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Megastructures Rungworld
By ArtOfSoulburn   |   Watch
260 47 5K (6 Today)
Published: July 23, 2018
© 2018 - 2019 ArtOfSoulburn
A Rungworld is an orbital structure that links together several hundred McKendree Cylinders into a ring that resembles a bent ladder. The ring could float in space, surround a planet, or have a star at its centroid.

Unlike the Ringworld, spinning the entire structure for gravity wouldn't be necessary as each individual cylinder is spinning around its own axis to provide spin gravity to the cylinder's inhabitants. Cylinders could be added or removed from the overall ring as needed, the remaining cylinders would adjust their spacing to compensate.

Each cylinder could be a nation state, with wildly differing landscape and climate, even differing atmosphere if alien races were included. Fleets of spacecraft would travel between and trade goods with neighboring cylinders.
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Comments47
anonymous's avatar
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Abbieisurqueen's avatar
AbbieisurqueenHobbyist Writer
The only spacial habitat that's cylindrical in nature is the hypothetical O'Neill Cylinder, which as a term you seem to be downright allergic to.
ArtOfSoulburn's avatar
ArtOfSoulburnProfessional Digital Artist
Nope, the McKendree Cylinders is a real idea as well, the main difference between it and an O'Neill Cylinder is the size, so since this concept had to be big to wrap around the planet, decided to use the McKendree instead of the O'Neil.
Abbieisurqueen's avatar
AbbieisurqueenHobbyist Writer
Admittedly went and did some light research to find out my rightness/wrongness on this; apologies for the egregious idiocy on my part. 
ArtOfSoulburn's avatar
ArtOfSoulburnProfessional Digital Artist
It's fine, there's a lot of research out there, and a lot of theories, and a lot of differing opinions on how feisable this stuff is. I do my best to do my net research, but I am not a scientist, and won't get everything correct either.
Abbieisurqueen's avatar
AbbieisurqueenHobbyist Writer
I'm familiar with O'Neil's because they're the one most physicists and structural engineers will nod along in agreement to.
DemonLordRazgriz's avatar
DemonLordRazgrizHobbyist Artist
Is it just me, or do you hate Oneil Cylinders?
ArtOfSoulburn's avatar
ArtOfSoulburnProfessional Digital Artist
I love them, I mean hey, they're a Neil like myself :) it's actually quite the opposite, I want the painting for that one to be extra special, so I have a half finished one that I hope to finish at some point with extra detail and awesomeness.
nubeees's avatar
Are you planning on doing shell worlds as well? 
ArtOfSoulburn's avatar
ArtOfSoulburnProfessional Digital Artist
That's on the list as well, yes
nubeees's avatar
Exciting! I forget, have you done space fountains? Not really on the same level as rungworlds or niven rings, but they're one of my personal favorites.
ArtOfSoulburn's avatar
ArtOfSoulburnProfessional Digital Artist
Space fountains may be discussed when I do the "Orbital Ring", which runs on a similar concept.
dactilardesign's avatar
dactilardesignHobbyist Digital Artist
Made me want to install some good 4x games I have not played insome time.
Aquelion's avatar
AquelionHobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, its incredible epic and fascinating!
Septimus-Oraka's avatar
I would love to see this image in full size.
Tribersman-FR's avatar
Typically those megastructure concept are supposed to be built around a physic constant or a known orbital mechanic, with the idea that Physics explain and justify their shape and size.
Like how a Ringworld is shaped, sized and rotating because centripetal force require it (but doesn't HAVE to be scaled around a star, only to be ring shaped).

However this "rungworld" -as you say it- have no particular reason to have this size.
In practice this could be a set of much smaller O'neil colony built like a ladder hence the "rungworld" part, but only end up as a rung if you kept doing this around an entire orbit (point where I will remark that a small moon would be far preferable)

I'll still have to check for the impact of TIDAL FORCE on such a structure. I fear it might slow the rotation of the colonies but I could be wrong on that.

Now for the truly fundamental error:
If I'm getting your picture right, spaceship would definitely NEVER enter a spinning colony by a hole in the rotating parts, and (if that's what you hope for) centripetal force won't keep the air in, quite the opposite.
Also the whole point of linking together several O'neil colonies together is to share the same "static part" which would contain any trading (without using any spaceship) and still host any needed spaceship dock (since it's static).

