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Rubber Ducky

[WIP] Cacteye Telescope v0.1 (2/1/14) - Modular, EVA-serviceable orbital telescope

427 posts in this topic

This version is now depreciated. See the full release of this plugin here!

[Moderator note: Actually, see Raven.'s updated version, currently here]

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0Of7E5O.png

CactEye is an orbital telescope that is fully EVA-seviceable through the use of Kerbal Attachment System. It also allows for science observations to be made on any planet or moon, where science value is calculated based on how relatively close the planet is to Kerbin (where opposition / inferior conjuntion is optimal) and how centered the object is in the telescope's view.

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[TD]REQUIREMENTS:

These are completely necessary for the mod to work!

RECOMMENDED:

  • Action Group Manager
    • by SirJulio
    • This is borderline required. The ability to remap action groups after servicing will make your life much, much easier.

    [*]Distant Object Enhancement

    • by myself
    • This is a spin-off feature of this mod. This plugin draws planets and satellites realistically, and makes targeting much easier and satellite passes much more beautiful.

    [*]Procedural Fairings

    • by e-dog
    • If not this mod, then another fairings mod. It's nice to have some protection of the telescope during launch.

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[TD]

MDmzOz4.png

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[TR]

[TD]

AIdIwuG.png

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[TD]USAGE NOTES:

  • This telescope requires a high orbit to function. 250km is the high orbit threshold for Kerbin.
  • The processor will explode if the telescope is pointed directly at the sun with the aperture open. Leave the aperture closed when you can for this reason.
  • Make sure you zoom all the way out or exit out of the telescope view (default key is backspace, configurable in Hullcam's settings file) before switching to the map view!
  • If a planet is flickering or cannot be seen, turn your GUI off and on (default key is F2).
  • This mod is still under heavy development. Bugs and errors should be expected.

PARTS:

Make sure to read part descriptions in the VAB, including the right-click menu.

Also, most of these are movable/storable with KAS.

  • Optical tube
    • The big piece.

    [*]Service bay

    • This is where you put all the cool gizmos. Should be placed directly underneath the optical tube.

    [*]Processor Mount

    • Goes inside the service bay, mounts the processor module

    [*]Processors (3)

    • There are three different tech levels: low, mid, and high. They unlock successively in career mode.
    • Tech level is correlated to magnification level. The right click menu in the VAB shows their magnification power.

    [*]Experiments (9)

    • There are two types, Wide Field Camera and Basic.
    • Basic experiments require only a working processor and that the experiment be placed inside the service bay. These are only usable once.
    • To use Wide Field Camera experiments, you need to do the following:
      • Select a target celestial body in the map screen
      • Point the telescope towards the target (use the navball and, if unlocked, the Fine Guidance Sensor to help)
      • A functional processor in its proper mount, and the experiment is placed in the service bay.

    [*]Gyroscope/Reaction Wheel Unit (2)

    • These have three torque modes: Normal, Reduced, and Fine.
    • There is a low tech and a high tech version
    • The Kraken starts shaking the telescope a bit at high zoom levels / low torque levels. Just a warning.

    [*]Solar Panels

    • Produces 8 e/s on Kerbin
    • Roll-out mechanics, like Hubble's first and second pairs of solar panels
    • Movable with KAS, but not storable in containers

    [*]Ladder

    • Fits nicely in the service bay
    • NOT compatible with KAS - yet.

    [*]Fine Guidance Sensor

    • Displays angular proximity to the target, where 1.000 is pointing exactly at it and 0 is 5 degrees away.
    • This value is used to calculate science value, so a value of 1.000 is desirable for the most science.

    [*]Smobodobodyne SLIM Probe Core

    • A slimmer version of the stock cubic probe core. Designed to be stock-like. This part can be radially mounted inside the service bay (or any surface), however, it does not have a reaction wheel.

21 parts total. You'll probably also want to include a docking port, an antenna, and some batteries from the stock selection or other mod packs.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:

  • Rubber Ducky - plugin and all parts
  • Snjo - Firespitter plugin code
    • The FSanimateGeneric class has been recompiled into another plugin file, adding a few lines of original code, to avoid conflicts with the Firespitter mod.
    • This module may be replaced with original code in a future release.

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DOWNLOAD CactEye Telescope v0.1 (1.8 MB)

Updated February 1, 2014 (KSP v0.23)

License -- Source Code

Development history:

[INITIALLY POSTED 12/5/2013]

[UPDATE 12/21/2013]

[UPDATE 12/23/2013]

[UPDATE 1/4/2014 / MINI UPDATE 12/30/2013]

[UPDATE 1/17/2014]

[UPDATE 2/1/2014] (release v0.1)

Edited by Master Tao
Hullcam incompatibility warning
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Looking forward to ir. But heres one question:

Will player have to manevour whole telescope to change point of view? And will results be showed fullscreen or in interface window (like lazorcam).

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Looking forward to ir. But heres one question:

Will player have to manevour whole telescope to change point of view? And will results be showed fullscreen or in interface window (like lazorcam).

