DMagic

[1.2.x] DMagic Orbital Science: New Science Parts [v1.3.8] [1/5/2017]

1930 posts in this topic

DMagic Orbital Science Presents: Probe and Rover Science Pack

fPuxL1c.jpg

* Unmanned probe pictures by larkvi
* Logo by sumghai

Updated to V1.3.8 (January 4, 2017)

Download From Space Dock

Download From Curse Forge

Download From GitHub

CKAN-Indexed-brightgreen.svg

li2tNgE.png ** This Addon Supports CTT

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btn_donate_SM.gif Consider donating if you like what you see here. * Money will not go directly to development or upkeep of this addon

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Recommended Add-ons:

  • Contracts Window + - A replacement window for monitoring active contracts.
  • Contract Rewards Modifier - An in-game UI for customizing all contract rewards and penalties, and limiting the amount of each contract type.
  • CapCom - Review, manage and accept contracts outside of the Mission Control Center.
  • Community Tech Tree - Provides a new, more mod friendly tech tree; expands on the stock tree with several new nodes; all DMagic parts are reassigned and rebalanced when using this tree.
  • Probes Plus - Provide a more realistic set of alternative models for several of the parts included here, along with numerous other high quality probe parts.
  • Universal Storage - Use the nine US parts included in my pack with the Universal Storage mod. Provides a cleaner, sleeker look to you spacecraft while allowing for more convenient placement of science parts.
  • Otter Submersible - A set of dedicated submarine parts that will work great with the new underwater science experiment.
  • SCANsat - Map and identify biomes and terrain features from orbital scanning satellites. Two included parts, the multispectral imaging platform and the anomaly sensor, can also be used as SCANsat sensors.
  • Module Manager - Required for Universal Storage and SCANsat parts; also required for stock contract integration.
  • [x] Science! - Monitor available science and keep track of completed experiments.
  • Outer Planets Mod - Several high quality additional planets; complete science reports for each planet and moon are included here.
  • Tweak Scale - All parts have TweakScale functionality included; parts can be re-sized from 60 - 160% of the standard size in 20% increments.
  • Celestial Body Science Value Editor - Science too easy? You can edit the situation multipliers for each planet/moon and experimental situation to make science easier or harder to suit your needs.

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FAQ

  • How do I install this?
    • Always delete any existing copies of DMagic Orbital Science; completely remove the old folder from the GameData folder.
    • Place everything from the included GameData folder into your 'Kerbal Space Program/GameData' folder
    • Versions of KSP prior to 1.0.2 are not supported and will break
       
  • I'm not seeing any Universal Storage parts
    • First make sure that you actually have the latest version of Universal Storage installed
    • Kerbal Space Program/GameData/UniversalStorage/Parts etc...
    • Check the Universal install location; it must be correct or none of my Universal Storage parts will function
       
  • This addon is terrible, how do I uninstall it without breaking everything!?
    • Just remove the DMagicOrbitalScience folder from your GameData folder. Squad fixed the missing agent bug in the latest release so the method shown below is no longer necessary.
       
  • What's this about asteroid science experiments? How does that work?
    • A number of my experiments allow for the collection of data either while grappled to an asteroid or while nearby one; the supported instruments are specified in the experiment list below.
    • The experiments that support asteroid science collection do so according to their standard situation collection rules. Anything that can collect science while on the surface of a planet can collect science while grappled to an asteroid. Anything that can collect science from low orbit can collect science while within 2.0km of an asteroid that you are not currently grappled to.
    • All asteroids are randomly assigned a specific spectral type, these are based on the real-world classification schemes used to study asteroids; nine different spectral types are included here. These spectral types are used to determine which set of results will be given for each experiment.
    • The science value for each report is based on several factors:
      • 1. The asteroid size; these are the stock KSP asteroid classes (from A to E in order of increasing size and science value)
      • 2. The number of experiments performed on each asteroid spectral type.
    • Science points are given using a scheme similar to the stock asteroid surface samples, but with diminishing returns. Experiments conducted using the same instrument will give a diminishing amount of science for each asteroid visited of the same type. This allows for multiple asteroids to be studied (around 10 or so can be studied, based on size; i.e. fewer E-class asteroids can be studied before reaching the cap), without providing the infinite science returns of the stock asteroid samples.

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For a more detailed look at how some of these instruments actually work check out my explainer series:

Chapter 1: Radio and Plasma Wave Science

Chapter 2: Magnetometer

Chapter 3: Telescopes and Imaging Systems

Chapter 4: Laser Ablation

Chapter 5: Core Drill and Biological Experiments

Chapter 6: Neutron Reflections and Subsurface Water

Chapter 7X-Ray Diffraction and Surface Composition

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Five contract types included in this addon; user configuration options are available in the included config file*. All contracts require that a certain level of progression be met before they are generated, and take into account progression when selecting target planets.

  • Orbital Survey
    • Require you to collect and transmit or return several results from orbit.
    • These are biome independent, but require that returned science have at least some value.
    • Max of two simultaneous missions by default.
  • Asteroid Survey
    • Visit and collect science results from an asteroid of a specified class. The location of the asteroid does not matter, only that it match the required class size. No science value required.
    • An on-screen message will indicate successful science experiment collection; results must still be transmitted or returned to complete the contract.
    • Science experiments must be collected with DMagic Orbital Science Parts. Any asteroid survey contracts that ask for stock experiments must be carried out with the Universal Storage versions.
    • Max of one simultaneous mission by default.
  • Investigate Anomalous Signal
    • Search for and study the source of the anomalous signal coming from the target planet. A vague description of the target location is given.
    • Returned science value must exceed a threshold amount for the Anomalous Signal Scanner (the same as the standard science collection mission described above); all other results need not have any science value, but must be collected within range of the anomalous signal.
    • An on-screen message will indicate successful science experiment collection; results must still be transmitted or returned to complete the contract.
    • The magnetometer functions as a crude anomaly detector for those not using SCANsat or any other method for detecting anomalies. Watch for spikes in the magnetic field readings found in the magnetometer's right-click context menu.
    • Max of one simultaneous mission by default.
  • Long Term Magnetic Field Mission
    • Use one or more vessels equipped with a magnetometer and a radio plasma wave instrument to study a planet or moon's magnetic field environment. Enter an orbit that matches the specified parameters (monitor this mission in the contract window to see when these parameters have been met) and remain in orbit for the specified amount of time.
    • The vessel does not need to remain active during the entire mission. You only need to achieve orbit and meet the required orbital parameters while the vessel is active. From that point on you can return to the space center or other vessels.
    • Undocking, stage separation and docking that takes place during the mission is accounted for. As long as a vessel with both required parts remains in orbit and meets the required orbital parameters the mission should carry on unchanged by these events.
    • No science value required for the experiment parameters, but the results must be returned or transmitted; results do not need to be collected before the orbital parameters are completed.
    • Emphasis is on Science rewards
    • Max of two simultaneous missions by default.
  • Long Term Orbital Reconnaissance Mission
    • Use a vessel equipped with the requested recon part to study a planet or moon and search for the presence of any anomalous signals. Match the requested orbit and remain in orbit for the specified amount of time.
    • The vessel does not need to remain active during the entire mission. You only need to achieve orbit and meet the required orbital parameters while the vessel is active. From that point on you can return to the space center or other vessels.
    • No science value required for the experiment parameters, but the results must be returned or transmitted; results do not need to be collected before the orbital parameters are completed.
    • Emphasis is on Funds rewards
    • Max of two simultaneous missions by default.
  • FinePrint Contract Integration
    • Module Manager required for all FinePrint integration.
    • DMagic parts can be used to satisfy Satellite part request parameters.
    • Surface and Biological Activity surveys will be given using the FinePrint waypoint system.
    • Custom waypoint icons for several DMagic science experiments are included as indicated below.

