# Wind in a rotating space settlement?

• Agrasin
In summary, a cylindrical space settlement with pseudo gravity will have a breeze due to Coriolis forces.
Agrasin
Imagine a cylindrical space settlement. It spins about an axis to create pseudo gravity for residents, who will think that radially outward is "downward". The shape of this settlement is a toroid with a rectangular cross section.

Air is pumped into make a habitable environment. Then, thrusters start spinning the settlement until 1g of pseudo gravity is attained. The space settlement is huge, so it spins at 1 rpm.

What is the behavior of the air in this situation? In general, what is the behavior of a fluid in a slowly spinning toroid?

My guess is that it behaves opposite of a stream. The air near the walls of the toroid is dragged along, but the air in the middle is slower. Therefore, the residents wouldn't feel a breeze unless they climbed a ladder to be right in between the toroid's walls.

What's the behavior after a long time, and why? Does the viscosity of air play a role?

Thanks.

Initially you get some wind, but the whole air inside would follow the 1rpm quickly (relative to realistic timescales needed to set the cylinder in motion). This is the equilibrium, unless you introduce some artificial wind source.

r=900m

After a long time there would be no breeze.

1 person
After a long time everything should spin along at the same 1 RPM rate. Any initial relative motion of the air has been damped by friction forces.

1 person
Thanks everyone. That was the first thing I wanted to know. Could you kindly give my next question some thought?

What would be the best artificial "breeze" source for such a settlement? Purely for the enjoyment of residents, just to make it feel more Earth-like.

I've thought of giant fans like the ones used in wind tunnels, but that would be too much of a burden for such a petty cause. Is there any simple way to create a breeze through the toroidal settlement?

Thanks again.

Why not use the traditional method - Sun's heat?

Non-uniform irradiation would be an interesting approach.

Alternatively, use some sort of ventilation system, e. g. pump air from one side of the cylinder to the other side. I guess some air circulation would be good for the environment anyway.

You would have Coriolis effects, so you might get a little bit of cyclone wind.

To get Coriolis forces, you first need radial motion.

mfb said:
To get Coriolis forces, you first need radial motion.
Or tangential motion.

Right - but then you have wind already :p.

## 1. How does wind behave in a rotating space settlement?

In a rotating space settlement, the Coriolis effect causes wind to curve in a direction perpendicular to the rotation axis. This creates a spiraling wind pattern, with winds blowing inwards near the axis and outwards near the outer rim.

## 2. Can wind speeds be controlled in a rotating space settlement?

Yes, wind speeds in a rotating space settlement can be controlled by adjusting the rotation speed. Faster rotation creates stronger winds, while slower rotation results in weaker winds.

## 3. What factors affect wind patterns in a rotating space settlement?

The rotation speed and direction, as well as the shape and size of the settlement, can affect wind patterns. Other factors such as air pressure, temperature, and surface features can also impact wind behavior.

## 4. Are there any potential hazards associated with wind in a rotating space settlement?

Strong winds in a rotating space settlement can cause objects to be blown around, potentially causing damage. Additionally, the Coriolis effect can disorient individuals not used to the spiraling wind pattern.

## 5. How can wind energy be harnessed in a rotating space settlement?

Wind energy can be harnessed in a rotating space settlement through the use of wind turbines. These turbines can be placed strategically to capture the strong winds near the axis and generate electricity for the settlement.

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