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Old Posted Jan 17, 2011, 4:10 AM
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Giant balloons floated as idea for Arctic lighting


http://www.vancouversun.com/Giant+ba...#ixzz1BGKV1AwI

Quote:
Two Ontario architecture students have big ideas on how to light up Arctic communities that remain dark through the winter months.

University of Waterloo students Virginia Fernandez and Claire Lubell, both 24, have won an honourable mention in an international architecture competition for their project called Buoyant Light.

The concept: Giant solar balloons that would hover by the shore and near major centres in a northern village. In the summer months, a device inside the balloons would collect sunlight; through the winter months, the balloons would give off light.

What's more, balloons over water could be attached to research buoys which collect information on tides, currents and temperature.

The devices would measure ice thickness and send that information to the balloon, which would change colour indicating when the frozen waterway is safe to travel on.

In the students' design proposal, Lubell and Fernandez used Igloolik, Nunavut as their model, because of the community's strong cultural and research activity.

"The balloons would be predominantly out over the water or ice," Lubell said, "and then some closer to town that would act as urban lighting."

The balloons over water would act as lighthouses and way-finding markers, Lubell said, while the balloons on shore could be clustered around main buildings to illuminate public gatherings.
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