*Check in the file: GameData/DMagic Orbital Science/Resources/DMContracts.cfg. Included in this file are options to change the amounts for all rewards, advance payments, penalties, science values, deadlines, the maximum amount of each contract available at any given time, and numerous other parameters for each contract. This file also includes a list of experiments that is used to generate contracts; don't alter these. Extra experiments can be added if they are standard ModuleScienceExperiment type of experiments and if all of the required information is included. In-game mission descriptions are included at the bottom for each mission type.

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This part pack includes eighteen new science parts; alternate versions* of eight of my parts and seven stock science parts for the Universal Storage Mod are also included:

1eFLSGJ.jpgX-Ray Diffraction Surface Analyzer

  • A powder X-ray diffraction instrument used to make a detailed analysis of the mineral composition of the surface; the instrument's drill
    must make contact with the ground
    to obtain a sample.
  • Use only on the surface.
  • Use while grappled to asteroids.

e4DNotZ.jpgDynamic Albedo of Neutrons

  • This instrument records the reflectance of neutrons in the upper layers of the surface to determine hydrogen/water content; based on Sethnizzle's Panda Jager rover part set**.
  • Use only on the surface.
  • Use while grappled to asteroids.

KgB3m9Z.jpgSoil Moisture Sensor

  • This large L-band microwave detector can be used to study the water content of the soil and the salinity levels of large bodies of water.
  • Use while in low orbit.
  • Use while near asteroids.
  • Available in Universal Storage version.
  • Can be used as a communications antenna.

AxQnICk.jpgMultispectral Imaging Platform

  • Multiple imaging sensors are mounted on this platform, covering the IR, visible and UV spectrum.
  • Use while in orbit, includes full biome support.
  • Use while near asteroids.
  • Available in Universal Storage version.

0m7kCDV.jpgExobiology Core Drill

  • The drill is for use on atmospheric planets to search for trace levels of gasses associated with biological activity.
  • Use on the surface, includes full biome support.
  • Can collect and store up to three samples.

zH2ThOm.jpgSurface Scan Laser

  • Used to study the geology and composition of surface samples.
  • Use on the surface/splashed down, includes full biome support.
  • Use while grappled to an asteroid.

BPN07h1.jpgMagnetometer Boom

  • Measures planetary magnetic field strength and direction.
  • Use on the surface with full biome support, also used in high and low space (without biome support).
  • Use while near to or grappled to an asteroid.
  • Available in Universal Storage version.
 
  • Simple Orbital Reconnaissance Telescope
    • A 1.25m, single-camera orbital surveillance telescope
    • Shares the same experiment as the Stereo Telescope; can only collect 50% of the available science
    • Supports two pseudo-biomes: Northern- and Southern-Hemisphere
    • Can collect two samples; reset with a level 1 scientist or a science lab
    • Supports limited on-board film processing; allows for 50% transmission rate
    • Conducts a simple anomaly scan on a planet whenever science is collected; this is used by the anomaly scanner instrument and for anomaly contracts
    • Works only in low orbit, but at up to five times the normal low orbit altitude

 

  • Stereo Orbital Reconnaissance Telescope
    • A 2.5, dual-camera orbital surveillance telescope
    • Shares the same experiment as the Simple Telescope; can collect 100% of the available science
    • Supports two pseudo-biomes: Northern- and Southern-Hemisphere
    • Can collect four samples; reset with a level 2 scientist or a science lab
    • Supports on-board film processing; allows for 75% transmission rate
    • Conducts a simple anomaly scan on a planet whenever science is collected; this is used by the anomaly scanner instrument and for anomaly contracts
    • Works only in low orbit, but at up to five times the normal low orbit altitude

 

  • Radio Signals Intelligence Dish
    • Two dishes are included; one in-line, one attached to end which functions as a nose cone
    • Inline instrument is ~50m radio signal dish; nosecone dish is ~100m
    • The inline insturment can only collect 50% of the total science; the nosecone dish can collect 100%
    • Supports two pseudo-biomes: Northern- and Southern-Hemisphere
    • Conducts a simple anomaly scan on a planet whenever science is collected; this is used by the anomaly scanner instrument and for anomaly contracts
    • The dish is fragile and non-retractable; it will break in the atmosphere but can be fixed by an engineer (this requires a reload after the dish breaks for technical reasons)
    • Works only in low orbit, but at up to five times the normal low orbit altitude
    • Can be used as a communications antenna
 
  • Seismic Impact Hammer and Seismic Sensor Pod
    • A multi-part experiment for studying the interior composition of planets and asteroids using seismic wave recordings.
    • Each part can be used individually to gain science; use them in conjunction to increase the amount of science gained.
    • Place at least two seismic sensor pods at varying distances and angles from the seismic impact hammer to maximize science. The ideal distances and angles are specified in the VAB/SPH part descriptions and can be configured.
    • The seismic impact hammer must contact the surface to function; it will automatically adjust its rotation to compensate for the hammer's orientation with respect to the surface.
    • Signal lights and a right-click context menu field on the hammer and sensor pod indicate the amount of science to be gained.
    • Use while grappled to an asteroid; have at least one seismic sensor pod attached to the same asteroid to maximize science gained.
       
  • Submersible Oceanography and Bathymetry
    • An undersea experiment for studying the composition of the ocean and study the seafloor.
    • Use in both shallow and deep oceans; the depth threshold is configurable in the part config file.
       
  • Asteroid Sounding Experiment by Radiowave Transmission
    • An asteroid-only experiment designed to study the interior composition of its target. This experiment requires two instruments to be used together on either side of an asteroid.
    • Position one instrument on one side of an asteroid and another on the opposite side. Instruments can be on the same vessel (i.e. two instruments grappled to the same asteroid), two vessels nearby an asteroid, or with one vessel grappled to the asteroid and the other simply nearby. Once you have targeted the other vessel (or cleared any targets if your instruments are both on the same vessel) the sensor will find the other instrument. Signal lights and a right-click context menu field will indicate when the experiment is ready.
    • Use while near to, or grappled to an asteroid.
    • Available in Universal Storage version.
       
  • Global Orbital Radiance Experiment Satellite
    • An orbital radiometer designed to measure the total amount of light reflected from a planet's surface and/or atmosphere over a wide range of wavelengths.
    • Use only in high orbit.
    • Available in Universal Storage version.
       
  • Micro Goo Containment Pod
    • A miniature version of the standard goo pod; this high cost, late stage part can collect two samples before requiring reset; based on Sethnizzle's Panda Jager rover part set.**
    • Use near or grappled to asteroids.
       
