Friday, November 2, 2018
Special Inventions in Allie’s Return
In Allie’s Return, the reader gets to live in the underwater city with Allie as she discovers what it’s like to actually live in Oceania rather than simply visit it. To further build the world of Oceania, and specifically the scientific endeavors, I had to think of some additional special inventions to add to those in the first novel. Two of the inventions highlighted below relate to scientific research, while the other one relates to the city itself.
“I held up a specimen containment box with two Myxine sp. inside it. Only about six to eight inches long, the little gray things squirmed around inside the tank like worms.”
-Allie, Allie’s Return
The Specimen Containment Boxes
I originally thought of the specimen containment boxes early on when I decided to write the novel. However, during researching for the novel, I discovered that scientists in our time are already creating similar deep-sea retrieval chambers. This both excited me and made me hopeful for the future expansion of deep-sea research.
The specimen containment boxes used in Allie’s Return are highly specialized. These boxes are designed to mimic the conditions of the deep-sea, meaning that the pressure of where the animal was caught can be maintained within the containment box until the specimen can be transported to a tank. Constructed of three layers, the outermost layer is solid durapane, the middle layer contains the pressure sensor technology, and the innermost layer is a smooth glass-like substance. The main function of the specimen containment boxes is to protect any deep-sea creature captured by researchers and maintain their safety until they can be deposited elsewhere.
Although the boxes can range in size, the typical size is 45.72cm (18in) long, by 45.72cm (18in) wide, by 145.72cm (18in) high. To capture the organism, the box comes apart into two halves that can then be pushed back together, trapping the organism inside. The user only has to apply pressure and a slight twisting motion to open it, but once the halves are pushed back together around a specimen, they can only be reopened by a UPC or a series of unlocking procedures to prevent accidental opening.
Take a look at the two videos below to see how specimen containment boxes break apart:
How The Specimen Containment Box Detaches When Capturing a Specimen
How the Specimen Containment Box Breaks Apart in a UPC
“Katrina held open the door to the Underwater Pressure Chamber or UPC as she called it for short.”
-Allie, Allie’s Return
Underwater Pressure Chamber (UPC) tank
Humans can’t survive under the same high pressures that deep-sea organisms can, so Oceania is pressurized close to one atmosphere. Most creatures of the deep would perish if subjected to the lack of pressure humans thrive in without protection, so a way to safely capture and study them needed to be developed. Enter the Underwater Pressure Chamber or UPC for short. The UPC is a sophisticated fish tank and digital diagnosis system in one. While a UPC can house an organism of the deep for a long period of time, its primary function is to aid in the research of their internal systems and behavior. UPCs can track the movements of the fish as they swim, monitor their vitals, create an image of their internal systems for the researcher to observe, and alter the conditions of the water. The UPC is a vital piece of technology for deep ocean research and pivotal in the discovery of how deep-sea organisms survive in the harsh conditions of their home.
Due to the small size of most deep-sea creatures, the Underwater Pressure Chambers used in Allie’s school isn’t very large. Although there are other UPCs in Oceania larger in size, the ones mentioned in the book are 1.5m (5ft) long, 1m (3.5ft) wide, 1.2m (4ft) feet high. Attached to the tank on the right side is a control panel and chute in which the specimen containment boxes can be placed into. Like all technology in Oceania, it can seamlessly be integrated with c-com devices so the researcher can remotely monitor their specimen day and night.
“A few jumped up to quickly sketch it on their digipads as it swam past.”
-Allie, Allie’s Return
DigipadThe digipad is an essentially an accessory to the c-com. For individuals who prefer a writing or drawing tablet to the holographic projection of the c-com, they can use a digipad. Digipads are mostly used for drawing or when a physical medium is necessary. Similar to a modern-day tablet, the digipad differs in that it can project images and also create a 3D holographic replica of whatever is drawn on it. Digipads are most commonly used by scientists and artists in Oceania. The majority of Oceanians don’t have a need for it.
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