Lutricia Ecodesign
Image from Anders Sandberg

Envirotech refers to the creation and maintenance of home, hab, or planetary environments that support life. Early in Terragen history these technologies referred primarily to biont life, but the field soon grew to encompass m-life or or a-life environments, and now refers equally to the interactions of mechosystems, biosystems, or similarly complex virtual ecologies.

  • Aeroponics  - Text by AI Vin
    A soil-less method of plant cultivation using mist.
  • Airwall  - Text by Todd Drashner, extra note by Anders Sandberg
    Mesotech application allowing an airlock to be open to space without loss of air-pressure.
  • Angelnet  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, with additions by John B and Stephen Inniss
    Any dense network of technology and artificial intelligences that establishes a very high degree of control over a region, generally with beneficial intent towards the inhabitants. The archetypical angelnet is under transapient supervision and makes heavy use of smart matter (such as) utility fog, and may cover an entire large habitat or a planetary surface, atmosphere, and orbital space environment. Less pervasive or less sophisticated angelnets are also widely used.
  • Antisound  - Text by Johnny Yesterday
    Technology with the ability to nullify sound.
  • Astragen(s)  - Text by John B
    Nonsentient lifeforms, plant- or fungal-based, neogen, or xenobiont organisms which have evolved or been designed to survive in space at a given orbital zone and radiation level.
  • Atmospheric Thermal Energy Conversion Towers  - Text by AI Vin
    These towers come in two basic types; updraft and downdraft. The first type, the downdraft tower, makes use of the thermal energy inherent in Hadley Cell Circulation Zones. The second simply makes use of the thermal siphon/chimney effect. They first became common in the Information Age on Old Earth and are still used on a variety of natural and artificial worlds for power generation, environmental control and terraforming, or both.
  • Biome  - Text by Stephen Inniss and M. Alan Kazlev
    A major ecosystem that extends over a broad region, has a characteristic climate, and presents a typical common appearance due to the suite of organisms that are adapted to it. In the context of a garden world or a large megahab it is a subset of the overall ecosphere. The classical biomes known to the humans of Old Earth have been widely replicated through the Terragen Sphere, but many more exotic biomes have also been discovered or resurrected or invented.
  • Birnam Ecotech - Text by Anders Sandberg
    One of the major environment design and terraforming consultancy firms of the First Federation. It eventually merged with the Conver Ambi, adding its expertise to the ruthless ambition and economic power of the corporation/religion/empire.
  • Blue Goo Ecologies  - Text by John B
    Blue Goo is a commonly accepted name for defensive nanotechnological systems. It is effectively an artificial immune system sensitized to nanotechnological aggressors.
  • Buildbug  - Text by Todd Drashner
    An arthropod-like biobot used in construction.
  • CELSS Closed Ecological Life Support System  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A self-perpetuating, regenerative environment that can support and maintain life inside a closed system.
  • Climate Change on Old Earth  - Text by Todd Drashner
    The climate change crisis on Old Earth peaked during the Interplanetary period with a two meter rise in sea-levels.
  • Demon-net  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Angelnet technology that is hostile or harmful in one or several ways.
  • Dome Habitat  - Text by Steve Bowers
    An enclosed, pressurised habitat located on the surface of a planet, moon or asteroid.
  • Emulation Suits  - Text by Tony Jones
    Software that interfaces, translates and/or emulates between virchworlds and so allow virtuals from one world to exist and communicate meaningfully with those from another.
  • Environment  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] The physical or virtual surroundings in which sentient beings live; The air, water, organisms, minerals, and other external objects that surround and affect an organism.
    [2] From the perspective of any system, rest of the world or universe.
    [3] Any precious biosphere, especially a garden world.
  • Environmental Optimization Protocols   - Text by Todd Drashner
    Specialized software coding designed to modify a sophont's local environment for maximum comfort and enjoyment.Modosophonts
  • Envirosuit  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Advanced 'living', form-fitting synanotech suits that allow the wearer to move freely and interact as if in er home environment in surroundings that might otherwise be uncomfortable or even fatal.
  • Fiber Habs  - Text by Johnny Yesterday
    Tubular microgravity habitats
  • Flat Earth Habitats  - Text by Mike Miller
    Tethered habitats that rotate to give artificial gravity
