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New Frontiers

The hottest science projects



Previous
<b>NEPTUNE </b><br><br><b>A window to the ocean's mysteries <br></b><br><br>Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth's surface and support 90 per cent of its life. Yet large parts of it remain wrapped in mystery. It's almost like space exploration because humans can't survive for long in the depths. So, how do you explore it? One answer lies in NEPTUNE Canada - an ocean-observatory network that consists of some 850 kms of cable and 130 instruments with 400 sensors, off the coast of Vancouver, Canada. It provides around-the-clock monitoring of an ocean system, including animal life, geology and chemistry, through a range of instruments including cameras, hydrophones (to listen to dolphins and whales), chemical analysers and even a remotely operated crawler called Wally that drives on the ocean bed. And, best of all, the whole system is connected to the Internet so researchers are observing things in real time. <b><br><br>COST OF CONSTRUCTION </b><br><br>| $180 million <b><br><br>ANNUAL BUDGET </b><br><br>| $16 million <b><br><br>COUNTRY </b><br><br>| Canada

The hottest science projects

May 4, 2013


NEPTUNE

A window to the ocean's mysteries


Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth's surface and support 90 per cent of its life. Yet large parts of it remain wrapped in mystery. It's almost like space exploration because humans can't survive for long in the depths. So, how do you explore it? One answer lies in NEPTUNE Canada - an ocean-observatory network that consists of some 850 kms of cable and 130 instruments with 400 sensors, off the coast of Vancouver, Canada. It provides around-the-clock monitoring of an ocean system, including animal life, geology and chemistry, through a range of instruments including cameras, hydrophones (to listen to dolphins and whales), chemical analysers and even a remotely operated crawler called Wally that drives on the ocean bed. And, best of all, the whole system is connected to the Internet so researchers are observing things in real time.

COST OF CONSTRUCTION


| $180 million

ANNUAL BUDGET


| $16 million

COUNTRY


| Canada

<b>ITER </b><br><br><b>Creating the Sun in a doughnut <br></b><br><br>In a forest in the south of France sits one of the world's largest and most spectacular machines, to be completed by 2019. It is a doughnut shaped vessel called a 'Tokmak' in which temperatures of upto 150 million degrees Celsius will be created so that nuclear fusion - the reaction that keeps our Sun going - takes place. The Tokmak weighs thousands of tons, with its magnets and protective blankets. Then, it is surrounded by the cryostat, a 38, 000 ton cooling system that carries away the heat to convert it to electricity. Mind you, this is a demonstration machine meant to show that 500 megawatts of power can be created by using up 50 megawatts. If that happens, humanity's energy problems may be solved forever. <b><br><br>COST OF CONSTRUCTION </b><br><br>| $1. 6 billion <b><br><br>ANNUAL BUDGET </b><br><br>| (under construction) <b><br><br>COUNTRIES </b><br><br>| European Union (EU), India, Japan, China, Russia, S Korea and the US

The hottest science projects

May 4, 2013


ITER

Creating the Sun in a doughnut


In a forest in the south of France sits one of the world's largest and most spectacular machines, to be completed by 2019. It is a doughnut shaped vessel called a 'Tokmak' in which temperatures of upto 150 million degrees Celsius will be created so that nuclear fusion - the reaction that keeps our Sun going - takes place. The Tokmak weighs thousands of tons, with its magnets and protective blankets. Then, it is surrounded by the cryostat, a 38, 000 ton cooling system that carries away the heat to convert it to electricity. Mind you, this is a demonstration machine meant to show that 500 megawatts of power can be created by using up 50 megawatts. If that happens, humanity's energy problems may be solved forever.

COST OF CONSTRUCTION


| $1. 6 billion

ANNUAL BUDGET


| (under construction)

COUNTRIES


| European Union (EU), India, Japan, China, Russia, S Korea and the US

<b>THE EARTHSCOPE </b><br><br><b>Feeling the Earth move <br></b><br><br>Easily a contender for one of the largest scientific projects on the Earth, it is an array of over 4, 000 instruments covering nearly 10 million square kilometres of area in North America. The purpose? To track movement of tectonic plates and other geological features. Since 2003, it has collected 67 terabytes of data - that's 67, 000 gigabytes-and adds another terabyte every six to eight weeks. This data flow is generated by 1, 100 permanent GPS units that track small movements in the Earth's crust, seismic sensors that record the tiniest slips at the San Andreas Fault in California, rock sample analysis, and a moveable array of 400 seismographs which is being moved across the country recording from almost 2, 000 locations. <b><br><br>COST OF CONSTRUCTION </b><br><br>| $197 million <b><br><br>ANNUAL BUDGET </b><br><br>| $25 million <b><br><br>COUNTRY </b><br><br>| US

