are a hundred frozen mining engineers and techs who each know the location of several -- all? -- Big Bunkers.

The "central modules" of Prime Base total over 119,000 square meters = 1.2 million square feet. The area/volume of the Mission Complex is only described as "several acres" in size; there's also the 4.5 kilometer tunnel from Prime itself to the Mission Complex. 3 acres is about 131,000 square feet, plus about 221,000 square feet of access tunnel, for a total of over 1.55 million square feet -- 15 times larger than the "moderate" sized Deep Underground Command Center. So Prime Base might cost:
  • 1980: $12 billion
  • 2005: $30 billion
Of course construction methods, purpose, installed equipment, secrecy, salaries, etc. vary widely between a NORAD-type bunker and Prime Base, but it's a first guess.

Average labor costs, including benefits and payroll taxes, are roughly one-quarter of construction costs. Structural metal workers earned about $25,000 per year in 1980; if the base took 10 years to build, annual labor costs would be $300 million, or the salaries for 12,000 workers.* If only one-twentieth are "on-site" (which seems low, but the Project has plenty of reasons to limit exposure), that's about 600 people in an average year. Steel workers, truck drivers, electricians, concrete form builders, cooks, structural and civil engineers, crane operators, forklift operators, welders, pipefitters, safety inspectors, painters, TBM crew, etc. etc. The actual number would fluctuate depending on the phase of construction; and the mix of jobs would change. I'd guess at least 2,000 different people worked at Prime Base over a 10 year construction period.

*The Project may or may not be paying wages, taxes, etc. but the DUCC project used for comparison certainly would. We're more interested here in the size of the labor force, not the cost of labor.

--
Michael B.
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Old 04-03-2019, 08:34 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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The Project could probably have the 2000 workers building Prime Base be the members of a number of engineering teams that will be frozen on site and elsewhere. But this always come back to the secrecy. There are only so many ways you can hide tailings of that magnitude.

One option that would require a particular arrangement of circumstance is to hide the tailings in an existing underground hole, natural or man-made and abandoned. Case in point is the Chapin Mine in Michigan's UP in the Iron Mountain area. This mine was a very good source of iron ore until it was no longer cost effective to keep pumping water out of it. The "D" shaft alone had about 10 million cubic feet of material removed that filled with water once they stopped the pumps. If there are 10 foot ceilings in that 1.2 million sq ft base, then the tailings could be poured into this underground lake and none the wiser. But using an old mine like this would bring tourists and unwanted attention.

A natural cavern of this size that is undiscovered or unexplored for whatever reason near the construction site would be best and allow for a great reduction of the construction traffic above ground. You still have to move food and other material into the mine. Though this too could be minimized if the hydroponics area is finished early and starts supplying food for the base workers.

The some secrecy could be achieved this way, but this would still have to be an illegal mining operation to prevent a paper trail in government inspector offices.
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Old 06-01-2019, 07:59 AM
Father Fletch Father Fletch is offline
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This thread has a link to an article about a British underground bunker system.

While not directly about the actual shape of Prime Base, it shows how a complex that was shaped to that of the local terrain was laid out.

Perhaps we are too wedded to a uniform or symmetrical shape for Prime Base? Has anyone seen any organic/conforming shape designs proposed like this one?

This link has some good pictures of the same bunker.

This (no longer updated) link has an interactive map that shows the extent of the space in Wiltshire.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:30 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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There is still a degree of symmetry in the Burlington Bunker. When you think about it, there has to be. It was created in a subterranean stone quarry. Mining operation like this are not really that organic. They just follow the richest ore or best quality stone. But this still has regularly shaped tunnels and caverns that in this case were turned into offices and support facilities for the British government's continuity of operations plan. Compare the layout to the Cheyenne Mountain Complex and it is similar, even though the Cheyenne Mountain Complex was specifically carved out of that granite peak.

Any base will follow the terrain to a degree. You need to have enough material above to protect it. The supporting pillars and walls need to have enough strength to support the "roof". You want to get close enough to an underground water source without it being a threat to the base. All these will have the base design make a twist here or turn there. That's just engineering.

I think the cooling tower shaped cylinders, while having a cool look, are not as practical as the branching tunnel designs that have been put forth here. The cylinder shapes need do go deep which limits structural support of the stone walls and you run a greater risk of flooding. Any mining engineer on the Prime Base project would probably want a base with more sprawl versus depth.
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