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Thread: [0.24 0.23.x] RCS Build Aid v0.4.6

  1. #1

    [0.24 0.23.x] RCS Build Aid v0.4.6

    This is something I made for placing RCS thrusters in the right positions in the first try without having to go back and forth between the VAB and the hacked gravity launchpad.

    Features:
    • Display thrust and torque forces caused by RCS or engines.
    • Delta V readout for RCS.
    • Dry center of mass marker.
    • "Average" center of mass marker.
    • The CoM marker represents better the situation in flight.
    • Ability to resize editor's overlay markers.
    • Display total mass of resources.


    RCSBuildAid supports blizzy78's toolbar, if you have it installed, enable RSCBuildAid from there. If you don't have the toolbar installed then you enable RCSBuildAid by enabling the center of mass marker. Once you enable the plugin you should see RCSBuildAid's window show up. Press the RCS button or any of the translation flight control keys, the "hnijkl" keys, and then you should see something like this:

    Cyan arrows represents thruster forces, the green arrow represents the translation motion (or thrust). The red arrow represents the torque force in your vessel, if you have a red arrow then your ship will rotate when trying to translate in docking mode. So all you have to do is place your RCS thrusters in a way that eliminates this force. The red circular arrow is an indication of how fast the vessel will rotate. The red CoM marker is the dry center of mass (DCoM) which represents the center of mass of your vessel when it doesn't have any fuel (in the picture, without liquid fuel, oxidizer or mono-propellant, but is configurable).

    Check the imgur album for some examples

    This plugin is incompatible with KerbCom Avionics. If you're interested in using both plugins then I suggest to poke ZRM about it.




    Sources are in the zip file and in github.
    Licensed under LGPLv3.
    Code:
    This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.
    
    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
    GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.
    
    You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License
    along with this program.  If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.
    Last edited by m4v; 20th July 2014 at 11:45. Reason: reported to work in 0.24

  2. #2
    Mad (social) scientist Mihara's Avatar
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    Sounds very promising!

    /me grabs it to try it out in the next design binge.

  3. #3
    Great idea!

  4. #4
    Just tried it!

    You sir are my hero!! I just balanced my RCS of most of my crafts to pixel precise accuracy in less than a minute. I then did a quick test with one of the crafts and rcs is perfect, going up/down left/right means no unwanted rotation!!
    You... made a man cry. This is... perfection!!

    Thanks alot, this plugin is priceless for me!

    BTW, would this be possible to adapt it in some way so to be able to show the shrinking center of mass thing depending on which object I select in VAB? Say I want to have my center of mass be in the perfect center of my main fuel tank, I would select the fuel tank as being the reference object and whenever I would add things then the CoM would get smaller the more closer from the center of the fuel tank it would get. That way if I would endup having the CoM be almost invisible, I would then know that my vessel is balanced on the fuel tank (meaning that emptying the fuel tank wouldn't shift the CoM, thus keeping the vessel balanced at all times during flight).
    Last edited by SVoyager; 15th June 2013 at 12:10.

  5. #5
    Thats a nifty little plugin!

    Is there any chance you could provide some other maybe numerical cue to indicate the balancedness of the vessel?

    Because what I have seen from my quick spin I gave it is that the center of mass gets really small to a point where you cant see it but it is still there. Actually knowing that is is zero would be fantastic rather then having to second guess the placement.

    Also what the guy before me said. That would make your plugin even more compelling!

  6. #6
    Mad (social) scientist Mihara's Avatar
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    Tried it out. Damn, having that just a week ago would save me a LOT of pain when docking yesterday.

  7. #7
    2nd Assistant Lackey Jack Wolfe's Avatar
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    Looking forward to trying this out!
    So, physics! Physics, eh? Physics! Phyyyysics! Physics, physics, physics, physics, physics. I hope you're getting all this down...

  8. #8
    Looks brilliant, will definitely give this a try. Thanks!

  9. #9
    2nd Assistant Lackey Jack Wolfe's Avatar
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    So far, it works just like it says on the tin! Now to see how it behaves with increasingly complex designs.
    So, physics! Physics, eh? Physics! Phyyyysics! Physics, physics, physics, physics, physics. I hope you're getting all this down...

  10. #10
    Just in case I'm going to point that the thing that is getting zeroed is the torque force, the shrinking CoM is a gimmick I came with since otherwise the arrow will sink inside the sphere and you couldn't know if is getting smaller or bigger.

    Quote Originally Posted by SVoyager View Post
    BTW, would this be possible to adapt it in some way so to be able to show the shrinking center of mass thing depending on which object I select in VAB? Say I want to have my center of mass be in the perfect center of my main fuel tank, I would select the fuel tank as being the reference object and whenever I would add things then the CoM would get smaller the more closer from the center of the fuel tank it would get. That way if I would endup having the CoM be almost invisible, I would then know that my vessel is balanced on the fuel tank (meaning that emptying the fuel tank wouldn't shift the CoM, thus keeping the vessel balanced at all times during flight).
    I'm not sure if it is what you want but you can do something similar if you do the process backwards (ie, place the RCS thrusters first and build the vessel last) I mean, you put your orange tank or whichever as first part, place the RCS thrusters, check there's no torque force, and then build the rest of the vessel. As you add parts the CoM will move and a torque force will start showing, this time around instead of repositioning the RCS thrusters you will have to move parts around for keep things balanced.
    But I think that trying to keep things balanced will only work for a vessel with one tank only, since fuel is always consumed one tank at a time unless you start transferring fuel around things will get unbalanced. With mono-propellant since it's consumed in all tanks equally you can solve the unbalancing by placing tanks in pairs and in symmetry, not so with liquid fuel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusk View Post
    Is there any chance you could provide some other maybe numerical cue to indicate the balancedness of the vessel?

    Because what I have seen from my quick spin I gave it is that the center of mass gets really small to a point where you cant see it but it is still there. Actually knowing that is is zero would be fantastic rather then having to second guess the placement.
    You can't make the torque force disappear, you can't make it zero exactly. If you can't see the CoM then the torque magnitude is really low, like below 0.09. Anyway trying to get almost exact to zero is worthless because your ship will get outside of that value the moment you burn some fuel.

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