MegaWorld

Hawaii

Erupting volcanoes, beach erosion and tiger sharks hitting the shore may not be the first thoughts that come to mind when imagining a trip to Hawaii, but they are all issues experts are dealing with in the Aloha State. See how science is offering innovative solutions to these challenges in the latest installment of the hit Canadian series, MegaWorld.

Premiering Sun., July 13 at 7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD, MegaWorld: Hawaii explores the latest developments in marine biology, geology, technology and construction in one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations.

Hosted by Kevin Brauch (da Vinci: Unlocking the Genius, Thirsty Traveller), this one hour special serves up more than stunning vistas and unique landscapes.

MegaWorld: Hawaii reveals some of the coolest and quirkiest stories coming out of the archipelago, including a look at the science behind creating aerodynamic surf boards, the art behind mapping flowing lava from the world’s most active volcano and the technology behind sailing in an advanced wave-powered boat.

What does it take to build the largest artificial islands in the world? How are 65,000 fish moved from the Arabian Sea to the world’s largest aquarium? How can a joystick and a robot impact the outcome of a camel race?

These engineering and technological mysteries are explored in the latest instalment in Discovery Channel’s groundbreaking original MegaWorld series.

Premiering Sun., June 29 at 7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT, and simulcast on Discovery HD, MegaWorld: Dubai examines some of the innovations that are pushing the emirate to the forefront of engineering, construction and emergency preparedness.

From a small trading port to a thriving economic hub and the most populous region in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai is quickly proving it is more than just a striking locale but a dynamic region on the cutting edge of exotic engineering.

Hosted by Kevin Brauch (da Vinci: Unlocking the Genius, Thirsty Traveller), this fascinating one-hour special examines a world of firsts for the emirate including the world’s largest artificial islands and the world’s largest open water aquarium.

Each story explains how these large-scale projects have come to fruition and the how the region’s infrastructure has been designed to support the vast expansion in Dubai. Aside from their achievements in engineering, construction and tourism, find out how the emirate is using technology to benefit everything from policing to recreational camel racing.

From the shores of Lake Geneva to the peak of the Alps, Swiss inventors are pushing the envelope with remarkable feats of engineering, technology, science and, of course, chocolate! Premiering Sun., Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD, MegaWorld: Switzerland delves into the latest Swiss projects that are revolutionizing transportation, engineering and construction. Hosted by Kevin Brauch (da Vinci: Unlocking the Genius, Thirsty Traveller), this one-hour special reveals cutting-edge advancements on land, sea and sky, from the largest underground construction project in the world to defence mechanisms for glacial melting and even an aerial daredevil who soars above the Alps.

Highlights

Concept Cars
Meet inventor Frank Rinderknecht who has been designing cutting-edge concept cars for over 30 years, including a hydrofoil car that can fly above the surface of the water, a two-seater car that expands to accommodate more passengers and a car that senses a driver’s mood and state of mind.

Chocolate Factory
Discover why the Swiss are the world’s leading experts in the art of chocolate creation with a behind-the-scenes look inside the Frey Chocolate Factory. Follow the process of making chocolate from the bean roasters and sifters to the moulding line where the chocolate is shaped and packaged. Then, watch as tasters put their expert palettes to the test.

World’s Greatest Science Experiment
The CERN facility in Switzerland is the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. This is where physicists are figuring out the building blocks of the universe by recreating the conditions when it was just a billionth-of-a-second old. They are doing this with a Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that stretches over a 27-kilometre radius. Scientists are preparing to study the collision of hydrogen beam particles travelling at the speed of light. Find out what they hope to discover and how it may radically change our understanding of the world around us.

Fusion Man
Yves Rossy is a former air force and commercial pilot turned aerial daredevil who is pushing the boundaries of aviation. Fly alongside Rossy as he soars through the clouds at 200 kilometres per hour on homemade wings powered by four jet engines. Then step inside his workshop as he prepares for his next death-defying flight.

