MOBILE LABS â€“ MAXIMIZING MOBILITY
The idea of mobile labs is to have a capability of having flexible and mobile research centers in which to closer study the natural environment of the AL-EX region. This idea has been thought of before, and there is already a wide array of mobile labs and shelters already designed. The usefulness of a mobile lab depends on its ability to be deployed in remote locations and the scope of equiptment it can accommodate as well as researchers. The structure must be able to be deployed and repacked relatively quickly and with the minimal use of resources. The labs must be modular and as easy to transport as possible. Here is a quickly-deployable shelter by Chuck Hoberman which is used regurarly for quick military baracks. The shelter can be folded into a small package which allows for several large shelters to be transported on a truck, bus, train, or even by manpower.
The problem with this system is that it uncomfortable to the researchers and only provides rudimentary shelter.
This is an example of structures made specifically to be mobile labs. A company called Scientific Buildings Inc. makes these rental labs. They are very plain and modular in design, but the wide range of capabilities they have make them good places to put the lab equipment needed to conduct the kinds of tests and observations that are needed.
The problem with this design is that it is far less portable than the Rapid Deploy System army tents.
I propose that the labs should made of modular â€œblocksâ€? that would be easy to store and transport. Upon reaching the destination with the help of a truck or tractor, the block would expand its volume with sliding parts. This could accommodate lab equipment and even give the researchers a comfortable place to sleep when they are on a research trip in a remote place.
The compact design allows for easy transport by a variety of vehicles. The modular design of these blocks allows for a system of combining blocks with other minor building elements to create a larger structure made up of these modular rooms. This would allow for making a remote headquarters for the research.