Short summary - last update November 22nd, 2018

Reflecting only a small amount of sunlight can have a direct and significant effect on Earth's temperature. That's why many geo-engineering projects are fucussing on albedo solutions on the ground or in the atmosphere. But why should we expose ourselves to experiments in our backyard? Why risking our precious environment to such plans? Earth is not a test site.

Can we keep the enemy on a distant? Yes! This is the Umbrella Project.

Let's design a flexible and lightweight film incorporating a mesh, shaped from memory alloy, which can be fully folded. A spacecraft will bring this cargo to a synchronous orbit, so it will appear to be suspended motionless between Earth and sun.

Once in this position, and in a weightless environment, the thin film will be stretched out by inside memory alloy. Four micromotors are mounted on each of the umbrella's edges, so it can be fully controlled. According to my preliminary calculation - take SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Rocket for example - each rocket mission can send at least 6kmĀ² of reflective surface to the intended location.

With mere $10 billion, more than 100 umbrellas can be deployed, reducing the sun's rays by 810 million KW, enough to counteract global warming. This is just rough estimation and I invite you all to improve and finetune these premisses. Let's go for it!

Looking forward to collaborate!
Xia Langmeng

Download the first version of the Umbrella Project

The sky is the limit. We're sure that these proposals during the next housand days will be improved and adjusted constantly. Dozens of detailed challenges are waiting to be solved. Today we'll make start!

Download full proposal
Focus on the lightweight, flexible film

Let's design a flexible and lightweight foil incorporating a mesh, shaped from memory alloy, which can be fully folded. This is the core question of our project and a huge challenge. Please come up with your comments and views.

Can we use a sustainable rocket fuel?

At least one hunderd rocket missions are supposed to do the job for the Umbrella Project. Maybe even much more. This might have severe impact on the environment. Can we introduce "green" rocket fuel? NASA is already testing out a new less polluting alternative to the rocket propellants currently being used. How is this developing?

How to unfold the screen?

After transporting the cargo to the sun's synchronous orbit, the film could be stretched out by inside memory alloy, in a weightless environment. Four micromotors, closely collaborating any movement, are mounted on each edge of the umbrella. Did spacecraft history already show anything like it? Which motor and navigating technology is to be used? How to unfold the screen soft and safely?

How to manage the solar wind?

Our sheets will be deployed on a target spot in a synchronous orbit between sun and Earth. The solar wind will give considerable thrust to such immense structures in space. How should we cope with this? Can we design a mechanism that will keep the screens in place?

The calculation of costs

Both producing the thin film on Earth, as transporting and deploying it in space will ask huge investments. Nevertheless this solution to cool down the planet might be considerably cheaper then all other ways of albedo management. Can we carefully start a discussion about how costly our Umbrella ideas are?

Use Mendeley

Elsevier's Mendeley is a nice tool to store and share relevant articles, data sets and of course opinions. For this project we'll create a new map here.

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