Underground Construction Project
Join Brauch as he descends 800 metres below the Alps to the world’s largest underground construction project. In order to alleviate traffic congestion up top, engineers are building a railway tunnel through the Alps that will ultimately accommodate high speed trains capable of traveling up to 250 kilometres per hour between Zurich and Milan. Engineers are blasting their way through the mountains with a powerful array of heavy machinery including giant jackhammers and mega-sized tunnel boring machines.

Melting Glaciers
The Swiss are on the frontlines of global warming and are developing innovative ways of managing the effects of melting glaciers. Follow Brauch up to the peak of one of Switzerland’s spectacular ski resorts where giant blankets are being used to preserve its rapidly receding snowline. Then, travel to the factory where these blankets are made. Next, find out how high-tech fences are protecting highways and roads from potentially deadly rock falls that are the result of melting permafrost.

The Science Behind Fireworks
Every year on Lake Geneva, hundreds of thousands of spectators are treated to an incredible display of fireworks. Catherine Walder takes viewers behind the scenes as she prepares for the show. Watch as firing systems are connected to various “bombs” then towed out on barges to the middle of the lake. The show is divided into two distinct acts, one Italian and one Swiss. Witness each team prepare for the show and find out how weather and water conditions can affect the timing and final presentation of the fireworks. Will this show go off without a hitch?

The MegaWorld series is produced by EPI in association with Discovery Channel (Canada).

Sunday 17 February 7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD

MegaWorld: Spain Highlights Cutting-Edge Spanish Science, Dec. 16 on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD

From the cutting-edge technology adding more speed – and adrenalin-packed thrills – to Europe’s fastest roller coaster, to the world’s first solar energy tower which can power over 6,000 homes, discover the latest advancements that are changing the way we live in the newest instalment of Discovery Channel’s MegaWorld series. Premiering Sun., Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on Discovery Channel and simulcast on Discovery HD, MegaWorld: Spain explores the technological innovations that are revolutionizing the country and the rest of the world. Hosted by Kevin Brauch (da Vinci: Unlocking the Genius, Thirsty Traveller), this fascinating one-hour special takes a closer look at how Spanish advancements in various industries are shaping European science and technology. From innovations in the areas of solar energy to high-tech developments in auto engineering, this special goes inside the fastest, coolest and biggest projects coming out of Spain.

Highlights from MegaWorld: Spain include:

Europe’s Fastest Roller Coaster

Get ready for the roller coaster ride of a lifetime as Europe’s largest theme park, Port Aventura, introduces a “wing-walker” hydraulic launcher with seats cantilevered off either side of the track. The Furious Baco ride keeps low to the ground with only one in-line rollover, but this coaster has the fastest launch speed in Europe – 135 kilometres per hour! Designed by the famous Stengel Engineering rollercoaster design firm, the Furious Baco is 850 metres in length and features the Accelerator System, which does not rely on height to gather speed, thus enabling the ride to travel close to ground level. Go behind-the-scenes at the theme park to learn more about how the mechanisms behind this high-tech coaster make it the only one of its kind in the world.

World’s First Solar Power Tower

A 40-story concrete tower surrounded by glowing beams of light standing majestically in the Spanish countryside may hold the key to developments in a clean-energy future. Surrounded by four massive arrays of 600 mirrors each, this solar tower currently generates 11 megawatts of energy – enough to power over 6,000 homes – without emitting any greenhouse gases or pollutants. Designed and built by Spanish energy company Solucar, the tower tracks the sun on its path across the sky and transforms the light into solar energy. As construction continues on this state-of-the-art tower, learn how experts believe this cutting-edge edifice may change the way energy is sourced in the future.