Yes, the player will need to maneuver the entire telescope (I've found telescopes quite a bit easier to maneuver after the 0.21 SAS update), and the results will be displayed fullscreen.

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Yes, the player will need to maneuver the entire telescope (I've found telescopes quite a bit easier to maneuver after the 0.21 SAS update), and the results will be displayed fullscreen.

I hoped for interface window :(

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This is an exciting project! Keep it up!

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Looks very solid for science purpose! ^_^

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I love the serviceability on this! Anything that adds realism is good in my books

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You should add a guidance system which automatically makes the telescope move absolutely precisely and stay at its posistion. i.e. Manuvering the telescope VERY slowly to look at something up close thats very far, such as jool.

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not just that but have it be able to point at different planets and moons too

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This could give me a reason to make and actual SAT system

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Yes, the player will need to maneuver the entire telescope (I've found telescopes quite a bit easier to maneuver after the 0.21 SAS update), and the results will be displayed fullscreen.

Full screen will be cool so long as it doesn't hide my other mods tabs/icons.

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not just that but have it be able to point at different planets and moons too

Why not try and build your own with kOS? I have been thinking about this, but currently I am working on other stuff that is keeping me occupied.

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You should add a guidance system which automatically makes the telescope move absolutely precisely and stay at its posistion. i.e. Manuvering the telescope VERY slowly to look at something up close thats very far, such as jool.

Slap on an AR202 from Mechjeb and you're good to go. (TGT+)

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Hi, I had an idea for modular telescopes I started working on it. Since you started too, I will throw my ideas on you:

Instead of putting it into a pre-made part, my telescopes would need to be constructed by players themselves. They came in different basic part types:

- primary mirror (the giant concave mirror)

- secondary mirror (the smaller convex mirror)

- sensors (you say "cameras" but I prefer sensors to differentiate it from hull cameras and such..)

- sun blankets

First, since KSP can detect what part is lit by the sun and what not (as with solar panels), this is crucial for telescopes. They should be completely blocked from sun to function (to not return a fully white image). So, first thing you need to design is a way to get the mirrors not lit by the sun. So you can either put blankets on, solar panels, or build a tube out of metal sheets as Hubble, and your part look like. - This was the primary reason Hubble was in a tube, the secondary reason is heat, and only the third is micrometeorites.

Depending on the distance between the primary, secondary mirror and the sensor, the right magnification would be achieved. Longer distance, bigger magnification. The mirrors must be PERFECTLY aligned along an axis, otherwise, bad picture. This is what happened on Hubble after launch. You don't need to have a secondary mirror

There are not of course only 4 parts, but these would be many parts of different size and function, for example there could be an optical sensor, a biome sensor, on the other hand, there could be a deployable Webb telescope-like primary mirror, or a smooth hubble-like

aT2SNSj.jpg

primary, secondary, sensor

as you can see you don't need to have a secondary, you can place the sensor on the other side, but the magnification would be much smaller.

This all of course, would be impossible to do in real life, as each mirror would need to be custom made for the distance-configuration. Also bigger mirrors in real life return a brighter image, not a more magnified one. But keeping KSP in LEGO-like modular fashion I could spend a lot of time just playing with these mirrors =)

That's it for now. Looking forward to the project.

Edited by nothke
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@nothke, sounds very interesting and reasonable for science progression ^_^

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More reasonable components for the service bay? I need some ideas here

Film cameras with ejectable return capsules (for lower tech levels)?

Slap on an AR202 from Mechjeb and you're good to go. (TGT+)
The last time I tried this was in 0.20.x with the Lionhead Aerospace telescope (or one using the same/a similar model). I had horrible jitter problems that I blame on floating-point errors.
First, since KSP can detect what part is lit by the sun and what not (as with solar panels), this is crucial for telescopes. They should be completely blocked from sun to function (to not return a fully white image).
This would be a problem for sun-observing telescopes, unless you include special parts that return a fully black image when not pointed at the sun...
as you can see you don't need to have a secondary, you can place the sensor on the other side, but the magnification would be much smaller.
Suggestion: make front-of-mirror sensors non-removable, but package some or all behind-mirror sensors in MIX drawers (or, on larger telescopes, full FLEXracks) and add the appropriate bays to some of the body pieces. Edited by Fail-Man 3D
Major typo

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This would be a problem for sun-observing telescopes, unless you include special parts that return a fully black image when not pointed at the sun...

Great idea I didn't think of in the first place! Of course, if you have a sun-gazing sensor, your mission profile changes =)

Suggestion: make front-of-mirror sensors non-removable, but package some or all behind-mirror sensors in MIX drawers (or, on larger telescopes, full FLEXracks) and add the appropriate bays to some of the body pieces.

This is (almost) exactly what I am intending to do! =) I intended sensors to come in MIX drawers with only shutter doors on front (that would supposedly open when used), and then have a small frame that can only hold one of them. Then just exchange the drawers from the frame if you need another image =) of course they would be expensive and would come in different tech nodes, so that there is actually a reason to go up there and exchange them. =)

Edited by nothke

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Hey nothke! This mod would go really well with your FLEXrack mod as well as 6S tubes. Speaking of flexrack, made any progress lately?