  • SC-901 Science Micro
    • A miniature version of the SC-9001 Science Jr. Materials Bay; this high cost, late stage part can collect two samples before requiring reset; based on Sethnizzle's Panda Jager rover part set.**
       
  • Solar Particle Collector
    • This instrument is used to collect particles of planetary dust, asteroid debris, and solar wind matter.
    • Use only in space.
    • Use while near asteroids.
    • Can collect and store up to four samples.
    • Available in Universal Storage version.
       
  • Anomalous Signal Scanner
    • Scanner used to detect and study anomalies.
    • Use from the surface and while flying low/low orbit.
    • Can collect and store only one sample.
       
  • Optical Telescope
    • A high resolution telescope for visual range observations.
    • Use only in high and low space, full biome support.
    • Available in Universal Storage version.
       
  • Radio and Plasma Wave Science Antenna
    • Monitors interactions between the solar plasma (solar wind) and planetary magnetic fields and/or atmospheres.
    • Use only in high and low space.
    • Available in Universal Storage version.
       
  • Universal Storage PresMat / 2Hot
    • The PresMat Barometer and 2Hot temperature sensor are combined into one Universal Storage wedge.
       
  • Universal Storage Accelerometer / GravMax
    • The Double-C Seismic Accelerometer and GravMax Gravioli Detector are combined into one Universal Storage Wedge.
    • Both can be used while grappled to an asteroid.
       
  • Universal Storage Mystery Goo Containment Pod
    • Can be used while near or grappled to an asteroid.
       
  • Universal Storage Atmospheric Sensor
     
  • Universal Storage Science Jr. Materials Lab

*The default and Universal Storage system versions of my parts are functionally identical, they can be used together; you can safely delete the Universal Storage parts if you don't intend to use them. Be aware that many parts share textures and all parts use Model nodes, do not delete anything other than the parts found in the 'DMagic Orbital Science/Universal Storage' folder unless you know what you are doing.

**All parts based on Sethnizzle's Panda Jager were created from scratch by DMagic and use no assets from Sethnizzle.

 

Source available on GitHub

All parts have tech tree integration and custom science reports for all planets and their moons where applicable.

Change Log:

Spoiler

v1.3.8
- Fix for magnetic field and reconnaissance contracts when using a vessel already in orbit
- Fix for Seismic impact hammer experiments when decoupling or undocking from another vessel
- Fix for X-Ray and Seismic impact hammer experiments when using Kopernicus and planet packs that replace Kerbin

v1.3.7
- Fix a bug with resetting experiments with an EVA Kerbal
- Add Module Data Transmitter to Soil Moisture instrument
- Add antenna upgrade package to turn all Orbital Science antenna parts into relays and boost signal strength

v1.3.6
- Fixes a bug that was preventing the SIGINT from being used as a Comms antenna

v1.3.5
- Update for KSP 1.2.1

- Fix bug in anomaly scanner when loading with an anomaly nearby
- Fix bug in anomaly scanner animation

- Adjust CTT node positions

v1.3.4
- Fix bugs in long term contracts
	- Not recognizing vessels in the correct orbit
	- Continuing to track vessels that are no longer in orbit around the target planet

- Adjust tech tree position for some Universal Storage parts

v1.3.3
- Update for KSP 1.2

- Add data transfer function to all parts
- Support CommNet
    - Experiments respect CommNet antenna selection
	- SIGINT dish works as a long range Direct transmitter
- Detect new anomaly types
- Add KerbNet Modules
    - Terrain for Basic Orbital Telescope 
	- Terrain, Biomes and Anomalies for the Imaging Platform
	- Terrain and Anomalies for the Recon Telescopes

- Fixed error with out-of-power data return to recon telescopes
- Add toggle for asteroid scanner targetting line
- Add support for Science Relay data transmission
- Fix some error with asteroid science values not taking the Science multiplier into account
- Fix some errors with recon contract orbits
- Remove EC usage from Universal Storage environmental sensors
- Support new SCANsat EC usage
- Various KSP 1.2-related updates and bug fixes

v1.3.2
- Fixes a bug in the recon contract generation

v1.3.1
- Update for KSP 1.1.3

- Added a KSPedia entry
    - Information on the conditions required for all experiments
    - Info on asteroid experiments
    - Descriptions of all the non-standard science experiments
    - Info on contract requirements

- Indicate asteroid experiments in the VAB/SPH info window
- Fix a bug with asteroid scanners
- Remove unused experiment definition

v1.3
- Update for KSP 1.1.2

- Added new versions of SIGINT dish
    - The standard version is now 1.25m
    - A new version is added that fits on the top of a rocket and acts as a nose cone
    - The existing part is still included, but cannot be researched or purchased
    - All parts use the same experiment
    - The smaller dish can only collect 50% of the total science
	
- Combined the two reconnaissance telescope experiments
    - Both parts use the same experiment
    - The small telescope can only gather 50% of the total science; through either transmission or recovery
    - The large telescope can gather 100% of the total science through recovering the data
	
- The total amount of science each experiment can collect is indicated in the VAB extra info tab

- Asteroid spectral types have been switched to those used by Custom Asteroids
    - Only five types are now included; down from nine
    - Science results have been updated accordingly
    - Asteroid type will be pulled from Custom Asteroids if it is installed

- Fix TweakScale bugs with stack attached parts
- Add new science experiment function to TweakScale definitions
    - Increases the cost as science part size is decreased
- Fix some bugs in the API
- Fix some bugs in the anomaly sensor caused by null strings

v1.2.4
- Updated for KSP 1.1.1

- Add a new API for better mod compatibility
	- Use the standard situation and biome mask values for defining experiment conditions
	
- Add a transmitter module to the SIGINT dish; fast transmission rates, but high power usage
	- Antenna Range and Remote Tech configs not included
	
- Add search tags for all parts
- Fixed an error in the ASERT asteroid scanner
	- Both scanners need a clear line-of-sight, with nothing but the asteroid between them
- Reduce the total amount of science available from asteroids for each experiment
- Fix EVA scientist reset for non-reusable parts
- Fix some errors with lab data
- Fix error that prevented vessels on a long-term contract from being selected in the map viewer
- Fix potential errors in contracts with loading problems
- All asteroid science checks look for ModuleAsteroid, instead of the potatoRoid part
- Fix an issue with recon telescope action groups

v1.2.3
- Update for KSP 1.1

- Broken SIGINT dish no longer able to collect science
- Fix SIGINT VAB/SPH size issues

- Compatibility updates for Tarsier Space Tech
- Fix some issues with science labs
- Fix some issues with resetting the micro goo and micro mat bay

v1.2
- Added three new parts based on orbital reconnaissance satellites
   - All parts have pseudo-biome support; northern and southern hemispheres
   - Each part conducts an anomaly scan of the planet; used for anomaly contracts and the anomaly instrument

- Single-Camera small recon satellite
   - 1.25m telescope
   - Two film canisters
   
- Two-camera stereo recon satellite
   - 2.5m telescope
   - Four film canisters
   
- Radio signals intelligence dish
   - 2.5m instrument; expands to 3m in the center
   - ~100m diameter radio dish
   - Dish cannot be retracted
   - Dish will break if open in the atmosphere
   - These settings can be altered in the part config file
   - Fully re-usable
   