World’s Longest Construction Project

Designed by Gaudi, construction on the world-famous Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona began over a century ago in 1882. Not only is it still under construction, the church is estimated to be at least 80 years from completion. Renowned for its stunning architecture, based on complex and innovative geometrical shapes, the project now relies on AlphaCAM software to streamline the production of components from locally

quarried stone. Installed in 2004, along with a multi-axis Bermaq machining centre, the CAM software is used to generate accurate models in engineering foam and plastics, before committing to full-size production in stone. Watch as this segment reveals how this new technology is speeding up the work involved in the world’s longest construction project.

World’s Biggest Nightclub

Find out what it takes to prepare for Spain’s biggest party of the year as MegaWorld: Spain checks out “Mega Night” in Ibiza. To prepare for the 10,000 party revellers, club management and the international Italian promoters of Mega Night will have 24 hours to redesign the venue. Watch as organizers from different countries come together to put on an unforgettable event. Millions of bottles of liquor and water are shipped in and transported on the archival 17th century island roads, then integrated into a supply system that can account for every drop that passes the bar. Then, find out how art designers and technical crew race against the clock to assemble electrical equipment, lights and props simultaneously while overcoming unexpected challenges along the way. With millions of dollars on the line, will the party of the year go off without a hitch?

Spanish Super Car

The Tramontana is a super sports car which combines the best elements of a Formula 1 race car and a fighter jet. It is a street car of great technical precision and personalized design, fully handcrafted by a highly qualified professional team. Built in Spain’s Costa Brava, the car boasts the best of automotive and aircraft technologies with a 500 horsepower V12 and a six-speed transmission. The chassis is constructed from aeronautical aluminium and has eight impact-absorption zones along with selected wood, stainless steel and gold finishes, all adding up to 949 kilograms of auto perfection. The Tramontana has developed a carbon fibre monocoque with eight deformable zones calculated for the absorption of impact energy making it the only one in the automotive world that has overcome the FIA crash tests. Take a spin in the Tramontana to see what 12 lucky buyers will experience when taking this fast, high-tech, open-wheel vehicle on the road.

Watching the Weather at the World’s Biggest Sailing Race

All America’s Cup teams in Valencia have at least one meteorologist working full time on weather observation and forecast. But the existence of MDS – the Meteorological Data Service – is revolutionizing the race. MDS is a set of 21 purpose-built buoys spread around the north and south race courses that, along with six inland base stations, provide weather information to all 12 teams in real time. Watch as each buoy and station records and transmits wind direction, speed, barometric pressure and humidity to each team in the race every 15 seconds. Knowing how to approach weather and wind speed is the single biggest factor in determining who will win the sailing race. MegaWorld: Spain profiles the defending champion, Switzerland’s Team Alinghi, by shadowing their meteorologist in addition to meeting the engineer who designed the metrological network for this year’s competition.

World’s Second Largest Hot Air Balloon Plant

Catalonia is home to the second largest hot air balloon manufacturer in the world. The Ultramagic headquarters and factory is located just outside of Barcelona. Here, teams of air balloon experts make balloons that are exported around the world. Equipped with the most up-to-date technology, the plant manufactures ambitiously-constructed balloons ranging in size from those suitable for a private pilot to large passenger-carrying balloons. Watch as these world famous balloons – often in the most unique shapes and styles – are tested for safety and quality on site just after they are constructed.

The MegaWorld series is produced by EPI in association with Discovery Channel (Canada).

Discovery Channel

Bold and leading edge, while informing and entertaining, Discovery Channel is Canada’s leading source for factual programming, as it puts a new spin on exploring adventure, science and technology. This award-winning channel covers the scientific beat, from animals to the animalistic side of humanity, from the sea to space, and the latest in innovation. TV Trends and Quality (TVQ) Survey consistently ranks Discovery Channel Canada first among all English-language Canadian specialty networks for overall quality of programming. Discovery Channel is one of the first Canadian specialty channels to offer programs in HDTV and its production house, Exploration Production Inc. (EPI), continues to be internationally recognized as a producer of cutting-edge programming. The channel’s Web site may be found at DiscoveryChannel.ca.