Tensegrity is the concept of tensional integrity. Basically, a balance between tension and compression forces. True tensegrity structures, the way I understand them, are supported mostly from cables or other tension members… but obviously (since cables are only strong when pulled) they can’t stand up without the compression members.
The most stunning examples (in my opinion) generally look like steel pipes suspended in the air by cables running between them. The lack of thick, solid, rigid material holding them up is what makes them interesting to look at.
You can find better pictures by doing an image search for tensegrity.
Now, in this case, tensegrity spar platform (on this site) is probably refering to the basic structural design of ClubStead. Just look at the pictures and models of Clubstead without the buildings added. Now, it’s not the fanciful ‘floating on air’ type of tensegrity, but the suspension-bridge style cables help support the structure with much less solid material to weigh it down. With 4 spars, a system of compression members, and lots of cables to support the platform, they call it a tensegrity spar platform.
the question is that it looks like this spar platforn is the design of choice for seasteading,….so far. Now,…I dont want to come across here as a critique, and I hope that my comments will be interpreted as feedback on the subject. First, it looks like the design is lacking mobility. In many instances,at sea, when faced w/a storm or hurricane veesels “run”, plotting an avoidance course which in some cases it can cover hundreds of nautical miles(remeber Katrina, when it enter The Golf, was almost half the size of it,…huge). Or sometimes you have to run for shelter, toward land, in a hurricane hole somewhere. All this, in most of the cases, has to be done at a relative high speed(10-15 knt if not more) which the spar platform wont be able to achieve under current design. Therefore, it will raise huge moral liability questions for the safety of 300-400 souls,on the part of the captain of the platform when sitting duck in the path of a category 3,4, or (god forbid-5). Second, loading and unloading anything on that platform will be a drag. There is no pier or dock for a cargoship to pull alongside, plus,all the cargo will have to go up and down instead of to and fro. And when I say “cargo” I include passengers too. Third, the height of the living area relative to the sea level. Unless a stability letter is concluded from a naval architect and a scale model is tested it seems to me (from experience) that the gravity center is a bit to high over the metacenter and it might result in some stability problems in rough seas.(but I might be wrong on this one).
Clubstead is one design. It is currently designed to live off the coast of California. It is designed to survive a hundred year storm without significant damage. The final design report will come out in 6-8 weeks (approximately.)
Other designs are possible. Some will be more mobile than others.
thing that the sea will teach us is to be humble. The raw power of the ocean,that brut unimaginable force is hard to describe…As sailors we have a duty towards the next generation of sailors who are ready to go to sea, to share our experiences and to prepare them for that journey, as past generations did for us by passing on their knowledge of the noble tradition of seafaring brotherhood. Some forces, cannot be opposed. If anybody can think that they can survive this than May God have Mercy on your Souls.
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