- New recon contracts
   - Contracts ask for a specific recon part and a specific orbit
   - Contracts are long-term, using the same system as magnetic survey contracts
   - Anomaly contracts are dependent on new recon contracts
   
- Overhaul of all contracts
   - Existing contracts will not load correctly and will not be able to complete
      - Use the Contract tab in the Alt+F12 menu to force contracts to complete
   - Extensive contract configuration options
   - Contract config file found in GameData/DMagicOrbitalScience/Resources/DMContracts.cfg
   - Config file based on the stock contract config file
   
- Fixes for seismic sensor parts
   - Seismic impact hammer no longer makes a minimum distance check
   - Impact hammer collider removed; no longer a threat of catapulting your vessel
   - Seismic sensor pod crash tolerance increased; decouple strength lowered
   - Seismic sensor pod cose, mass and size reduced
   - Seismic settings found in GameData/DMagicOrbitalScience/Resources/DMSeismicSettings.cfg
   
- Fix scaling issues for all parts
- Moved RPWS to an earlier node in the tech tree; lowered science value
- New science results text for new parts
- New science results text for OPM planets for all parts

v1.1
- Added underwater experiment
   - Can only be used while underwater
   - Can collect two data sets: in shallow and deep water; the threshold depth is configurable
   - Also includes a light

- Added seismic impact hammer experiment
   - Multi-part experiment; includes the impact hammer and seismic sensor pods
   - Each part can be used individually to gain some science; use in conjunction to increase science
   - Use two sensor parts positioned at varying distances and angles from the impact hammer to maximize science
   - Sensor pods have a built-in decoupler and are have a very high impact tolerance
   - Can be used on asteroids; have at least one sensor pod on the same asteroid to maximize science
   - The impact hammer must contact the surface to function; test your designs
   - The impact hammer will automatically detect the surface orientation with respect to the hammer and rotate to compensate

- New science results text

- Bug fixes and misc.
    - Fix animations when resetting some experiments
    - Clarify anomalous signal contract requirements
    - Magnetometer only functions as a stock ore scanner
    - Some kOS compatibility changes
    - Fix stock part and experiment request contract descriptions

v1.0.9.1
- Fixed download package

v1.0.9
- Updated for KSP 1.0.5

- Lowered maximum magnetometer ore scanning altitude
- Fixed experiment resource usage during timewarp
- Fixed XRay drill length calculations when used with TweakScale

v1.0.8
- Science report change
- Fixes a bug when collecting or resetting data from parts that store multiple experiments

v1.0.7
- Include the assembly file

v1.0.6
- Update .version file...

v1.0.5
- Updated for KSP 1.0.4

- Temporary fix for overheating Universal Storage parts
     - Increased the max temperature

- Fix bug triggered by deploying some parts in the VAB/SPH

- Added support for SCANsat v14.0 resource scanners

- Contract reward balancing

v1.0.4
- Contract balancing
      - Science rewards significantly reduced (70-90%) for all contract types
           - Magnetic field surveys have an additional science reward given after completion
      - Smaller reduction in funds rewards
      - Rep rewards are more consistent and lower

- Contract improvements
      - All science collection parameters are now placed under a parent parameter
      - Some contracts don't require all of the requested experiments to be carried out
      - Parameter notes and titles give a better indication of what is required for each contract
      - The sun is only given for the highest difficulty contracts

- Part balancing and adjustments
      - Part mass tweaked and made to be more similar
      - US part mass lowered
      - All parts are now made by DMagic, not DMagic Orbital Science and show up in the manufacturer's editor tab
      - US parts given the 'wedge' bulkhead profile
      - US tech tree position adjusted when using CTT; most parts are along the construction nodes
      - Various resource scanner and other related modules added to some parts (Community Resource Pack required for several of these).

- More Outer Planets Mod science results

- KIS support

- Bug fixes
     - Science lab processing works for all results
     - Null reference fixed when loading a vessel with an active magnetometer
     - Reduce un-needed log spam
     - Fixed a few of the US parts showing up when they aren't supposed to
     - Magnetic field surveys don't show negative time remaining after completion

v1.0.3
- Updated for KSP 1.0.2
     - Fix contracts breaking

- Part aerodynamic and thermal properties adjusted
     - Soil Moisture sensor acts as a radiator
     - Solar Particle Collector acts as a nose cone

- Community Tech Tree support added

v1.0.2
- Updated for KSP 1.0

- All textures converted to DDS
- Experiments can be reset by scientists on EVA
    - Scientists must meet a certain level in some cases
- Only scientists can start experiments on EVA
- New science definitions for Outer Planets Mod; Urlum's moons
- Community Tech Tree support temporarily removed
- Resource scanners removed
- Significant rearrangement of tech tree position for most parts

- Fixed 1.0 bugs
    - Correct atmospheric height detected
    - Proper stack node definitions
- Misc
    - Should work in Sandbox mode
    - Changes to contract titles
    - Updated Survey contracts to match stock balancing

v1.0.1
- Fix bug with FinePrint survey contract completion
- Fix debug log spam when adding the Anomaly Scanner in the VAB

v1.0
- Added Universal Storage versions of the Soil Moisture and Imaging Platform parts
- Many changes to contracts
    - Surface and biological activity contracts deprecated
        - Existing surveys will work fine, but no more will be offered; orbital surveys work the same as before
        - Stock FinePrint waypoint survey system used for surface and biological activity contracts; custom waypoint icons are included
    - Several bug fixes for anomaly surveys
        - The anomaly scanner should detect and scan properly now
        - Location hints will be consistent now; limitations in how anomalies work cause these to be inaccurate in some cases
    - Contract save/load procedures have been simplified; as a result most existing contracts will not work properly
        - Magnetic field surveys will reset to their default values; the timer resets to 100 days
        - Asteroid and Anomaly surveys may not load correctly and/or may need to be manually completed with the Alt + F12 debug menu
        - Orbital (and ground and biological) surveys should load fine
    - Magnetic field surveys will indicate how much more time is remaining in their title
        - Contracts Window + periodically updates the title
        - Stock contract window users may kindly locate the nearest back button and get out of my thread…
    - Some reward and parameter adjustments
- Loads of new science results
    - A full set of results for all completed Outer Planets Mod planets and moons
    - Complete results for RSS planets (except Earth for reasons…)
- Numerous bug fixes related to anomaly detection and scanning
- Changes to the rotating animation system used in the Anomaly Scanner and the Soil Moisture Scanner
- Several bug fixes and minor changes
- Alternate package available with DDS textures
    - You must fully delete any existing DMagicOrbitalScience folders, otherwise you will load all textures twice

v0.9.2
- Added two new science experiments
    - The high-orbit-only GORESat
    - The asteroid-only ASERT
    - New science results
- Changed installation folder
    - All spaces removed from folders and files
    - You must fully delete any old installations
- Stock satellite contracts use DMagic instruments
    - DMagic Goo, Mat Bay, Thermometer, etc... can fulfill requirement for these contracts (Thanks lwho)
    - Other DMagic instruments may be requested
- Fix bug where experiments started in one situation were conducted in another
    - i.e. starting a surface experiment and taking off before it is completed resulted in InFlight or InOrbit experiments
- Some internal code rearranging
- Road to Kosmos compatibility fix 

