Never mind why there's a perpetual hurricane. This is about a building being built in it.

Let's say that there's a perpetual hurricane that constantly "hovers" in one location - say, over northern Africa, if that's relevant to the question. It's been there for 2 million years, if that's relevant either. It doesn't have an eye, if that's relevant either. Yes, I know it's not a normal hurricane. No, that does not matter.

There are a bunch of alien artifacts embedded within this hurricane. Some of them are too large to move out of it - we're talking "skyscraper-sized", or "they take up the width and length of a football field".

This means that, in order to research these things, people must go into the hurricane.

Now, take into account the following conditions:

  • Flying vegetation, rock chunks, sand, etc. - if it can be blown, it's flying around in there, and statistically speaking it'll hit something eventually. Sure, most of it was stripped away during the first few thousand years of the hurricane, but occasionally the hurricane pulls some vegetation out of the swamp region, or desert winds funnel sand into the low-pressure region it occupies, or it chips off a chunk of rock, or someone looses a glove, etc.

  • Constant wind that ranges from "breeze" (outlying areas) up to 250 kilometers per hour (core). It always blows counterclockwise, if that's relevant.

  • Visibility that rapidly decreases the closer to the core you go.

  • 100% humidity, all the time, every time, unless you're in the outlying regions and not the hurricane itself.

  • High air temperature.

  • Potential tornados embedded in the hurricane.

  • Constant, constant, constant torrential rainfall; even the outlying swamps see rain on a daily basis.

  • Potentially very lumpy (if physically smooth) terrain towards the core where rock formations have been exposed.

I recognize that an answer you might be trending towards is "underground bunker", but here's a counterpoint to that answer: "flooding". After all, this thing is likely being built under torrential rainfall.

What would be the design features of an international research station designed to support such a mission?

One mandatory feature is that it has some form of access to the surface, for the purposes of maintenance, overland travel, and potential emergency evacuation.

A followup to this.


2 Answers 2


Designing a building to survive inside a hurricane isn't a huge problem, assuming the wind-speeds aren't too much higher than "normal" hurricanes*. But that's not the problem you have.

  1. How does the building get there?
  2. How do people get to the building (and back out)?

I don't see any feasible way to build a building inside a major hurricane. Either way, people would need to be able to get to the location in some kind of vehicle, probably one that looks a lot like a tank, but maybe longer and/or wider. If you have such vehicles, why bother building a building?

Just use special tank-like vehicles, big enough that a team of researchers can live inside one while they do their work. If this is a big operation, there'll probably be several vehicles. Depending how close the the core they are, it may or may not be feasible for personnel to exit the tanks, but if it's possible to line the doors up then personnel should be able to pass from one vehicle to another even in extremely adverse conditions.

Note that the International Space Station only has a crew of seven people. The winter population of McMurdo Station is about 250. You can totally do this with a fleet of giant tanks.

* 250km/h is pretty bad, but I think a concrete box would stand up to it. The windows would have to be carefully designed, of course.

  • $\begingroup$ It's not how fast the wind is blowing, it's what it's blowing. A tree limb going at 250 km/h is going to hit with the force of a few grams of TNT; obviously, it'll generally be smaller objects going at lesser speeds most of the time, but if a tornado inside the hurricane throws something it might be more like getting hit with a small artillery shell. I have a way to build a base of any kind envisioned, but it requires text that I can't fit into this comment. Yes, it does start with one of your special tank-like vehicles. $\endgroup$
    Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 2:00

You can't build under hurricane/tornado conditions, but you might be able to assemble a station from large, prefabricated, mobile pieces (as others have pointed out). See my answer to your related question, particularly the last bit about the train of turtles.

In addition, you might be able to transport squat cylinder shaped buildings made of carbon-fiber and a thick coat of dense rubber blocks to the station site on the backs of the turtle tanks, or dragged along behind them. A number of these could be anchored to the ground, forming a circle that would provide some protection from the wind within.

I would probably bring along robotic bulldozers, drilling rigs and explosives, so that I could pile up a substantial quantity of the surrounding material against the outer edge of the buildings.

Doppler radar would provide early warning of tornados, so external equipment could return to the garage and sensor platforms retracted to safety.


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