Ben Welter - Monday, October 05, 2015
India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has established the highest research station on Earth. The Chang La station, near Pangong Lake in northern India, stands at 17,500 feet above sea level. Along with the station, DRDO is also introducing a new technology for solar-heated shelters. According to the Tribune of India:
"DRDO has also developed a unique green energy based micro-climate-controlled shelter for use in high-altitude areas that traps and utilises solar energy to maintain the temperature inside. DRDO scientists said while power generated from solar energy could be stored in batteries, it is very difficult to store heat energy derived from the sun for later use. The new shelter, called Dhruv, uses phase change materials for night applications, heat trapping roof design, freeze-resistant underground water storage tanks and solar energy based thermal budgeting."
Rare and endangered plants will be preserved at the Chang La station, where temperatures can fall as low as -40º C. The station will also be used to conduct extreme-altitude research on plants, animals and bio-medical material. The station will house up 20 scientists and support staff. Solar power will be the primary source of energy.