  • Flo-stone  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Nanotech based material used for flooring and originally designed to simulate the look and feel of marble or ceramic.
  • Flow, The  - Text by Rhea 47 and Ryan B
    A unique symbiosis-based economic/spiritual system that is unique to the Biopolity; a network that links Biopolity citizens together in an ultra-holistic eco-economic harmony.
  • Fog Swarm Projection - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A rl projection of physical objects and entities through the behavior of trillions of foglets. Fog swarms can be seamlessly merged with virch environments to create a continuum from totally virtual to totally rl.
  • Forestry  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev from the original by Robert J. Hall
    Sustainable management of forests, specially on terraformed worlds, large orbitals and biohabitats
  • Glow-Orb Cactus  - Text by David Hallberg
    A relative to the Lantern plant.
  • Gourd Houses  - Text by AI Vin
    A biotech house grown from a vine-like plant.
  • Gravity Balloons  - Text by Steve Bowers, AlanSE
    Balloon-like habitats in space that use asteroid material to counter the pressure on the surface of the balloon.
  • Hydroponics  - Text by AI Vin
    A soil-less method of plant cultivation using water.
  • Hyperfog  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Transapientech utility fog.
  • Industrial Ecology  - Text by Chris Shaeffer
    The study and implementation of efficient industrial systems coexisting with the natural environments within which they operate.
  • Intra-habitats  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Smaller inhabited structures which occupy space inside larger habitats.
  • Low World Houses  - Text by Wesley Bruce
    Low canopies to retain a breathable atmosphere on an otherwise inhospitable planet.
  • Mechmoss and Nanoalgae  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Simple sessile photosynthetic nanotech or synano neumann-capable devices/organisms.
  • Megastructure Classification Systems  - Text by Isaac Arthur, FrodoGoofball
    Systems for classification of artificial space structures
  • Nanoferon: Nanotech Inhibitors  - Text by Michael Boncher
    A subset of blue goo nano-defenses, made up of extremely complex large molecules of very specific shape, bonding and size. They act in a fashion similar to antibodies in a biological system.
  • Nanorot  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Synano disassembly swarm, often feral with high nuisance value.
  • Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion  - Text by AI Vin
    Extraction of energy from the oceans of planets with oceans of any kind, such as Gaian or Panthalassic worlds.
  • Paraterraforming  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Steve Bowers
    Roofing over a small world or moon by means of domes or a worldhouse roof to make it habitable to terragen bionts.
  • Patternism, Clade Patternism  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    The study of the deep seated cultural and aesthetic biases and resulting societal patterns specific to certain clades, and the way these produce and are produced by the physical environment and how they can be manipulated by memetic influence.
  • Plantbots  - Text by Stephen Inniss and Steve Bowers
    Dry nano or synano robots powered by light and capable of autonomous growth and reproduction; generally sessile or with limited movement. So named because they are equivalent in role to biological plants.
  • Plasm  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Multipurpose biological material, sometimes described as biotech utility fog.
  • Polymorphic Architecture  - Text by Ryan B
    Shape-changing archictecture.
  • Potted Planet  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Slang term for a world, terrestrial or otherwise that has been modified by a Power or Archailect to support life, apparently for no other reason than the creator's continued aesthetic satisfaction. Occasionally found in systems that host mainbrain primary computing nodes and tools. Apparently, created for reasons similar to why some ordinary sapient Terragens create and maintain gardens.
  • Respirocyte  - Text by Steve Bowers and Todd Drashner
    Bloodborne, approximately 1-micron-diameter spherical nanomedical device that acts as an artificial mechanical red blood cell.
  • Salt Vines  - Text by Mike Miller
    Biological desalination system using geneered plants
  • Space Mirrors and Solettas  - Text by Alex Mulvey
    Space-based structures designed for redirecting sunlight onto planets and megastructures.
  • Starbooster  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Solar output enhancement array.
  • Sunclouds  - Text by AI Vin
    Diffuse lighting systems for rotating habitats.
  • Sunline  - Text by Todd Drashner and Steve Bowers
    A ring of fusion-powered illuminators inside a jovian world or orbiting a brown dwarf or dim red star, designed to focus light on various nearby planets, moons, asteroids or orbiting habitats.
  • Sunshaper  - Text by Sean R