v0.9.1.1
- Add stock biomes reports
    - Custom biome reports are still supported
- Fix for Science Alert compatibility
- Fix for science collection on planets without biomes
- Convert resource scanning parts to Regolith
    - Requires the latest dev build of SCANsat to function as SCANsat sensors
- Compatibility with SETI re-balance

v0.9.1
- Updated for KSP 0.90

v0.9.0.2
- Fix for Universal Storage parts being added when using the Community Tech Tree
- Realism Overhaul Career Mode compatibility fix when using the Community Tech Tree
- KSP-AVC .version file updated

v0.9.0.1
- Fix to prevent existing contracts from loading improperly when upgrading from an earlier version

v0.9
- Several new rover parts
    - X-Ray Diffraction and DAN parts based on Curiosity science instruments
    - Micro-sized Goo pod and Materials bay
- New science reports and fixed typos
- Community Tech Tree support
    - All parts and science experiments have been rebalanced for the Community Tech Tree
    - Includes different tech node position, part costs, and science experiment values
- Part costs reduced for stock tech tree
- All Module Manager configs (except Universal Storage) have been moved out to separate files in the Resources folder
- TweakScale configs changed to non-free-scale, custom mode; several size options are allowed for each part
- ORSX/SCANsat Ore scanner added to magnetometer; ORSX/SCANsat Minerals scanner added to Imaging Platform
- Magnetic survey contract duration bug fixed when using Earth days
- Non-repeatable parts show how many samples can be collected in the VAB info tab

v0.8.6.1
- All textures replaced by .mbm files
      - .tga files available on GitHub repo for anyone interested
- Numerous minor bug fixes
      - Update scale and rescaleFactor values for KSP 0.25
      - Fix bugs in KAS modules
      - Storable KAS science parts can be recovered with Science Data intact
      - KSC biomes register properly
      - .version file should be pointed at the correct location now
- Tweaks to contracts and parts
      - Primarily reduced reward amounts and duration
      - Reduced initial purchase price for all parts

v0.8.6
- Updated for KSP 0.25
- New Soil moisture sensor
- New Universal Storage version of the solar particle collector
    - Updated all US parts for latest US version
- TweakScale and KASModuleGrab nodes added to all parts
    - Won't conflict with older versions of GavinZac's KAS config
- .version file included for use with KSP-AVC
- All mu and config file names changed to be more descriptive
- Fixed anomaly contract bugs
    - Anomalies with the same name are correctly identified
    - Accurate height above anomaly calculated
- A few minor bug fixes
    - Prevent loading duplicate science experiments at startup
    - Prevent null science data results
- Disabled automatic contract reset on update

v0.8.5.1
- Bug Fix for vessels deleted while registered to magnetic survey contracts
- More reliable contract reset function
      - Updating from v0.8.5 will not reset contracts
- Survey contracts will always complete when science is returned to Kerbin, regardless of science value

v0.8.5
- Implemented asteroid science overhaul
     - Asteroid science results are now based on asteroid spectral type, rather than size class
     - New and updated science results included
     - Spectral type assigned randomly when the asteroid is loaded
     - Each spectral type has a separate science pool; nine total types
     - Results from different asteroids of the same type return gradually decreasing amounts of science

- Contracts
     - Consolidated three survey contract types into one with three versions
     - Removed standard collect science contracts; survey missions fulfill much the same purpose
     - Magnetic field surveys are much more flexible, allowing multiple vessels to be used and tracked at the same time, and being more tolerant of vessel changes, orbit changes, same-named vessels, etc…
     - Improved experiment collection detection for asteroid and anomaly survey contracts
     - Anomaly surveys have much more forgiving distance constraints for experiment collections
     - All contract types have had their rewards, penalties, deadlines and other factors tweaked and optimized
     - Contracts have more varied requirements before they are first offered
     - All currently active DMagic contracts will be reset and removed (without cancellation penalties) upon initial loading

- Other Fixes
     - Consolidated redundant anomaly detection code
     - Moved anomaly scanner onto standard DMModuleScienceAnimate module
     - Removed several potential divide by zeros
     - Works with Contracts Window + part viewer in the VAB/SPH

v0.8.4.1
- Fixed a bug where anomaly contract results were not registering correctly

v0.8.4
- All contract types rebalanced
      - Rewards, penalties and expiration dates have been significantly adjusted
- Standard collect science missions now account for lower than 100% transmission rates
- Magnetic field surveys now account for vessel undocking, stage separation and docking during mission
- Anomaly surveys for Joolian moons are generated once you have visited Jool
- All science part costs increased
- Combo US science parts now available later in the tech tree
- Fixed some bugs with EVA experiment resets

v0.8.3
- Update for KSP 0.24.2
- **Experimental Release**

- Seven new contract types
    - New contracts may be buggy, consider this an experimental release
    - Procedural generated based on career mode progression
    - All science based missions
- Note that all contract reward and penalty amounts are extremely unbalanced; this will receive further attention later

- Incorporate Diazo's action group changes
- Magnetometer functions as crude anomaly detector
- Fix magnetometer connection nodes
- Properly detect atmospheric experiments

v0.8.2
- Updated for KSP v0.24
- New multispectral imaging platform experiment
- New solar particle collector experiment
- Rudimentary version of multiple-use asteroid experiments added
    - Experiments can be repeated on several asteroids, but only once on any given asteroid
- New versions of all Universal Storage parts
    - Parts are now installed in the standard empty US science bay
        - These require that Universal Storage be installed correctly and in the right location to function properly
- Universal Storage and SCANsat compatible parts configure themselves automatically if the requisite mod in installed
    - Module Manager required to work
    - SCANsat parts no longer included on separate part files
- External science monitoring/activating mods now require explicit support from me to function properly
    - Only mods the have a 'deploy experiment' type of button affected
- All experiments are EVA deployable
- A few, mostly minor bug fixes
    - Max atmospheric height is now properly determined
    - Experimental situation multipliers for flying high and in space high now use their proper values
        - This is most obvious for the sun; in space high has a multiplier of 2, in space low has a multiplier of 11
    - General cleanup for inefficient animations and part models
- Significant code rewrite for most modules
    - In addition to several bug fixes, several exciting new bugs have probably been added


v0.8.1
- Hotfix for bug causing you to temporarily lose science reports after landing, taking off, or otherwise changing vessel situation

v0.8
- Added asteroid science system
    - Asteroid specific reports can be collected while grappled to, or within 2km of an asteroid
    - Reports and science values vary with asteroid class
    - Asteroid experiments are only counted once per asteroid class (your current planet and experimental situation are ignored)
- Four new parts for use in combination with the Universal Storage mod
    - Replacements for magnetometer and RPWS; both are functionally identical to their default counterparts
    - Combinations of the four basic science experiments; PresMat/2Hot and Accel/GravMax
        - Asteroid reports available for Accel/GravMax
        - Slight changes in atmospheric detection; PresMat/2Hot measurements can be taken while aerobraking, on escape trajectory etc...
- Magnetometer simulation extended to all planets and moons; should also work on mod planets
    - Simulation update frequency reduced; should be little/no chance for performance impact
- A few minor bug fixes
- Clarified limitations on Core Drill usage in the in-game part description
- Additional science reports for asteroid science; typo fixes for old reports 

