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Challenges 2011, 2(1), 19-36;

Long-Time Data Storage: Relevant Time Scales

Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Albertstraße 19, D-79104 Freiburg i.Br, Germany
MESA+, University of Twente, P.O.Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
Received: 8 October 2010 / Accepted: 24 January 2011 / Published: 7 February 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Document Project)
Full-Text   |   PDF [222 KB, uploaded 7 February 2011]


Dynamic processes relevant for long-time storage of information about human kind are discussed, ranging from biological and geological processes to the lifecycle of stars and the expansion of the universe. Major results are that life will end ultimately and the remaining time that the earth is habitable for complex life is about half a billion years. A system retrieved within the next million years will be read by beings very closely related to Homo sapiens. During this time the surface of the earth will change making it risky to place a small number of large memory systems on earth; the option to place it on the moon might be more favorable. For much longer timescales both options do not seem feasible because of geological processes on the earth and the flux of small meteorites to the moon. View Full-Text
Keywords: Human Document Project; data storage; memories; long-term processes Human Document Project; data storage; memories; long-term processes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Elwenspoek, M.C. Long-Time Data Storage: Relevant Time Scales. Challenges 2011, 2, 19-36.

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