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About Northstar1989

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  1. Well I won't say I won't consider it, but rspeed still hasn't indicated he's done with his model yet, and I'm trying to avoid mode bloat by sticking with as few models as possible... Anyways I apologize for the delay- I'll be testing out a new update of the mod with your model soon-ish. I haven't downloaded it for testing yet, though- so if you have any further changes you want to make first, now is the best time to do so... Regards, Northstar
  2. Umm, not completely clear which post you're replying to there? Anyways, I started a thread dedicated to the model revamp. You can find the link to it in the OP. It would be slightly easier for me to discuss that there, so it doesn't get mixed up with bug reports and questions players have for me about when I'll be updating the mod and such... Regards, Northstar
  3. Saying let's not reinvent the wheel here and debate aomething that is already a known and accepted fact is not straying from real life. Just the opposite. Airships are well-proven, and used to fill a certain niche in civilian transport and warfare. They were abandoned because of the Hindenberg disaster- within a couple years (in some cases MONTHS) of it many of the largest airships, some of which had already been in commercial use and serving passengers for some time then, were simply abandoned and scrapped for materials- I remember reading about how one brand-new commercial airship passenger liner was scrapped within a couple months of the Hindenberg and its parts later sold for a few dollars each or something... Simply put, the Hindenberg was an ENORMOUS disaster for airship PR, and that is the only reason they're not commonly used anymore. Business travelers and reporters may need to travel fast, but if you told your average overseas tourist that they could take a 28 hour trip across the Atlantic in the lap of luxury AND the ticket would cost a little less (a LOT less if they're willing to travel in cramped comditions like on an airplane's economy-class) most would simply JUMP on the tickets- until you then told them said tickets were on an airship. Many travelers still hear "airship" and think "Hindenberg, highly explosive, filled with Hydrogen", they don't realize modern airships now use Helium... Speaking of which, the thing that might ultimately kill modern airships is the ongoing Helium Shortage, not any problem with the underlying technology. If the US government stop selling Helium at prices FAR below what the limited supply dictates and we keep using it in Children's balloons and such silly, wasteful, stupid nonsense, there won't be any left for more worthwhile pursuits like airships. Speaking of which, can we PLEASE talk about things that aren't already established facts. Airships work- stop debating it. I know you like to poo-poo every single exciting technology's feasibility that comes through these forums YNM, but airships aren't a new ones by any means- their usefulness was proven over a century ago, just like electric cars or biochar (over 10 centuries ago in that case)- they're just a technology that for various now less-than-compelling reasons was abandoned, and changing market forces (such as the inevitable rise in oil prices over time as demand exceeds the limited and ever-diminishing supply, and explosive economic growth in areas of Africa greatly exceeding the ability of governments and corporations to keep up with conventional infrastructure like airports and roads) have compelled us to revisit. Airships (of sufficiently large size) consume FAR less gas per mile-ton than airplanes, and the newer ones thst don't need ballast to land require far less ground crew or infrastructure. Thus they're ideal for developing economies and more carbon-efficient overseas travel when the slower speed of cargo ships won't cut it... (they take about a week to cross the Atlantic and days at a minimum to unload- whereas a hybrid airship can cross the Atlantic in 28-48 hours- they travel at over 100 mph at cruising altitude- and would take only a few hours to unload...) Regards, Northstar P.S. Note the difference between "hybrid" airships and lighter-than-air ones. Hybrid designs are *slightly* HEAVIER than air, but rely on generating a limited amount of body-lift with their oval-shaped balloon bodies to keep them afloat (their liftoff speed is so low they only require about 1-2 times their own length as "runway", which can be an open field). If they lose power they drift down to a gentle touchdown as their terminal velocity is very low and they can glide for quite a while... Their fuel-efficiency is VASTLY superior to an airplane, however, despite much worse Lift:Drag because they require very little Lift to maintain altitude due to being near-buoyant, and are optimized for relatively low-speed, low-altitude flight of a few km and around 100 knots where propellers work extremely well... P.P.S. I guess TECHNICALLY *hybrid* airships have never been tried on a large scale before. But they maintain all the advantages of their lighter-than-aur brethren while being much faster and more fuel-efficient. They can similarly land on a dime or takeoff vertically, by vectoring their thrust downwards- and most modern airship designs would want to include some form of thrust-vectoring anyways to improve handling...
