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Power Science

Artificial Clouds To Cool Qatar World Cup Stadiums 154

Posted by samzenpus
from the synthetic-rain dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In anticipation of extreme heat during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, scientists and engineers at Qatar University have developed a solar-powered gas-filled cloud that will shade spectators and athletes from the intense sun. The $500,000 artificial clouds can be positioned over any of the stadiums in Qatar and can be maneuvered with a remote control from the ground to keep the passing sun off the field."
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Artificial Clouds To Cool Qatar World Cup Stadiums

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Congratulations, Qatar, you have reinvented blimps!

    Graf Zeppelin would be so proud.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Didn't the Romans have sunshades over the Coliseum...?

      • Re:Blimps (Score:5, Funny)

        by value_added (719364) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @10:22AM (#35629586)

        Didn't the Romans have sunshades over the Coliseum...?

        They did, and it was called a velarium. The real question is what, aside from inventing the velarium, have the Romans ever done for us?

        • The real question is what, aside from inventing the velarium, have the Romans ever done for us?

          They sparked the imaginations of filmmakers to produce highly romanticized depictions of Roman life while glossing over their incredible feats of engineering.

          • The real question is what, aside from inventing the velarium, have the Romans ever done for us?

            They sparked the imaginations of filmmakers to produce highly romanticized depictions of Roman life while glossing over their incredible feats of engineering.

            highly romanticized depictions of Roman life

            romanticized Roman

          • by Lanteran (1883836)
            -1 doesn't know how to use quote tags.
        • by cynyr (703126)

          roads maintained by the central government, and numerous examples of what not to do in government. They also advanced military tech(not a good thing but hey), aqueducts, bath houses, city planing, foundations for modern building engineering (I believe they were the first ones to solve slender columns, or was that egypt?)

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Besides public health, sanitation, roads, the aquaduct, medicine, and public order, WHAT HAVE THE ROMANS DONE FOR US?

          • They gave us something very concrete (although the Egyptians may have used something very much like it in constructing the pyramids, the Romans were the first to use it to build just about everything). All hail opus caementicium [wikipedia.org]! It changed architecture forever.
        • by HBI (604924)

          It's depressing that, aside from the moderators, no one who replied has seen "Life of Brian".

        • by Pepebuho (167300)

          Spartacus?

    • Re:Blimps (Score:5, Funny)

      by c0lo (1497653) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @10:36AM (#35629654)

      Congratulations, Qatar, you have reinvented blimps!

      Graf Zeppelin would be so proud.

      Except that the blimp is "in the cloud" and is using "renewable energy" - making those blimps fashionable.

    • Yea, Cloud!
  • I can't RTFA. I just get to this page [tomroyal.com].

    Thank goodness for this https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/kitten-block/ [mozilla.org]

    • by jiteo (964572)
      Dismissing the message because of the messenger is akin to racism, in which you dismiss the person because of the race. I don't like the Daily Mail any more than you do, but this particular article had no ZOMG FOREIGNERS content, so I didn't mind. Yeah, it squeezed two sentences of information into 10 paragraphs of text, but everything does that nowadays. Also, did you really need to tell all of Slashdot about your super Firefox extension? Don't want to read the Daily Mail? OK, don't read it in private. Br
      • by Hatta (162192)

        I don't like the Daily Mail any more than you do, but this particular article had no ZOMG FOREIGNERS content, so I didn't mind.

        They can only cry wolf so many times before they well and truly deserve to be ignored.

      • Dismissing the message because of the messenger is akin to racism, in which you dismiss the person because of the race. I don't like the Daily Mail any more than you do, but this particular article had no ZOMG FOREIGNERS content, so I didn't mind. Yeah, it squeezed two sentences of information into 10 paragraphs of text, but everything does that nowadays. Also, did you really need to tell all of Slashdot about your super Firefox extension? Don't want to read the Daily Mail? OK, don't read it in private. Bragging about it makes you look like a wanker, not an intellectual. (Man, who peed in my Cheerios this morning? I don't normally post bile like that...)

        So you browse slashdot at -2? Filtering people because they are marked troll is akin to racism...

        Of course "discrimination" used to be a good thing... Discriminating taste... Now everyone is a racist just for disagreeing with someone who has a different kind of tan.

  • The New Golden Age (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NotAGoodNickname (1925512) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @09:53AM (#35629424)
    It is nice that the world is so wealthy we can spend billions of dollars of extra money watching grown men kicking balls into nets. We truly have entered the Golden Age.
    • by peragrin (659227)

      Would you rather have the world's wealthy spending billions of extra money on watching poor men kicking each other in the balls and killing each other.

      That was considered a golden age too.

      at least the majority of today's sports isn't physical slaughter.

      • No I'd rather have them spending billions on neither of the two options. Are you saying there are only two options to spend billions of dollars on?
        • by peragrin (659227)

          It isn't your choice , it is theirs and humans are a very selfish group by design.

          Why worry about the future, when your not going to be around for it?

          • It isn't your choice , it is theirs and humans are a very selfish group by design.

            Why worry about the future, when your not going to be around for it?