v0.7.5
- Updated for KSP v0.23.5
- New RPWS model and texture
    - Existing vessels should still work, but the RPWS might end up attached backwards
- New telescope texture, some adjustments made to the existing model
- Resized parts so that they are all more similar in scale
- Added resource usage to drill, laser, anomaly scanner and magnetometer
    - Can be configured in the part.cfg file
- Limited magnetosphere simulation for Kerbin
    - Values read-out in right-click menu, can be disabled in the part.cfg file
- Several changes to plugin code
    - Exploits for drill fixed
    - Lab reset for anomaly scanner should work as it does for stock parts
    - Most parts moved onto universal science module
- Several default science reports added, should work on any mod planets that include ScienceParams values
    - Drill should work on any planet with an atmosphere now
    - Added reports for Krag's PlanetFactory planets

v0.7.1:
- Added SCANsat BTDT function to alternate version of the anomaly sensor.
        - Can now be used for both custom anomaly science scanning and SCANsat scanning.
        - Part has a different name and must be purchased separately in the R&D center.
- Added my own telescope module to the SCANsat version.
        - Details are the same as for the anomaly sensor.
        - Both parts are found in the alternate, SCANsat folder.
- No changes to the default parts.

v0.7:
- New anomalous signal scanner. Designed for rovers and spaceplanes.
    - Used to detect and study anomalies.
    - Single use only; return to Kerbin for complete study of the science report, or transmit and reset with science lab.
- New textures for the magnetometer and laser; they fit in better with the recent parts.
- Fixed .cfg file and plugin bugs for the laser and magnetometer
    - Laser returned to its proper tech node - will require repurchase, but should not affect existing vessels.
    - A few minor changes in other part.cfg files; dropped the mass of the telescope.
- New science reports for the anomaly scanner, fixed many typos in old reports.

v0.6:
- New biological activity core drill. Designed for rovers and landers.
    - Features multiple storage containers.
    - Can be used up to six times before needing to be returned to Kerbin or reset with a science lab.
    - Two different animation modes, used for rovers or landers. Animation dependent on the drill's orientation relative to its parent part - preview animation in the VAB/SPH - use cubic octagonal struts or other small parts to modify animation behavior.
- New science reports for core drill.
    - Included support for Trueborn's Custom Biomes plugin. * Requires separate download 
    - Reports for custom biomes for the laser, optical telescope and core drill.
- Reduced values for some science experiments.

v0.5:
- New surface scanning laser instrument. Designed for rovers and landers.
- Changes in magnetometer and telescope part names to address compatibility issues with other mods (will not be backward compatible without manually changing the names or installing the alternate part folder). Re-purchasing parts in the R&D center is required.
- New model for magnetometer, includes added details to the instruments themselves, cleaner animation, and lower RAM usage due to more efficient use of textures.
- Custom part modules for all parts to address animation and science collection issues:
        - Magnetometer and RPWS animations are fully reversible while playing, animation speed for these parts is increased as well.
    - Deployed previews are available in the VAB/SPH for all parts
    - Attempts to collect science where not possible will trigger a message with suggestions about where to use the instrument; will not play the deploy animation if the part is in the retracted position.
    - Transmitting or resetting the instrument will not trigger the retract animation.
    - Repeatedly pushing the collect data button/action group will not spam multiple results.
    - The laser has only a single, forward animation. Data is collected midway through the animation.
- Edited existing science reports, and added several more. Added full set of surface reports for the laser.

v0.4: 
- New textures for all parts.
- Changed non-SCANsat telescope to be the default, for the SCANsat version replace the default scope folder with the alternate folder.
- Tweaks to models and animations for the magnetometer and telescope.
- Add Langmuir probe to RPWS model (should not break existing crafts).
- Added surface reports for the magnetometer, including biome support where available.
- Added biome support for non-SCANsat telescope in low orbit.
- Rearranged tech tree placement; parts moved to earlier nodes.
- Decreased science report values, added and edited science reports.
- Added FxModule to part.cfg to force deployment before science reports can be collected.

v0.3: Initial upload.

 

License for textures and models: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License 88x31.png

License for plugin software:BSD License

Edited by DMagic
Version 1.3.8
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I'll try it out when I have time. The modelling looks great, but the textures are definitely lacking.

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I'll try it out when I have time. The modelling looks great, but the textures are definitely lacking.

Agreed. Fortunately, DMagic was nice enough to use .tga so they're easy to edit!

Also a bump map. It needs a bump map.

Still, they look really great! I always want more science parts.

Edited by mushroomman

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The textures were a bit of a rush job. I do plan on giving them another pass and adding normals.

For now I was focused on getting reasonable sounding science reports (coming up with one sentence results for the radio plasma wave instrument is a bit tough) and making sure everything is working right.

Textures are an easy drop in upgrade though, I'll get to them soon enough.

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Together with new textures this will be pretty awesome :D Going to use this for sure ; Have my rep

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Somebody get this man a technical artist! I'll keep my eye on the development of this mod, good concept.

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Nice, really like the magnetometer, especially since the only other one with similar functionality was in the interstellar pack:)

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What are we looking at in terms of science value?

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Nice, really like the magnetometer, especially since the only other one with similar functionality was in the interstellar pack:)

Thanks, that part is nice, but the interstellar pack is pretty major, and the part doesn't even seem to animate properly without the plugin, which is one of the reasons I made this one. There is another stand alone part with science, but it also uses that somewhat clunky fold-out animation and is pretty big, which makes it awkward to attach to smaller probes. Mine is similar in size to the comm dish when it's stowed.

I have another, less-terrible, texture ready for the magnetometer, it just needs normals. But I'm going to redo all of the textures and tweak some of the animations a bit before I release an update.

What are we looking at in terms of science value?

That's something that probably needs tweaking, along with the tech tree placement. I have never really played much of career mode beyond the first few tiers of the tree, so I don't have a good sense of how much science value should be given in the later stages. Though when I was testing out the parts and science reports in career mode I found that I had to give myself a huge amount of science in the persistence file to get through the last few tiers.

For now the magnetometer, which comes early on in the tech tree (see the picture above), gives a base value of 10 science.

The telescope, if you are using SCANsat, gives 20 science for a full scan, if you use the alternate version it gives a base value of 12, but doesn't require so much time and has multiple reports for some planets.

The RPWS, which comes very late, gives a base value of 22. That might change, especially if I push it down to an early tier.

The regular multipliers apply for planets/moons (I think that is the case for SCANsat too, but I've never actually tested it), so that base value of 22 adds up pretty quick. All parts give full values for transmission, it makes no sense to do otherwise, and can be used repeatedly.

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if u want to use the boom as a atana add MODULE

{

name = ModuleRTAntenna

Mode0OmniRange = 0

Mode1OmniRange = 5000000

MaxQ = 3000

EnergyCost = 0.6

DeployFxModules = 0

TRANSMITTER

{

PacketInterval = 0.3

PacketSize = 2

PacketResourceCost = 15.0

}

}

MODULE

{

name = ModuleSPUPassive

}

to it that turns it into a 5Mm attana.

