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terraXcube – extreme simulations in a cube

It was a very special project for TechnoAlpin, for the first time in the field of scientific research. The research center Eurac launched the terraXcube, a complex of climate chambers applicable to industrial tests, ecological research and medical research. TechnoAlpin developed the snowmaking system for this project, adapted to small space and special requirements.

Specifically, it is an infrastructure for research, tests, and trainings able to simulate the most extreme climate conditions of the planet, from the tempestuous cold of the Himalaya to the sweltering heat of the Sahara Desert. Inside terraXcube it is therefore possible to study the influence of such conditions on technologies, humans and ecological processes.

 

 

The climate chambers vary in their sizes and characteristics, such as the temperature and the relative humidity interval. Depending on the size, the chambers can host machinery, equipment, people, plants, and other organisms, even for long periods of time.

The various climatic parameters are reproducible simultaneously and can be combined with a certain altitude (up to 9,000 meters or 29,527 ft). These parameters include temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, concentration of oxygen, pressure, solar radiation, precipitations (rainfall and snowfall) and lighting (day and night). By leveraging on the vast variety of parameters, conditions of environmental stress can be recreated in order to study the response of human beings and nature, or the performance of materials and products.

 

Almost one year after the opening in December 2018, Eurac sees a very positive start of the facility. Several industrial tests have been carried out on hybrid and electric vehicles and on telecommunication equipment and drones. The infrastructure and services of terraXcube are available for companies to verify the performance of systems or large aggregates under extreme climatic conditions. Furthermore, businesses will be able to receive qualified support during the R&D phase and quality inputs for a further product development prior to any certification effort.