One of my research goals at HI-SEAS is to take spherical panoramas of various parts of the hab in thermal infrared (or what one of my friends calls “Predator vision”) at various parts of the day. This would map out the major heat sources and sinks, as well as result in an understanding of the heating and cooling cycles of our habitat from analyses of the diurnal temperature distributions. in the short term, this research can suggest improvements to temperature control in the HI-SEAS hab by optimizing insulation and airflow, and in the longer term, can identify potential improvements in the construction of other analog planetary habitats.
The main tools that I’m using for this are a FLIR T300 thermal imager and a Gigapan Epic 100 unit, as well as several software packages. Initial infrared image calibration and processing is performed using FLIR ExaminIR, and stitching is accomplished using Gigapan Stitch software.
The first panorama, shown in Fig. 1, provides a thorough overview of the temperature distribution in the hab during the evening, with an ambient outdoor temperature of ~10 °C. The temperatures shown in the panorama range from 12 °C to 22 °C; objects below this temperature are colored black and objects above this temperature are colored white. The mean temperature of the vinyl cover is ~15 °C. Heat loss along the side and bottom seams, and especially along the airlock door is clearly visible. A modest temperature gradient of ~2 °C is noted along the walls of the dome, with the ceiling being warmer due to rising air currents. Heat produced by various electrical appliances, particularly the heater, electric tea kettle, and the dishwasher is clearly visible. Heat appears to be trapped below the floors of the central structure, and is particularly concentrated below room #1 for reasons that are not entirely clear at this time. The occupant of that room has previously complained of it being very warm; this will be monitored and hopefully resolved in the future.
Fig. 2 shows two panoramas taken just over an hour apart in the late afternoon. Temperatures shown in these panoramas range from 18 °C to 26 °C; objects below this temperature are colored black and objects above this temperature are colored white. The mean temperature of the habitat shell is ~22.5 °C in the top image and ~21 °C in the bottom image. A decrease in overall temperatures of ~1.5 °C is noted between the two panoramas. Significant vertical temperature gradients of ~2.5 °C are noted along the walls of staterooms in the upper image. Atmospheric conditions were cloudy and foggy at the time imaging was performed.