The hottest science projects

May 4, 2013


THE EARTHSCOPE

Feeling the Earth move


Easily a contender for one of the largest scientific projects on the Earth, it is an array of over 4, 000 instruments covering nearly 10 million square kilometres of area in North America. The purpose? To track movement of tectonic plates and other geological features. Since 2003, it has collected 67 terabytes of data - that's 67, 000 gigabytes-and adds another terabyte every six to eight weeks. This data flow is generated by 1, 100 permanent GPS units that track small movements in the Earth's crust, seismic sensors that record the tiniest slips at the San Andreas Fault in California, rock sample analysis, and a moveable array of 400 seismographs which is being moved across the country recording from almost 2, 000 locations.

COST OF CONSTRUCTION


| $197 million

ANNUAL BUDGET


| $25 million

COUNTRY


| US

<b>ALMA </b><br><br><b>Peering at the Universe <br></b><br><br>The Atacama Large Millimeter/ submillimeter Array is a collection of 66 radio antennas, each weighing up to 115 tonnes that has been set up 5, 000 meters above sea level in the dry Atacama Desert in Chile. The whole assembly - the largest in the world - functions as a single telescope because all information is sent to a massive computer station that builds the images. The telescopes can jointly track distant galaxies and deep space events with a precision five times that of the Hubble orbiting telescope. If need be, the antennas van be moved closer or separated. In March this year, ALMA started functioning with a bang - it discovered the oldest galaxy ever found located 12. 7 billion light years away. <b><br><br>COST OF CONSTRUCTION </b><br><br>| $1. 4 billion <b><br><br>ANNUAL BUDGET </b><br><br>| $50 million <b><br><br>COUNTRIES </b><br><br>| European Southern Observatory, US, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Chile

The hottest science projects

May 4, 2013


ALMA

Peering at the Universe


The Atacama Large Millimeter/ submillimeter Array is a collection of 66 radio antennas, each weighing up to 115 tonnes that has been set up 5, 000 meters above sea level in the dry Atacama Desert in Chile. The whole assembly - the largest in the world - functions as a single telescope because all information is sent to a massive computer station that builds the images. The telescopes can jointly track distant galaxies and deep space events with a precision five times that of the Hubble orbiting telescope. If need be, the antennas van be moved closer or separated. In March this year, ALMA started functioning with a bang - it discovered the oldest galaxy ever found located 12. 7 billion light years away.

COST OF CONSTRUCTION


| $1. 4 billion

ANNUAL BUDGET


| $50 million

COUNTRIES


| European Southern Observatory, US, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Chile

<b>IceCube </b><br><br><b>Trapping neutrinos from across the Universe <br></b><br><br>Right near the South Pole, 5, 160 sensors lie buried in one cubic kilometre of ice. That's enough water to fill up a million swimming pools. Each sensor has its own computer and is connected to the outside station by cables that may be buried as deep as 2. 6 kilometres under the ice. This bizarre assembly took seven years to make as scientists drilled into the ice using hot water and lowered the sensors with strings. But what is the whole thing for? It is for detecting high energy neutrinos, those massless, chargeless will-o' - the-wisp particles that can pass right through Earth without a trace. They may reveal the mysteries of dark matter, black holes and other cosmic phenomena. <b><br><br>COST OF CONSTRUCTION </b><br><br>| $ 279 million <b><br><br>ANNUAL BUDGET </b><br><br>| $ 5 million (estimated) <b><br><br>COUNTRIES </b><br><br>| US, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, Sweden, Australia, Switzerland, Japan, UK

The hottest science projects

May 4, 2013


IceCube

Trapping neutrinos from across the Universe


Right near the South Pole, 5, 160 sensors lie buried in one cubic kilometre of ice. That's enough water to fill up a million swimming pools. Each sensor has its own computer and is connected to the outside station by cables that may be buried as deep as 2. 6 kilometres under the ice. This bizarre assembly took seven years to make as scientists drilled into the ice using hot water and lowered the sensors with strings. But what is the whole thing for? It is for detecting high energy neutrinos, those massless, chargeless will-o' - the-wisp particles that can pass right through Earth without a trace. They may reveal the mysteries of dark matter, black holes and other cosmic phenomena.

COST OF CONSTRUCTION


| $ 279 million

ANNUAL BUDGET


| $ 5 million (estimated)

COUNTRIES


| US, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, Sweden, Australia, Switzerland, Japan, UK

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