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But it's a Magnetometer, a device used to detect the direction and strength of magnetic fields, not an antenna....

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But it's a Magnetometer, a device used to detect the direction and strength of magnetic fields, not an antenna....

Yeah, I was thinking about this for a while. It's probably possible to mount a transmission antenna on a magnetometer boom, but my thinking is that it's probably not a good idea. The purpose of the boom is to move the magnetometer instruments away from magnetic interference caused by the spacecraft, so any antenna probably wouldn't help with that. Though I'm not sure if it would really matter as long as they aren't used at the same time.

I know that some spacecraft have antennas on the boom, along with the magnetometers. Galileo had a plasma wave antenna mounted at the end of the boom, I'm not sure if both instruments could be used at the same time though. I assume that any antenna can both transmit and receive, but that kind of small, omni-directional antenna would make for a lousy transmission source.

I can see why it might be nice for practical reasons, but I think I'm going to leave it without that function for now.

On another note. New textures should be ready soon, they are basically finished, I just have a few things to check. I want to go through the ScienceDefs file again, too, and maybe tweak some of the values and reports. I don't really like the tech tree placement either, I'm going to have think about changing some of their positions.

Edited by DMagic

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The purpose of the boom is to move the magnetometer instruments away from magnetic interference caused by the spacecraft

Sadly, right now the purpose of the boom is to attach a looooong stick on your craft. In other words: you can use magnetometer and RPWS without extending them.

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to me it looks better as a antanna. in actualy in my game i copied the folder then renamed the boom so i have 1 to do sceince and 1 that is for communications. plus since u can do the booms sceine without extending it it kinda makes extending it useless.

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Updated to version 0.4.

I recommend deleting the old version. At least remove the old textures because their file names have been changed.

Changes include:

- New textures for all parts.

- Changed non-SCANsat telescope to be the default, for the SCANsat version replace the default scope folder with the alternate folder.

- Tweaks to models and animations for the magnetometer and telescope.

- Add Langmuir probe to RPWS model (should not break existing crafts).

- Added surface reports for the magnetometer, including biome support where available.

- Added biome support for non-SCANsat telescope in low orbit.

- Rearranged tech tree placement; parts moved to earlier nodes.

- Decreased science report values, added and edited science reports.

- Added FxModule to part.cfg to force deployment before science reports can be collected.

SCANsat already has good models for the scanners, so I switched the other version to be the default. I added more science and some biome support for it too.

There are a lot of lander probes that use magnetometers, and they are mostly like the ones used on space probes, so I added surface support, and surface biomes for that.

I added a Langmuir probe to the RPWS, this measures plasma waves (or Langmuir waves). The probe and its short boom don't have colliders, so at worst they will just end up poking through another part if you have old crafts with the instrument on them. Sometime I'll get around to writing an explanation for what a radio plasma wave instrument actually does. It's not simple like the other instruments and most online sources are either too vague or too complex (or the classic Wikipedia problem, both) to really be helpful.

I put the RPWS and telescope on earlier nodes on the tech tree (I just realized that the experimental science is one of the empty nodes:confused:), and lowered their science report values; career mode is easy enough as is, so no one really needs such high science report values.

The "FxModules = 0" in the part .cfg file forces the instruments to deploy before they can be used. This comes with some problems, mostly that you have to wait for the animation to finish and it retracts after resetting or transmitting data, but it's probably better than the alternative. You can set deploy/retract as an action group in the VAB, but you can't select it through the right click function, just like how it works for the goo pod or the materials bay.

The new textures aren't great, but I think they're a lot better than the old ones, and at least they match each other more.

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Hmm this looks pretty good! Ill have to think about downloading this tomorrow seeing as I need something called sleep :P lol Moar science is always good :)

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Good job on the textures! Although simple dark-grey doors would look better imho (maybe the blue things should have the yellow-black stripes?), its still great. Downloading right away!

Edited by Initar

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Hey DMagic, love your mod..think there should be more science experiments in KSP so your mod is perfect...just found a small issue though.

When you deploy the RPWS and the Optical Telescope on the spacepad (I did for testing your mod)..because they are unable to do their experiment, a pop up says "Unable to collect data at the moment" or something like that, but the animation is now fixed and cannot stow the equipment...

I'm guessing just a coding error that if the experiment fails it doesn't automatically reset the experiment...

Love the mod anyways..and it looks better with every version..:D

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Hey DMagic, love your mod..think there should be more science experiments in KSP so your mod is perfect...just found a small issue though.

When you deploy the RPWS and the Optical Telescope on the spacepad (I did for testing your mod)..because they are unable to do their experiment, a pop up says "Unable to collect data at the moment" or something like that, but the animation is now fixed and cannot stow the equipment...

I'm guessing just a coding error that if the experiment fails it doesn't automatically reset the experiment...

Love the mod anyways..and it looks better with every version..:D

Thanks.

The stock science module has a few issues, and this is one of them. If you set it to call the default animation name then it disables the deploy toggle in-flight, making it impossible to retract the part until you can actually open the science report window.

It also makes the part retract after every transmission or reset, which is annoying. And it doesn't actually finish the animation, it seems to stop 1 frame short of the end. This happens for stock parts too, I notice it most with the antennas. When the comm dish retracts after a transmission you have to hit the deploy action key twice to get it to open again, once is to finish the closing animation, and the second time is to start the open animation. It's really bugs me, especially for my parts because the animations are a bit long.

For now you can set the animation toggle to an action key in the VAB so that you can open and close it whenever you want. But I plan on making custom modules for each part that keep the animation toggle available in-flight, and keep the part deployed after transmission.

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Update to V0.5

Download on Spaceport

See note below or in the .zip file about backward compatibility.

Javascript is disabled. View full album

New science part added:

Surface scanning laser instrument:

This part has custom science reports for the surfaces of all planets and moons, with full biome support.

New, custom plugin modules are included for each part:

This addresses issues with the stock animation and science collection modules. Primarily it prevents parts from playing the retract animation after resetting or transmitting data. It also supports reversible animations and prevents the part from deploying when science cannot be collected (it can still be deployed with the animation-only button/action group). The laser only plays a forward animation, and science is collected during its animation.

The other notable change is that the magnetometer and both versions of the telescope have had their part names changed to avoid conflicts with other mods, the RPWS is not effected. This will break compatibility with existing crafts. To get around this I've included an alternate folder with updated versions of the parts with their old names. You can also change the name manually if you want. The instructions included in the .zip have more details.

Full changelog:

v0.5:
- New surface scanning laser instrument. Designed for rovers and landers.
- Changes in magnetometer and telescope part names to address compatibility issues with other mods (will not be backward compatible without manually changing the names or installing the alternate part folder). Re-purchasing parts in the R&D center is required.
- New model for magnetometer, includes added details to the instruments themselves, cleaner animation, and lower RAM usage due to more efficient use of textures.
- All parts are EVA accessible, Kerbals can collect and transfer science reports.
- Custom part modules for all parts to address animation and science collection issues:
- Magnetometer and RPWS animations are fully reversible while playing, animation speed for these parts is increased as well.
- Deployed previews are available in the VAB/SPH for all parts
- Attempts to collect science where not possible will trigger a message with suggestions about where to use the instrument; will not play the deploy animation if the part is in the retracted position.
- Transmitting or resetting the instrument will not trigger the retract animation.
- Repeatedly pushing the collect data button/action group will not spam multiple results.
- The laser has only a single, forward animation. Data is collected midway through the animation.
- Edited existing science reports, and added several more. Added full set of surface reports for the laser.

