Inunnguat - Transportation
Transportation will be discussed in two distinct aspects – internal and external.
Within the city, much transportation could be by foot and bicycle. Most daily travel could easily be done on foot by any reasonably healthy individual. Even travelling around the circumference of the largest dome could be done on bicycle. However, for people who can’t or don’t want to walk or bicycle, small vehicles could be used. Goods transport would most likely be done by small trucks or vans. Powered transportation would be by electric vehicles using either batteries or fuel cells, or vehicles with combustion engines fueled by hydrogen. Since the only combustion product of hydrogen is water, it can safely be used in enclosed spaces. Transportation between domes could be by light rail systems, or even by moving sidewalks.
Efficient and cheap external transportation is critical to the establishment and support of northern cities. For bulk goods transport, ice-reinforced freighters could be used. Canada does not currently have any significant capability in this area. The shipbuilding industry would no doubt welcome contracts to build such vessels. However this does not address the needs for high-priority freight or for transport of personnel. Because of the great distances involved, air transport is the only logical choice. The current infrastructure of smaller airliners and turbo-prop aircraft makes this transport prohibitively expensive. For example, it currently costs about $7500 for a round trip between Ottawa and Resolute. What is needed is a heavy-lift aircraft capacity. Speed is probably less important than cost and capacity. The obvious choice is large lighter-than-air vehicles. There are several being currently developed. All appear to be be concentrating on applications other than heavy freight.
Several proposals have been made for lighter than air vehicles to supply Canada’s northern communities. None have had any significant official support. A judicious investment would pay significant long-term dividends.
IsoPolar – Airships for Northern Latitudes: http://www.isopolar.com
Canadian Manufacturing article: http://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/supply-chain/prevailing-winds-canadas-infrastructure-problem-and-the-return-of-the-zeppelin-2-154807/
Hybrid Air Vehicles Airlander: http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/
The Lighter-Than-Air Society: http://www.blimpinfo.com/
Popular Mechanics article: http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/a9787/airship-of-dreams-lighter-than-air-travel-is-back-16292687/