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Sounds interesting -- I especially like the "service in orbit" aspect.

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Hey guys, sorry for the lack of updates - got a bit busy with school. I've been working on this heavily for the past few days, but I didn't want to post anything until I had a good idea of what I can accomplish in the near future.

So I bit the bullet and installed Visual Studio, with the intention of just making a small change to an existing mod. But after a few days of troubleshooting (why KAS rescales non-stock parts when removing them from containers is a mystery to me, luckily its an easy fix) and getting the hang of C#, I eventually got comfortable enough with it to just start my own plugin from scratch. It's not perfect and it's pretty basic atm, but I'm starting to get some nice functionality out of it.

Aside from that, I've modeled the processors.

Here's the low-tech processor sitting inside its mount inside the service bay:

jgIswhn.png

Bill preparing to insert a medium-tech processor from EVA:

VpfN6vN.png

A quartet of Kerbals model the processors for us:

ujKWZ2u.png

In order left to right: low tech, medium tech, high tech, and a solar processor for sun-observing telescopes.

Updated parts list, it keeps growing so I think I'll have to cap it here for first release:

- Optical tube (complete)

- Solar optical tube

- Service bay (complete)

- Mount (complete)

- Processors [contains actual cameras]

  • Low tech (complete)
  • Medium tech (complete)
  • High tech (complete)
  • Solar Processor (complete)

- Instruments/Experiments

  • --Low Tech
  • Wide Field Camera v1 (10% xmit)
  • Kerbin Analysis Camera (10% xmit)
  • Constellation Surveying Camera (10% xmit)
  • ----------------------
  • --Medium Tech
  • Wide Field Camera v2 (65% xmit)
  • Infrared Spectrograph (65% xmit)
  • Ultraviolet Spectrograph (65% xmit)
  • ----------------------
  • --High Tech
  • Wide Field Camera v3 (100% xmit)
  • Gravioli-Shift Spectrograph (100% xmit)
  • Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (100% xmit)
  • ----------------------
  • --Solar Processor
  • Solar Flare Camera
  • Corona Analyzer
  • Protosphere Magnetomatic

- Servicing ladder that fits nicely in the bay

- Solar Panels (?)

- Gyroscope & reaction wheel unit

- Radially attached probe core

- Soft capture system (EVA-attachable, docks with Clamp-o-tron Jr.)

Functionality (plugin-wise):

- Processors only function when telescope is properly constructed, without using a bunch of stupid resources (complete)

- Science experiments can only be run when their designated processor is in place and functioning (mostly complete)

- *maybe* Science gain scales with distance from sun [inverse with sun-observers]

- *maybe* Science gain based on the angular distance from the center of the telescope to the targeted planet and the planet's distance - possibly even just for WFC experiments

- *maybe* Processor explodes when the telescope is pointed directly at the sun and the aperture is open [except for specialized solar optics of course]

- Smart reactions wheels that toggle into a 'fine guidance mode' with an action group? I don't see why not, and it'd make operation a ton easier.

- probably a bunch of other stuff that I'll think of while developing

So it's looking quite good now! I think I'll work on the experiment logic quite a bit more next, and after that's sufficiently good, start actually modelling the experiments.

Thanks for all the brilliant ideas guys, I'm using a number of them. Nothke - I love that mirror setup idea but adding a dynamic mirror system like that would be a pretty big undertaking, so I think I'll focus on the EVA-serviceable aspect more for now. Also, you said you were planning a similar mod to this - don't let my work dissuade you.

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I want this now!! Kidding of course. Take your time, this is looking good.

As for the plugin I would focus on the basic functionality first and expand on that.

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looks great and keep up the good work


(assuming this isn't dead)

Edi: oh whoops never mind didn't see the other post

Edited by Helix935

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This is a great idea, and it's looking really good.. I look forward to seeing this progress.

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I found that the service bay needed lighting:

4VE7xZP.png?1

Much better!

Mostly, though, I've just been going through all the programming stuff I wanted, and surprisingly, I'm almost done.

I've got the science experiments mostly working. The action group is still a bit wonky, but the experiments themselves are functional.

Here's me stress-testing the highest power processor. Between KSP's default target marker on the navball, a variable reaction wheel (goes down to 0.001x torque for fine tuning), and a quick proximity readout I made, it's actually super easy to find pretty much any celestial body. The only downside is that at a certain level, the Kraken starts shaking the telescope like mad, which there's not much I can do about.

Gilly, near closest approach. Click for full size.

rOPDAw3.png?1

Eeloo. AT APHELION.

mOwZRPi.png?1

Science gain is actually based on how centered the target is in the telescope and how optimal the phase angle is (using the telescope at closest approach will give more science points), plus a special multiplier for each planet (Mun is 1x, Duna is 3x, Dres is 5x, etc.).

Now I'll probably switch over and finish the solar science stuff - I've actually got most of the groundwork done for a transit/eclipse camera! Then its back to modelling. Though I might have to take a break for a few days, for quite obvious reasons.

Edited by Rubber Ducky
broken link

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Are there any kind of Star Ops experiment? Can we gain science by just looking at the stars?

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