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Chapter 1: Radio and Plasma Wave Science

Chapter 2: Magnetometer

Chapter 3: Telescopes and Imaging Systems

Chapter 4: Laser Ablation

Chapter 5: Core Drill and Biological Experiments

Chapter 6: Neutron Reflections and Subsurface Water

Chapter 7X-Ray Diffraction and Surface Composition

I've been thinking that I should probably explain a little bit more about what exactly radio and plasma wave science is. The other parts are fairly simple to grasp, at least on a basic level.

The magnetometer measures a planet's magnetic field. The specific model I based my instruments on are from the Cassini spacecraft. The sensor in the center of the boom is fairly simple type, a fluxgate magnetometer, which has three separate instruments to measure the magnetic field in all dimensions. The one on the end is called a vector/scalar helium magnetometer, it is quite a bit more complicated, but it basically does the same thing with only a single instrument. The reason these instruments are placed on a long, non-magnetic boom, is that the fields they are studying are very weak, and interference from the spacecraft itself can affect their measurements.

The laser is based on Curiosity's ChemCam, it vaporizes a small amount of the surface. This causes the compounds in it to release light in a very specific way, which is picked up by an imager. The telescope is simply an optical telescope, made to pick up visible light.

The radio and plasma wave science instrument is not so simple. The model I used is also based on the Cassini instrument, but these instruments are very common; some type of plasma wave antenna has been included on most of the major interplanetary probes.

Let's go through it word by word, starting of course, in the middle.

Radio and Plasma Wave Science

The plasma in question is the solar plasma, generally referred to as the solar wind. The common examples of plasma on Earth are lightning strikes (the molecules in the air are ionized and carry a huge electrical current back and forth between the ground and clouds) or gas discharge tubes, like a fluorescent or neon light. The solar plasma is the same thing, just far less dense, we're talking about a handful of particles per cubic meter. It is mostly electrons and protons (hydrogen ions) ejected from the sun, though there are some heavier ions. Coronal mass ejections (associated with solar flares) carry a much higher density of plasma.

Radio and Plasma Wave Science

Plasma waves are simply repeating patterns of movement made by electrons or positive ions within the solar plasma. While the solar wind flows mostly straight outward through empty space, its path is altered by planets and magnetic fields. Once the plasma encounters a magnetic field it can behave in several different ways. One type of plasma wave, called a Langmuir wave, consists of electrons oscillating longitudinally within the overall movement of the plasma. That is, not moving up and down like a water wave moving toward the shore, but moving back and forth like a sound wave travelling through the air.

If the overall direction of the plasma is to the right, then Langmuir waves consist of back and forth left and right movements. The plasma is moving to right below, and the dot represents an oscillating electron:

----------> <--.--> ----------->

This creates an electrostatic wave, one without a magnetic field component.

A radio and plasma wave instrument detects these waves using its antennae. To distinguish between an electrostatic wave and an electromagnetic wave it uses something called magnetic search coils. These are basically simple versions of a magnetometer instrument that don't need to be mounted on the boom. By measuring the signal from the antennae and the search coils at the same time you can determine whether the antennae are picking up waves with a magnetic field component, or without one (my model doesn't really have magnetic search coils, so I'm just pretending they're hidden away in the base somewhere).

Plasma waves are a very short-lived, short-distance phenomenon. You can't study Jupiter's plasma waves from the Earth, not directly at least, you have to send a probe there. Only when you are within this plasma can you really get a good reading of it. That is one of the reasons why these instruments are so common.

Radio and Plasma Wave Science

There are many other ways for the particles within the plasma to move, and most of these generate electromagnetic (EM) waves, waves with both electric and magnetic field components. These are generally in the radio wave section of the EM spectrum (that goes from radio waves, to microwaves, infrared, visible light, and so on). Again, these are picked up by the antennae, and readings from the magnetic search coils are used to determine what component of the signal is generated by EM waves.

These waves can be simple up and down movements of electrons within the plasma. They can also be more interesting patterns; electrons can spiral around magnetic fields causing something called electron cyclotron emissions. Radio waves generated from such movements are associated with auroras (called auroral kilometric radiation) and are found coming from Earth, Jupiter, Saturn and other planets. Lightning can also generate plasma waves (called whistler mode waves), which in turn produce radio waves.

Radio and Plasma Wave Science

And now back to plasma for the third and final component of the instrument, the Langmuir probe, a small metallic sphere put on the end of a short boom (which pops out from the side of my model). This is used to study the density and temperature (a measure of the average energy, or speed, of particles) of the plasma. These measurements give us some idea about the characteristics of the plasma.

The workings of the probe are a bit complicated, but basically it is a device that takes advantage of the fact that plasmas can conduct an electric current. It measures the current moving from the spacecraft, to the probe, carried by the plasma in between, or the reverse. Measuring the characteristics of the plasma and how they change during the probe's orbit, can tell us a lot about how the planet's magnetic field and the solar plasma interact.

Radio and Plasma Wave Science

So RPWS instruments don't give us any pictures that are easy to appreciate, they don't fire laser beams or drill into rocks, and they don't study phenomena that are easily relatable to everyday occurrences on Earth. They do tell us a lot about the solar system, even where it ends. Voyager 1 still has a functional plasma wave system, and it is one of the instruments that tells us it has left the solar system. Much about planetary magnetic fields, radiation belts, ionospheres, and even planetary rotational periods can be learned by studying radio and plasma waves.

The most well-known results of radio and plasma wave instruments are audio recordings that have been produced based on their measurements. Some of these are more or less direct conversions of plasma waves to audio, others just convert radio wave frequencies to audio signals (this is not how AM/FM broadcast radio works), sometimes compressing the results so that they are within the audible range of frequencies. There are a lot of these out there, but JPL has a pretty good selection.

And now I see that I'm over three pages in Word. So I think I'll stop. I hope this explains a little bit about how this instrument works. Most online sources are either too vague or too complicated to be of any real help. There's more to it of course, and I alluded to some other things in my science reports.

I have no special knowledge about this area. I only know what I've learned from making this part and coming up with the science results, so there are probably some inaccuracies here, but I think the general overview is correct.

Edited by DMagic
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So... this is a completely new, custom surface scanner, and not a robotic sampler? COOL!

BTW, some ideas for the next instrument(s):

1) Stardust (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stardust_(spacecraft)) - Stardust Sample Collector, in particular. OK, we don't have comets in KSP yet, so I suggest using this for atmospheric dust collection (it would be kinda fun to fly SSC to Jool and return it back to Kerbin).

0% transmit value (so it could be used only in sample return missions)

2) Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Magnetic_Spectrometer) - big, heavy part intended as station module

Edited by biohazard15

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