‘Off the Grid’: Design and operation of sustainable self-contained bases for military and civil applications


7 December 2021


Rob Roy Hotel – 106 Halifax Street


Associate Professor John Culton, Director, Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources (ATCSR) – The University of Adelaide
Lieutenant Colonel Scott McKenzie, Staff Officer Grade One Deployable Force Infrastructure – Department of Defence
Representative (tbc), OZ Minerals

Facilitated by:

Reg Carruthers, Executive Director Defence and Space, Defence SA

“Keeping soldiers deployed closer to their operating area in FOBs [Forward Operating Bases] while reducing frequency and exposure of vehicles to the dangers of asymmetric warfare is not only a life-saver, but also a cash saver… However, simply erecting some buildings and moving personnel inside is insufficient. An FOB has significant logistical and operational requirements which must be fulfilled in order to establish and maintain operational fidelity and personnel security.” (‘Safe and well stocked: new technology for today’s forward operating bases’, Army Technology, 7 October 2015)

Nanogrids, waste management, water and food production, and complex human factors considerations are relevant for forward operating bases for the military and for remote communities on earth, and for future human space exploration. The design and operation of these bases and communities will require expertise from a wide range of disciplines including architects, scientists engineers, and psychologists.

The aim of this event is to enable creative collisions of researchers and practitioners from different disciplines, with the hope of fostering a community of interest that can continue building on the ideas discussed on the night.