News & Notice
- Date2019/11/07 00:00:00
On November 5 (Tue) at its Ilsan Headquarters, the KICT held a ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Future Convergence Hall, which will be the center of extreme environmental construction technology.
An international forum titled “Extreme Construction Beyond the Boundary” was also held as part of the opening event, and there was a showcase of various construction technologies that can be used in space and in polar regions.
At the opening celebration, the world’s largest dusty thermal vacuum chamber (DTVC), a facility simulating the environment of the Moon’s surface, was also publicly displayed for the first time ever. Other existing vacuum chambers can only be operated in a complete vacuum state without any impurities. In reality, the surface of the Moon is covered with fine regolith, and there are daily temperature differences that are hundreds of degrees Celsius. Prior to the invention of the new DTVC, it was impossible to simulate this type of environment in a vacuum state.
The DTVC, released by the KICT and presented in real scale, is the world’s first facility that can simulate a vacuum state complete with regolith that fluctuates between minus 190 degrees and 150 degrees Celsius. Since it is able to simulate the complete lunar environment, the new DTVC is expected to be used extensively to test various technologies and devices developed for space exploration. NASA and other space agencies around the world have expressed interest in the DTVC and are discussing conducting joint research with the KICT.
Since 2016, with the support of the Ministry of Science and ICT, the KICT has been working on a research project to develop core technologies to simulate extreme construction and infrastructure environments. The newly opened Future Convergence Hall was established as part of this project and is equipped with the research infrastructure necessary to develop core technologies for space construction. Some of the technologies and infrastructure housed by the center include the world’s first real scale DTVC, an extreme terrain simulation lab, a construction material 3D printing lab, and an AI and image processing lab. The KICT is working to establish itself as a leading agency in extreme construction by actively sharing its top-quality research infrastructure with the rest of the world.
The event held in celebration of the opening of the Future Convergence Hall also included an international forum attended by Korean and foreign scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA), the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), and Trimble Inc. Selected attendees gave presentations about current Moon exploration projects and research studies on automated construction in extreme environments.
As part of the forum, Professor Bernard H. Foing of the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) of the ESA talked about the “Moon Village,” a moon space station construction project. In 2016, the KICT and the ESA signed an MOU for KICT-ILEWG mutual exchange and have since conducted joint research in advanced space construction technologies. The recent opening event allowed the two agencies to further strengthen their cooperation.
“The universe is an unknown place that has long since been admired by humans, and advanced countries have led innovation in science and technology by developing space technology,” said KICT President Seung Heon Han. “The KICT will continue to contribute to the innovation and growth of the future construction industry by leading a new construction paradigm that combines technology used for space construction in ultra-extreme environments with various technologies, such as AI and automated construction.”