Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 39

Thread: The Use of Ion Propulsion?

  1. #1

    The Use of Ion Propulsion?

    Has anyone found a useful purpose for ion propulsion?
    I've tried using an ion drive on the smallest possible probe, and the burn time for interplanetary travel was hours or days.
    I can't imagine more engines would help much either due to their tiny thrust not outweighing the significant increase in mass which the required structural changes would cause.

    I know about the solar glider, but there's not much purpose to exploring Kerbin, and normal jet fuel lasts a long time, so I don't really see that as a "useful" purpose.

    Answer: Only use them if you are crazy hardcore or value fictional efficiency over your time.
    Last edited by Liudeius; 25th July 2013 at 20:04.

  2. #2
    I did find useful purpose for it:using a very hight efficient engine.
    It's can also be used for make (very)fine tunig of your orbit.

    Anyway,I never use it:I prefer our old friend atomic engine!
    My rockets never crash, they just perform an unplanned landing.

  3. #3
    Rocket Scientist MalfunctionM1Ke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Trier, Germany
    Posts
    836
    Well... you could use it as a pocket heater
    Gravities on Ground (m/s²) - Gilly 0.049, Pol 0.373, Minmus 0.491, Bop 0.589, Ike 1.1, Dres 1.13, Mun (Moon) 1.63 Eeloo 1.69, Vall 2.31, Moho 2,7, Duna 2.94, Jool 7.85, Laythe 7.85, Tylo 7.85, Kerbin (Earth) 9.81, Eve 16.7

    Harvester and Mu talking about how Kerbal Space Program works at Unite 2013

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by goldenpeach View Post
    I did find useful purpose for it:using a very hight efficient engine.
    It's can also be used for make (very)fine tunig of your orbit.

    Anyway,I never use it:I prefer our old friend atomic engine!
    Fusion Drives are my drive of choice.
    Professor Farnsworth's Doomsday Devices

    "I suppose I could part with one and still be feared."

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by goldenpeach View Post
    I did find useful purpose for it:using a very hight efficient engine.
    It's can also be used for make (very)fine tunig of your orbit.

    Anyway,I never use it:I prefer our old friend atomic engine!
    Only if you're willing to sit at your computer for a day to even break orbit.
    But yeah, I use nuclear engines too for long flights (though for me that works out to be a 5 minute burn, not a five hour - five day burn).

  6. #6
    Junior Rocket Scientist Anton P. Nym's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    513
    I'm typing this while running a 1hr 32min ion engine burn designed to get a small probe into an aerobrake with Duna. It takes a long time, yes, but the fuel burned in this maneuver is too light to bother measuring... making the booster I used to get the probe this close a lot lighter.

    Of course it's not as good as some of the modded engines out there... I think I'll close out this 0.20-era game-save with another try at getting an Orion nuclear pulse rocket out the same way to see if the new SAS/ASAS treats it more gently than the previous Kraken-bait version did. But I've also made a glider probe with solar-powered four ion engines that I can use to "kick" it up when I need to climb, and (I think) it can fly on Eve for as long as I care to toodle it around.

    -- Steve
    ARRO AEROSPACE: serving the Kerbal Aerospace industry since the 20th era.

    I launched an Arro into the air; it came back down I know not where.

  7. #7
    Capsule Communicator
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Two floors below ground, sitting down and facing front
    Posts
    1,712
    I've used ion engines to boost a very small satellite out to geosynchronous orbit around Kerbin; took a few hours to do. I also know of one guy who used them to provide downward thrust on a rover design successfully.

    The chief problem with ions is their lousy thrust-to-weight ratio, especially when you consider the mass of the equipment you have to use in order make them work (2 Gigantors, a Xenon Tank and the thruster = 1.07 tonnes). All that and you get a thruster with half the output of an RCS block...a maximum acceleration of 0.5 m/s^2. And that's with no payload.
    Last edited by capi3101; 25th July 2013 at 08:39.
    My first account was splashed in the Great Coffee Spill of 2013.

    (0.23) Kosmokerbal Commendation (Mün), Advanced Pilot Precision Award 1stClass

    In space, no one can hear you pass gas...

  8. #8
    Rocketry Enthusiast CosmicX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    97
    I guess when career mode is fully implemented they will probably be very useful to cut fuel costs... if you're willing to leave your computer alone for a couple of hours while you complete the burn.
    "The Guide says that there is an art to flying," said Ford, "or rather a knack. The knack likes in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." - Douglas Adams

  9. #9
    They're pretty. That blue glow is just too cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malaugrym View Post
    Discovered here are the rewards of challenge and failure.
    Seriously, call Kenny Loggins, 'cause you're in the Danger Zone..

  10. #10
    Looks like no appreciates efficiency here. Also unless you're going out to jool orbit you don't need two gigantors for an ion engine to work. A single gigantor produces 18 e/s while an ion engine consumes 14.442 at full thrust. Leaving about 20% extra. Using them to go interplanetary by themselves a bit crazy, but then you are if you don't use physics warp with ions in the first place. The longest burn I had to do was ~12 min, with physics warp cuts that down to a reasonable 3 minutes. Usually I have a boost stage to get them to their destination and deploy them from there.


    Mechjeb states that each these have 4.3K Δv for a 12 part 1.4 ton object. I have an entire jool mission documented to prove that these Ion Engines can do it: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/...Space-Splitter
    Last edited by WhiteWeasel; 25th July 2013 at 08:56.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •