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"The point sticks in your head: physics rules. Virtue does not triumph unless the physics allows it."
- Larry Niven

Windtrap  
  A device which precipitates water from the air for use by people.  

In the desert planet of Dune, the inhabitants are in a constant battle to obtain water to live. One way to get water was from a windtrap, described as a device placed in the path of a prevailing wind and capable of precipitating the moisture from the air. This was accomplished by a sharp drop in temperature within the trap.

Stilgar stopped at a yellow rock wall. He pressed an outcropping and the wall swung silently away from him, opening along an irregular crack. He led the way through past a dark honey-comb lattice that directed a cool wash of air across Paul when he passed it. "That air felt damp." A man behind them said "Plenty of air in the trap tonight."
From Dune, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1965
Additional resources -

The native inhabitants of Dune hid thousands of these devices across the surface of the planet in their quasi-religious quest to make the surface of their planet a fit place for humans to live.

Be sure to read the comments below for some excellent material on ancient sources for windtraps in the Middle East.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 4 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dune
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Dune
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Windtrap-related news articles:
  - Aqua Sciences Water From Atmospheric Moisture
  - Burj al-Taqa Dubai Energy Tower - High Tech Badgir
  - Fog Harvesting For Fresh Water

Articles related to Engineering
Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Integrated Circuits Printed Right Onto Fabric!
Drones Guided By The Mind Alone

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