            And this line of thinking got us to where we are today. Companies breed executives to be intentionally short-sighed, not even looking past the next quarter, much less the next decade or generation.

    • It is nice that the world is so wealthy we can spend billions of dollars of extra money watching grown men kicking balls into nets. We truly have entered the Golden Age.

      When they spend the money, it often trickles down to others that actually need it quite a bit. Look around a football game next time and count how many menial jobs they have in the stadium. Better that they just save it to keep it out of the hands of the grubby poor.

      • Riiiight. Thats just bullshit. The owners get huge taxpayer breaks and often taxpayer funded stadiums to conduct their businesses in. The fact that 1000 people might get a $10/hr job doesn't compensate for the billions wasted on children's games.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Building stadiums for thousands to watch "children's games" has been ingrained into the human psyche for thousands of years. I'm sorry to say that this will not change no matter how much sanctimonious crap spews out of your self righteous pie hole. I'm sure this money would be better spent on the human condition so that we can accelerate the runaway population growth that is going to bury this planet anyway. Or were you thinking more along smaller scales of things like the Holiday Food Drive, which has t
      • When they spend the money, it often trickles down to others that actually need it quite a bit.

        On the contrary, football creates a trickle up economy. Where do the million$ spent in all those contracts come from?

        But that's not the worse part of it. Most of the best players today come from poor countries in Africa or Latin America. When kids see those stars on TV and hear about the millions they make it looks like a great career choice.

        After wasting their childhood playing hooky in the backyard soccer field, they learn that only a player in a million gets millionaire contracts, and the others are left

    • More like the Diamond Age to me.

      Incidentally I wonder how these blimps would go if they were suspended entirely by hot air. The idea would be to use an envelope which traps heat. Hot air in the envelope generates lift. Should work well in a hot climate.

      • by careysub (976506)

        More like the Diamond Age to me.

        Incidentally I wonder how these blimps would go if they were suspended entirely by hot air. The idea would be to use an envelope which traps heat. Hot air in the envelope generates lift. Should work well in a hot climate.

        The concept of the "hot air balloon" depends on the air inside the balloon being much hotter than the air outside the balloon, thus making it lighter and generating lift. In a hot climate balloons must be much hotter inside to generate the same lift they would have produced in a cold climate. Very hot air creates various problems - shortening the life of materials, possibly actually raising the amount of heating fuel required. Hot air balloons work best in cold climates.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't some drones/balloons carrying something opaque be easier to handle?

  • by LaminatorX (410794) <sabotage@nosPaM.praecantator.com> on Sunday March 27, 2011 @09:56AM (#35629440) Homepage

    ...the Emir will keep up his payments to the Spacing Guild for weather control.

  • Looked around for somekind of idea of what this thing would look like or how it would work.
    • Bit and flat with four propellers
    • Filled with Helium and a bunch of solar panels

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/9435035.stm [bbc.co.uk]
    http://froyonation.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/qatar-invents-artificial-flying-clouds-to-block-sun-over-stadiums/ [wordpress.com]

  • Isn't this something out of modern SciFi? Ringworld maybe?
  • It's a blimp (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    USA has had blimps flying over their stadiums for years.

  • I know it would be a question of retrofitting a stadium if not already equipped, but wouldn't a dome be much more flexible in its use? What if there is a strong wind, or rain? wouldn't that make the balloons unstable, whereas a dome would still work perfectly? With a dome, you could even have a massive HVAC unit to cool it down somewhat.
    • FIFA (the organisation that decides the rules for football's world cup) doesn't let world cup final games to be played in covered stadia. Might be something to do with not allowing games to be played on artificial surfaces (so you need sunlight etc), can't remember.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        FIFA has no rules against playing World Cup matches in covered stadia. They just insist it be played on grass. In 1994 World Cup matches were played indoors inside the Pontiac Silverdome. They installed a natural grass surface for the duration of the 1994 World Cup - grew it outside on pallets and moved it inside for the games. The 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea and 2006 World Cup in Germany had games played in covered stadia, where the natural turf is mobile and is wheeled outside to grow in the sun and

      • by mortonda (5175)

        If there's rain, you don't exactly need an artificial cloud...

  • by Punto (100573) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (botnup)> on Sunday March 27, 2011 @10:27AM (#35629614) Homepage

    did China start a new trend of coming up with complicated schemes to avoid building roofs on buildings?

    • The Chinese do a very good job of covering their stadiums with clouds, of pollution.
    • by DaveGod (703167) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @11:05AM (#35629832)

      $500k is probably a lot cheaper than adding a retractable roof, especially when it may be saleable after, or shared during the event.

      Roofs also impact on the sport. For example in some sports (e.g. rugby) it may be desirable to retain the variable introduced by wind (I daresay most fans do not like a kicking game). Then there's the atmosphere: obviously a roof has a considerable effect on the acoustics. Not to forget grass needs sunlight, tens of thousands of supporters in an enclosed space are going to generate some heat of their own... I think it's fair to say roofs are considered to be a significant compromise in favour of the reliability from reducing weather effects.