  4. Applying force to the center of the vessel, rather than the center of mass, is realistic to how a mass driver would actually work. If you don't want it to rotate, you need to keep your vessels symmetrical- it doesn't experience aero drag while passing through the ring, so the distribution of mass along the axis passing through the mass driver rings is irrelevant- only asymmetries relative to this axis can cause rotation, and would need to be VERY carefully controlled for in a real-life mass driver... As for recoil, I would of course appreciate your help in integrating a more precise solution like yours into the code for this mod (recoil seems to be erratic and not always equal and opposite in the original). Of course, asI've said several times, I would love to bring you on as a mod co-author, provided you could abide by a few basic principles like putting realism first in mod balance and performance where practical... Regards, Northstar
  5. I sympathize with you, but I'm going to need more than an extremely lengthy description of all the versions you've tried to try and solve your problem. The mod works with 1.2.2 for most players- so I doubt it's a problem with the mod itself or your KSP build. As for how you tried to USE the mod in-game, a picture is worth a thousand words: could you please show some pictures of the steps you took to try and launch a payload? Showing right-click menus, decouplers, etc. would help at least confirm that you are trying to use the part correctly in the first place... You know the payload should NOT be coupled, for instance, right? You explicitly said you tried this "with and without a coupled mass" which reads yo me as you tried with or withoit a payload which was physically attached to the Mass Driver, which won't work period. The issues you are having with nothing happening when you click "arm accelerator" usually indicate that the Mass Driver is not recognizing the presence of a payload or cannot lock onto one- which usually means the player has either not positioned the payload close enough to the loading-end of the Mass Driver (or worse, is positioning the payload at the FIRING end, or has the parts facing different directions throughout the stack) or that they have made the mistake of not positioning a *SEPARATE VESSEL* as the payload. Positioning a separate payload is most easily accomplished at the KSC by starting the payload as part of the driver and decoupling it with a decoupler or docking-port before firing (note that sometimes players can have issues with the Mass Driver trying to lock onto the decoupler instead of the payload if it is a similar distance to the driver, such as by sitting on the vessel nose rather than falling to the launchpad, and tis can cause the driver to fail to arm as the decoupler will usually be dancing around due to longstanding stock KSP physics-glitches and the driver can't get a good lock...) So, make sure you are trying to use the part correctly to start with. I *strongly* advise carefully studying the other pictures on this thread, and posting some yourself of how you are trying to use the part. By far the most common reason for the driver "not working" is a new user simply not positioning the payload correctly... Regards, Northstar
  6. [snip] Anyhow, this thread started as a bit of a "this is cool, so Kerbal, love it!" kind of thread, and [snip] Let's talk about THAT- instead of their economics or engineering- which are well-known and DO support their usefulness: they are cheaper than planes, faster (but more expensive) than ships, require less ground infrastructure than trains, and fill a niche in the balance between the three no other type of vessel does... So, does anyone have any cool pictures/documentaries/articles about airships they'd like to share? [snip] Regards, Northstar
  7. So, there has been a lot of excitement in the past few years about certain companies working on new, modern, ultra-large cargo airships- most notably the Aeroscroft designs, the largest of which may be able to lift 450-500 tons! I thought this was awesome, and very Kerbal somehow- especially because with Airships the "Build It Bigger!" principle really does apply- particularly thanks to the Square-Cube Law (which in this case means that for an airship with a given envelope thickness the total mass of the envelope only increases with the square of the dimensions, whereas the enclosed volume increases with the cube of the dimensions)- meaning that larger airships have relatively higher lifting-capacities thanks to needing to devote relatively less mass to the envelope material compared to their size... Awesomely, Wikipedia even specifically mentions aerostats (balloons, blimps, etc.) as beneficiaries of the Square-Cube Law in its page on the subject. Also, check out this Popular Mechanics article on the subject: Note that the Square-Cube-Law also helps airships resist being pushed around by wind a bit- as larger airships present relatively less Surface Area for wind to act on. The problem still grows in absolute, though not relative, terms however- so an awareness of which way the wind is facing, large rudders and other control-surfaces, and taking off with the airship pointed parallel to the wind is still extremely important in most situations... Finally, see this Telegraph UK article on the return of airships. It's somewhat outdated, but provides a bit more historical context... Regards, Northstar
  8. O.90/0.75, aka the "default settings" are MOST realistic of those named here (I always laugh a little inside when I see people crying REALISM and then making things UN-realustic because they don't understand how real physics work) although the perhaps 92 or 93% vac occlusion might be a little closer to reality... Communications signals can indeed pass through a certain amount of solid matter (just think of getting a cellphone signal inside any building not made with a metal frame- metal creates a "Gaussian Cage" that prevents most signals from getting through such buildings) and just as importantly, they can DIFFRACT around objects to a certain degree. The comms signals in the game may appear to be straight lines that are passing through mountains, but really they are DIFFRACTING around those mountains rather than passing through them... I'm not 100% sure what the atmo modifier does, but OBVIOUSLY the comms signals have a certain ability to pass through the atmosphere. After all, they have to pass through it in the first place to reach any vessel or relay satellite from the KSC (which is on the ground, BELOW the atmosphere), and how do you think remote-control planes work in real life? It would be absolutely ridiculous, and completely unrealistic, if you had to set up a Probe Control Point in at least Low Kerbin Orbit just to control any unmanned vessel in the game, and if probes were totally un-controllable inside the atmosphere of Kerbin or any other planet. After all, right now any real-life rocket is in constant communication with the ground all the way up to Low Earth Orbit... So why shouldn't comm signals be able to pass back through a limited amount of atmosphere again after leaving it, if they had to pass through it on the way up? Regards, Northstar