  • Terraformer Swarms  - Text by Somes Jung Hallinan
    Large swarms of self-replicating devices that travel in front of colonization fleets. They are usually carried within small seeding missiles that travel close to the speed of light, well ahead of the main colony ships. The seedtech or sporetech devices are usually embedded within a solid block of metal, concrete, diamondoid, or some other encapsulating material.
  • Terraforming  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Planetary Engineering with the aim of creating a habitable environment
  • Terraforming Remnants - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Natural and artificial ecospheres left by any of several long-vanished terraformer species known only for the biospheres they left behind long ago. Currently terragenkind is busy terraforming suitable planets in the galaxy, and even if they disappear there are going to be lots of human- and ai- derived biospheres left behind. In a few hundreds of millions of years intelligent life might evolve independently there. This life would find a few other habitable worlds with suspiciously similar biochemistries.
  • Thicksuit  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Nanotech/bionanotech vacuum survival suit.
  • Universal Design  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    In architecture, or in hab, ecological, or information system design, the attempt to accommodate as many different sorts of sophonts within the same structure.
  • Utility Fog  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, after the concept by J. Storrs Hall, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    A collective of mesobots ("foglets") that link together into a complex network, able to work together to exert force in any direction or transmit information between each other. Utility fog can be used to simulate any environment, essentially providing rl with the environment-transforming capabilities of virtual reality.
  • Utility Sand  - Text by AI Vin
    A dense, load bearing form of utility fog.
  • Vacuum Equipment  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Thinsuits, airdust, nanolungs: the basic requirements for vacuum survival.
  • Vacuum Flora  - Text by Mike Miller
    Vacuum -adapted plants such as space cacti and Dyson Trees
  • Virchbuilder Packages  - Text by Tony Jones
    Types of software used to create virtual worlds.
  • Virchology   - Text by Thorbørn Steen
    A fully designed (rather than evolved) digital ecosystem residing in a virch.
  • Von Neumann Sculpting  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Artform whereby replicating machines are seeded onto a planetary surface to reshape it according to some plan, or possibly the machines themselves make up the art. This can range from laying down patterns of trails to sculpting entire mountain ranges into portraits. Somewhat controversial due to the environmental impact, but popular in the MPA.
  • Wallflowers  - Text by Thorbørn Steen
    Genetically modified flowering plants for architectural display.
  • Weather Machines  - Text by Steve Bowers and Todd Drashner, with additional material by J. Storrs Hall
    Atmospheric devices designed to affect the energy flow of the atmosphere
  • Worldrings  - Text by AI Vin
    World Rings, as the name implies, are ring-type habitats which duplicate (as much as possible) all the conditions found on a Gaian type world, including total surface area under full centrifugal gravity. As such, World Rings occupy the middle ground between Bishop Rings and Banks Orbitals, and typically use technology from both.
  • Yasamura Artificial Environments Corporation  - Text by Aaron Hamilton
    The most successful of the Sagawa-descended hyperturing subsidiaries of the Federation period, Yasamura Artificial Environments Corporation was one of the first corporations that developed standard terraforming equipment and procedures; including nanites and large bioreactors.
Development Notes
Text by Stephen Inniss

Initially published on 24 June 2009.

Additional Information