      I could well be totally wrong on this but I was under the impression certain sports - or rather certain sporting events - require an open roof, or allow retractable roofs to be closed only under certain conditions and when approved by an official of the governing body.

      • Rather than a retractable roof, why not just a retractable screen? It offers shade, which is what they want, can be removed easily, and would allow for certain weather conditions to still persist when it's in place. Plus, it's a proven technology that's been used since at least the time of the Romans. These fancy-shmancy carbon-structure, helium-filled "clouds" sound like they'll be far less reusable and far more expensive in actual use.

      • by Inda (580031)
        Rooves actually increase the atmosphere. No sounds escape.

        Wind was not at issue at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. They love their Rrrrrrrrrugby in the valley, isn't it?
    • by SpzToid (869795)

      In Jeddah at the airport, where the Haddjis land and depart during their pilgrimage to Meccah, Saudi Arabia has erected large shade structures that seems relatively efficient and effective, all things considered. And they've already proven themselves for a loooong time already.

      http://archnet.org/library/images/thumbnails.jsp?location_id=1685 [archnet.org]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Abdulaziz_International_Airport [wikipedia.org]

      They might also play at night for a slightly reduced temperature?

  • I for one welcome our solar powered robotic cloud overlords ..........

  • What could possibly go wrong?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Wind - That's what.

  • From mainframe to client-server to "cloud". From hat to roof to cloud too, it seems.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Would the Cloud be controlled from a cloud computer?

  • What is the effect of such a cloud should something go wrong? I cannot help but wonder if perhaps it would be safer and more cost effective if they were to just put a roof over the stadium (could they not do it for half a million dollars)?
    • by thewils (463314)

      Or they could simply play at night. When it is cooler.

      • Or maybe they shouldn't have awarded the World Cup to a hell hole.

        • by muuh-gnu (894733)

          Or to a crazy theocracy, which Quatar is, where homosexual fans are at risk of being jailed. FIFAs president, Joseph Blatter, basically told gays to suck it up, and if they really really _must_ fly to Quatar to see the games, like everybody else, they should during this time pretend to be heterosexual to avoid persecution.

  • .... is going to sue for an IP violation.
  • I wonder what kind of perks/bribes FIFA got to place the Cup in a dessert. How about Death Valley next time?

  • the 'clouds' are made from a lightweight carbon structure carrying a giant envelope of material containing helium gas

    Looking into my crystal ball I can see this. I can also see an opportunity for them to use rows of lights on it for advertising... Wait, wait, I see, automotive, yes, tire companies doing this... (or there it'd probably be tyre companies...)

  • Artificial clouds, and next, the machines take over the plant... I see a pattern.
  • ..in related news: giant remote control, artificial gas-filled cloud explodes - destroys stadium in Qatar...

  • $500,000 ? Well then in 2022 they should be about $1.99 and available from the vendors along with the game program on the way in.
  • You say tomatoe, I say tomato... you say cloud, I say dirigible. It's a bag full o' floaty gas with some props attached; I think the dictionary already has a good enough word for that, but you go ahead and spin "cloud" for all it's worth.

  • by hashp (68887)
    Why don't they just play in winter? We have such nice winter weather in this region!
    • by Shimbo (100005)

      Why don't they just play in winter? We have such nice winter weather in this region!

      Because they would take players away from their (mostly European) clubs, during the football season there. However, this might happen. [bbc.co.uk]

  • The stadium's not going to exist in 2022, that whole part of the world's blowing itself of the face of the earth right now. Qatar is right in the Persian gulf, my family's in gold trading which is big in that area and it's only gotten worse and worse, Gaddafi is crazy but he's not rolling over like Saddam. He's sitting on the biggest oil reserve in Africa and he knows it, I'd be interested to know where he's still getting weapon's and money from since he's been cut off from a lot of his funds and the UN ref
  • Am I the only one who's first thought was: could you actually make some kind of solar power generating device using a huge inflatable structure, maybe taking advantage of internal convection or something? That way you are creating shade at the same time you are generating power..

    I think inflatable technology is the future..

    * Space habitats (http://www.bigelowaerospace.com/)
    * Cars (http://www.myxpcar.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=14)
    * Telecommunications (http://www.s

  • Another reason why Qatar should not have been selected for the 2022 World Cup host, the US already has the proper accommodations and the weather is much more temperate.
    • by Ant P. (974313)

      The US is already one of the most tourist-hostile countries on the planet. Qatar was probably chosen because it had a higher chance of still having open borders 10 years from now.

    • by slim (1652)

      One function of events like the World Cup and the Olympics is that it fosters development.

      I'm not saying that's necessarily a good thing, nor that Qatar is a great choice -- but it does mean that "already has the infrastructure" isn't that big a deal.

  • Just don't have the World Cup in Qatar.
  • They should invent something to discover who was bribed to vote for Qatar in first place.
  • Anyone who believes this is likely to also expect Qatar to win the Cup. Michael http://plumbersstlouis.us/ [plumbersstlouis.us]
  • by ZDRuX (1010435)
    The Chinese are seeding the skies with rain, and in Qatar, we create and maneuver artificial clouds.. there's no weather modification technologies, nothing to see here - everyone move along.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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