Benefits of working underground
Working underground makes it possible to create highly controlled environments for conducting research and with the ability to control all the parameters of a test setting. Although all underground locations are unique, they can be made to mimic numerous other research locations, which might not be accessible otherwise.
Underground research locations are stable environments. Experiments, conducted underground, are safe from the varying conditions on the ground, such as weather changes or air quality. The rock over-burden also provides technological advantages, such as an absence of disruptive acoustic or electrical noise and enhanced IT security options or even a complete isolation from the grid is possible.
Underground laboratories provide unique environments for many fields of research. For example:
- A lot of the cutting edge particle and nuclear physics experiments can be conducted only in underground locations. The rock over-burden provides an effective barrier for cosmic ray induced muon particles, which is necessary for a low radiation background environment, required for studying rare phenomena such as neutrino interactions, exotic nuclear interactions or signs of dark matter
- Experiments in geochemistry, microseismicity, rock mechanics, background radiation and capsulation technologies for nuclear waste disposal require large rock masses, which underground locations provide naturally. Underground laboratories are also excellent sites to investigate new technologies for geothermal energy production or energy storage
Research of underground construction
- The experimentations with new tunneling and mining technologies can be verified only in real life underground conditions. The state-of-the-art research includes the development of autonomously operating machinery, advanced building information modeling (BIM) and research of “virtual twin” based design of tunneling processes and facility maintenance.
- The research of endolithic bacteria and technologies for bioleaching are subject of continuously increasing interest. New ideas in underground biology have included also initiatives related to astrobiology, impact of radiation (or the lack of it) to evolutionary processes or formation of bio-aerosols.
Underground food production
- The possibility to control the lighting conditions and other environmental parameters makes underground laboratories ideal places to experiment with hydroponic farming, mushroom production or storing food or beverages.
Life in underground
- The metropolitan cities are growing not only upwards, but also downwards: More and more people are spending time in underground infrastructures, such as subways or even underground shopping centers. Underground laboratory provides an ideal sandbox to experiment with lighting, effects of plant life, underground conditions as a working environment and even landscaping the tunnels as habitable environments.
…and much more.
Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network
Together with five other underground laboratories, Callio Lab is participating the Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network in in order to offer extended facilities for underground research and to continuously develop services. More information about the laboratories and the activities of the network at bsuin.eu