  9. Two words: Morse Code. It wouldn't take long for a pair of species on planets within such close visual range of each other to figure out that if they built a large enough array of mirrors (something seceral km in diameter) they could signal each other with a sim0le mathematical code. Since language and mathematical codes inherently contains certain principles refardless of culture of origin, such a code would doubtless soon by translated by the other planet. A system of two-way communication between the civilizations would not take long to form at all. Of course, the chances of two sentient species arising at the exact same time and rate like that is virtually nil. Doubtless one sentient species would arise millions of years (which in geological time and the history of life is the blink of an eye- trust me on this, I'm a Biologist) before such a species would have otherwise formed on the other planets, and colonized the other worlds if they bore life long before any other sentient species would have had the chance to rise up. And with that ecological niche filled in, it is highly likely no other sentient species would later evolve on the colonized planet... The only way two sentient species could ever evolve in such close proximity would be if the first planet to evolve sentient life possessed some insurmountable barrier (such as the lack of certain elements in the planetary crust) to interplanetary spaceflight in that system... Regards, Northstar
  10. That's more-or-less what I'm looking for, and the visuals look reasonable. How's the poly-count? How are the colliders? Could you maybe work with rspeed (who seems to really know what he's doing) to try and bring down the poly-count as low as possible, and make sure the colliders are right? Also, what are the internal dimensions? Could you download the model currently in use by the Mass Driver mod and compare the internal dimensions to make sure any rocket that could fit through the 2.5 meter sized mass driver ring of the old model (the one without a rescaleFactor less or greater than 1) will still be able to fit through your ring, for backwards-compatibility reasons? To be on the safe side, maybe even add 1 or 2% to the internal dimensions in case an error was made in measurement or the colliders are slightly different... Finally, would it be possible to upload the model in .mu format for me to test integrating into the next update of the mod? Ideally, an upload now so I can get started testing and eventually provide feedback, and an upload when you and rspeed have come up with a finsl version you're both happy with as a candidate for inclusion into the mod... Regards, Northstar
  11. Makes sense. What I meant by "undesirable effects" by the way is related to precisely that- the magnetic forces grow as you get closer to the surface of a coil. In a system with four current coils at right angles, however, you get highly undesirable effects if the payload drifts DIAGONALLY towards a corner with no coil. On the other hand, in a continuous tube, there is no direction the payload can drift off-center in where the magnetic field strength does not change uniformly. The actual job of centering the payload, on the other hand, is accomplished by a small iron electromagnet in the payload itself in the StarTram design (if I had the coding expertise and I didn't think players would find it a huge pain in the ass, I would add inline parts to the Mass Driver mod that go on the payload itself and are required for the Mass Driver to work on a payload...). I am unsure how it works exactly, but needless to say it works with a continuous-coil mass driver model and has nothing to do with having four distinct current coils around the edge of the mass driver...
  12. Ahhh, Katateochi- loved your Constellation style Duna mission YouTube video! Ever since I've been trying to do one myself... My current goal is to do one using the stock CommNet system and ISRU, with my own style and music choices of course (it will probably not be nearly as interesting or exciting as your video, though- and a few of the same songs will be featured I liked them so much...) I'll be playing around with Probe Control Points a bit in the test-run (I plan to use a 2-Kerbal lander with only 2 pilots on the mission, and 6 crew. So the 2 pilots will remotely guide the lander to Duna orbit, rendezvous and docking with the Kopernicus by being the first to ascend back to orbit from the surface base and guiding subsequent flights), so I'll let you know how my messing around with Probe Control Points goes if you're still interested... Regards, Northstar
  13. I thought this seemed very Kerbal, and hope you guys enjoy watching it: Regards, Northstar
  14. Pictures are always appreciated if you're trying to help other Kerbal engineers figure out how to position their payloads... On a different note- I'm still looking for any/all help in developing a model for this mod with a higher length:diameter ratio... The thread is in the OP if you're interested. Regards, Northstar
  15. That model actually looks more complex than the current one. Remember, KISS is the rule here. Also, I said LONGER, not larger (diameter is not the issue here- length is). Finally, mind if I ask what the reason is for the copper "boxes" around the edges when I am requesting a single coil? As I've said before, a StarTram-inspired mass driver would be composed of a single giant tube of *Aluminum* wire, not boxes interspersed around the edges of Copper wiring. While I'm not quite sure of the reason for use of Aluminum instead of Copper, this is the materials choice for the real-life StarTram proposal: so any model should have SILVER-GREY wires instead of brown ones... The use of a continuous coil I can explain, on the other hand- having distinct "boxes" around the edges creates undesirable behaviors if the payload deviates slightly from the center of the tube- thus a continuous coil is safer and more stable in addition to being more efficient with materials... All that is needed is a hollow tube with visible Aluminum coil textures on the inside, and some outside textures to make directionality clear (this is the part that really requires artistic talent). All the other details can be abstracted away by being presumed to be covered by the protective shell/structural elements around the exterior of the tube... Beale had the right basic idea for the shapr before, albeit the model still was more geometrically complex than necessary with its interspersed long rectangles instead of just a single smooth ring shape. I just need something like that with textures- textures are the part I really can't do on my own... Regards, Northstar