Saturday, August 18, 2012

Autumn in Barrow

I'm back in Barrow and some things have changed since my last visit. The sea ice is gone with no snow or ice anywhere. I've been told that the weather has been overcast and rainy for a couple of weeks and I kind of assume that Summer has already passed. But the temperatures are still pretty moderate with highs still in the mid-50's and lows in the low 40's. This is a shot looking north out over the ocean.

What would you think if you saw this coming toward you on the road? The inventor of this vehicle was in town giving demonstrations and tours to a number of groups in town. It is the front of an articulated rescue vehicle holding up to 52 people and is designed to go just about anywhere on land or water. Pretty impressive vehicle and it was highlighted on a Discovery Channel show on massive vehicles. In their demo they went overland into the water and climbed up onto floating ice.

I think that piloting one of these beasts takes some special visualization aptitude as their are multiple engines driving each module, steerable water jets fore and aft on teach module and a hydraulic coupling between the two units. All need to be controlled by the pilot. They would need to be able to visualize in their mind what the vehicle is doing from a point external to the craft so they would know the impact of each control. One of the potential uses up here is search and rescue but oil spill response is also where these units could be used due to their versatility. I just thought it looked really cool. The manufacture is ARKTOS (capitalization is part of their branding).

Here is one of their videos showing it in operation....

Satellite Farm - 08-18-12 11:30AM 


11 comments:

SonjaM said...

Those vehicles look very interesting. Not sure if I ever could steer one of those, I am completely occupied when riding a bike or driving a care already.

Trobairitz said...

That first picture of Barrow sure looks barren.

I don't think I have the coordination to steer one of those big rescue vehicles. They sure look neat though. Kind of reminds me of the big mining rigs where the tires are way taller than people.

Martha said...

I see where you are now.

That's a very impressive machine. I'm sure it would look like an angel on treads if you were stranded.

BeemerGirl said...

Well that doesn't sound good that things aren't as nice as when you left them. Gives you something to do though, I guess.

That machine looks interesting. I just can't see how it floats! :) Do you think the area will purchase one? (I do see a 'big party deck' though)

RichardM said...

I think it would be a real challenge to drive one as well but this particular model has linked controls to simplify operation since it is designed for search and rescue type of operations.

RichardM said...

It is pretty barren up here. I took another photo on Saturday afternoon out by the satellite farm and it looks even more barren. This vehicle is much smaller than a lot of the mining trucks. I'm surprised that they can cram 52 people in them...

RichardM said...

If you were stranded or the oil platform you are on is on fire. The passenger compartments are insulated to withstand temperature extremes.

RichardM said...

Job security? The technicians from Fairbanks do an excellent job but there are some things I have running up here that are weird and different from what they would normally see.

I don't know. I think everyone is pretty impressed with its capability. Something has to be done to address spill response as traditional methods don't really work way up here. They are in the process of building offshore platforms west of here in spite of local opposition. There is a fair amount of interior volume based on the number of people it is supposed to hold and has two small engines powering the hydraulic pumps for redundancy and simplifying packaging.

Bluekat said...

For some reason I saw your other post first, before this one.

The video is amazing. I'm not sure I'd want to ride on it or not, Holy Cow!

RichardM said...

Ride? I think I'd like to try driving it. I can't get over the challenge of multiple engines, four tracks, four 360° water jets and the coupling between the two all needing to be coordinated. And I thought that shifting with my foot would be a challenge...

BeemerGirl said...

LOL. I completely second that!