In any case, that's not on any list of megastructure concept I know, or rather, it's 2 of them scaled up beyond reasons + what look like a critical error.
ArtOfSoulburn's avatar
ArtOfSoulburnProfessional Digital Artist
For the interior of the cylinder, I had some discussion with people about the amount of atmosphere that would be required to fill the volume. Since it's made of McKendree cylinders, you'd have approx 1000km of atmosphere between a person standing on either surface, which is approx 10x the height of our atmosphere on earth. That led to discussing that a better idea might be something like what was discussed in the book "Bowl Of Heaven" by Larry Niven, a thin membrane over the ground surface that was used to keep the air within a 100km radius of the ground. That thinking led me to decide you could potentially bring space ships into the interior, which is why I made that sketch. Your point about using the ring portion to transport goods (possibly in a train) is a fair one, but in the case of a rungworld that's not surrounding a planet, a more direct route to your furthest neighbors would likely still be a spaceship from my understanding.

I appreciate that you are very focused on the physics, and when these illustrations end up in book form (the text itself will be written by an actual profession astrophysicist), expect a lot of discussion about how it could work, some of the challenges of making it work, even some of the reasons why it may never work (I had a guy tell me that an Alderson disk violates all the laws of physics for example, so we will include the illustration, discuss how it is supposed to work, but also discuss why it may never work).

I am sorry that my illustrations do not meet your standards of accuracy, if you really don't like them, it may be best to stop following my work. I wish you the very best in life and all of your own endeavours!
Tribersman-FR's avatar
Hi,

It's not so much about the scale and "accuracy" (even if I mentioned it) than small details contradicting the concept and text going with it.
Getting both the Text and the Arts working together can give a fabulous sense of awe, this is why I'm offering you my opinions (thought you might not been asked for vulgarization but for your own artistic choices).
I'm still following you for reasons, having the occasion to offer an artist a technical feedback is one of them. (I'm afraid you might no get rid of me so soon)

Anyway, you've deviated from McKendree cylinders and added ideas that work against the concept of a Rungworld (regardless of the size, the scale is secondary concern).

Have a picture worth around a thousand words (a bargain price!)

About the Train versus Spaceship thing:
The difference between an electromagnetically accelerated (and decelerated) spaceship and a train is only a matter of it following a predefined trajectory and not needing course change.
In any case, spaceship are ok. You need them for many other uses, my point is only about where you park them and how you save propellant for shorter range travel.

Ps: about the Alderson disk, it's indeed not technically feasible outside of fictional material (and have no practical use).
Honestly I would indeed never bother calling anything a "Megastructure" if it didn't have the slightest possibility/reasons to exist.
The Ringworld can exist on smaller scale (even before becoming a Torus) and the Rungworld is just several O'neil/Mckendree cylinders linked together.
Madhijz's avatar
The spinny bit is nested inside the greater cylinder you know like your washing machine.
Check out Isaac Arthur on youtube or The Orionsarm website they explain it in greater detail.
Tribersman-FR's avatar
At the risk of sounding presumptuous I don't need to be explained "that much", it is definitely wrong to show the living area leading directly to space on the bottom right.

This is not what you are describing: a static (and aesthetic) outer casing around the spinning cylinder habitable area.
Aside, it's not the first time I corrected the artist. See Megastructure 8 Bernal Sphere (about water)
Megastructures 8 Bernal Sphere by ArtOfSoulburn

I know both OA and Isaac Arthur.
Orionsarm is not a very good example of realism, its raison d'être being to use the Science-Fiction tropes first, making them credible second.

For example the rung-like design itself don't have a specific reason, it is just the consequences of several O'Neil closed-type colony linked to each other. and scaled up to make it impressive.

Putting a static part around a O'neil type is useful "radiation shielding" as this mass doesn't need to rotate, but putting a space dock between said shield and the spinning habitat is only calling for trouble (Space dock outside the docks however would be the occasion for a very cool static-to-rotating train transport system).

If you want realism first & fiction if there's no other way, you'll want Winchell Chung "Atomic Rocket" website (which is surprisingly offline at the moment I'm typing this, I really should back the Patreon)
MichaelJohnMorris's avatar
MichaelJohnMorrisProfessional Digital Artist
Awesome!! :D
ArtOfSoulburn's avatar
ArtOfSoulburnProfessional Digital Artist
Thanks Michael!
MichaelJohnMorris's avatar
MichaelJohnMorrisProfessional Digital Artist
You're welcome! ^^
TimbersPineEN17's avatar
TimbersPineEN17Student Traditional Artist
Cool idea. It seems like it might work.
anonymous's avatar
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