Atmospheric mesh

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This article is speculative. It covers topics that are not straightforwardly derivable from current knowledge. Take it with a grain of salt. See: "exploratory engineering" for what can be predicted and what not.

Airmeshes are based on robust metamaterial balloons. An airmesh is basically a three dimensional mesh network out of vacuum balloon metamaterial floating in the sky that is anchored to the ground at multiple points such that it roughly stays stationary in translation and rotation. It can serve various purposes. Depending on the purpose it may have very different size and shape.

Aerial meshes may have a severe impact on the look of the landscape. Aesthetically pleasing design might become a quite important aspect. Its yet unclear how well they could be hidden in the human visible spectral range with holographic displays. Human flight by eye in areas with optically cloaked airmeshes would be impossible.

Airmeshes must be capable of handling atmospheric discharges {{todo|investigate new possibilities that APM opens up for protection against lightning. e.g. nanotube lightning protectors?)

It might be desirable to be possible to climb airmeshes so elevators could be put into the ground anchors.

Energy extraction and weather control

For weather control and energy extraction airmeshes need mechanical energy transmission cables integrated into their "filaments"

Wind energy

Inside vertically orientated rectangular or other polygonal rather planar mesh loops there can be integrated medium mover sails. for energy extraction and back-splicing from the weather system. They should be designed to be adjustable such that can be set to let through enough airflow to not disturb the weather system in a detrimental way. Airmesh surfaces might be designed with advanced features for wind cloaking like active surface motion and temporary adiabatic presence cloaking.

Solar energy

Inside horizontally or better sunward orientated rectangular or other polygonal rather planar mesh loops there can be integrated adjustable sunshade sails that work as advanced solar cells. If the airmesh reaches up through the troposphere into the stratosphere (possible?) one has a permanent daytime energy source.


Aerial meshes for local urban transport will likely be much smaller than aerial meshes for energy extraction and weather control.

Pillar shaped high wind compensating robust metamaterial balloons could be used to lift passenger capsules up through the layer of electric legacy cables from todays age into a higher situated urban aerial mesh for local transport (still way smaller than the airmeshes used for weather control). The passenger capsules / gondolas can then be transported by the airmesh in a gondola or spiderman style albeit with the height kept constant for more comfort and faster transport. The advantage over just flying with the lifting pillar balloon is avoiding the inefficient use of air for propulsion. The high volume of balloons for a given mass (~ factor 1000) may be an issue for air congestion this may drive more inefficient means of transport

Note that with atomically precise technology many things can be transported by just disassembling them to their microcomponents and transporting them through the global microcomponent distribution network or even better using locally "cached" sufficiently identical microcomponents. If you care for the preservation of the exact settings you may use some advanced form of pipe mail included in upgraded street infrastructure too.

Related: Transportation and transmission


Since static aerial meshes are at all times anchored to the ground the abide the mobility prevention guideline.

One could use non-floating anchoring lines to anchor intermeshed floating lift balloons but this isn't very safe. When an accidentally ripped off cable falls down it could create heavy damage. A better solution may be to connect everything with quite thick (but wind-cloaked) "air-swimming" cables let's call them "air filaments". (TODO: investigate how big these need to be in diameter for a) lifting themselves b) lifting a chemomechanical powerline and c) lifting an elevator)


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