Artificial sun for the Arctic

Artificial sun for the Arctic

One of the most specific factorsaffecting the quality of life in the Arctic regions, is the polar night. The period of time when the sun does not rise above the horizon, in Murmansk, for example, lasts for 40 days. Of course, the lack of light affects people's health. To make life in the Arctic lighter, scientists in the Soviet era began to develop artificial light. Various developments take place in Russia today.

The basic idea is always the same - set above the surface of the mirror, which will reflect the light of the sun to the earth.

The first successful experience in this area was the project "Znamya". Russian scientists are planning to launch a 20-meter mirror, which was to lighten the earth at night. Since such a monolithic metal mirror on an orbit diameter can not bring it was decided to use a mirror of a thin reflective film. To expand such a huge mirror cloth was applied following an engineering solution: on board cargo spacecraft "Progress M-15" was found 8 coils with reflective stripes thick polyethylene terephthalate film of 5 microns. On-orbit spacecraft had to start spinning, and gradually unwinding reel tape. Under the action of centrifugal force mirror unfolded and provided special flexible circular ring mirrors.

February 4, 1993 Experiment "Znamya-2" was successfully implemented. Twenty-meter mirror of the finest aluminized film unfolded in normal mode and illuminated Earth.

Today orbiting such a spotlight technically quite possible. Stops artificial suns rise over the Arctic, first of all, the high cost of in-orbit delivery of goods mirrors.

However people have figured out how to light the planet during the polar night, is encouraging. Perhaps in the future the harsh polar night becomes not a mandatory attribute of the Arctic and exotic natural phenomenon that can only be felt near the poles, where there are no settlements.