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About KerikBalm

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  1. So now you want them solar powered? Moving goalposts? Well, here, this one reaches the island airfield without using the fuel cells... and the battery is only half depleted: But they've changed the rotors since then: The consumption is so low that it can circumnavigate kerbin on internal fuel. But wait, I said low consumption right? It can be easily solar powered now: Even with moving goalposts, you have no argument
  2. I carry my rockets to space with a plane, what do you call that? The 2nd stage is sort of a plane still, its got enough wing to land when empty, but its more like a rocket, and I use it to put mostly rockets into space. The recoverable 2 stage system gets slightly higher payload fractions than the old SSTO system, but doesn't use nukes at all (the SSTO system had abysmal payload fraction without use of nukes)
  3. No, plasma thrust is not based on ionization energy. It is based on the ability of ionized particles to interact with magnetic fields. Atoms must first be ionized, and that takes energy. Low Ionization energy means less energy goes into ionizing the atom, so if you have a limited supply of power, you can use more energy to accelerate the ions if you use an element with a lower ionization energy. Now, chemical reactions are based on electron swapping, and ionizing stuff is stripping the electrons off of them, so there's that problem. However, a larger problem is simple the sheer difference in power levels. Consider a single RS-25/SSME, 452 Isp, 2280 kN. Exhaust velocity is basically 4.44 km/sec. Now to generate 1 kilonewton of thrust by expelling mass at 1 km/sec, you need to expel 1 kg per second. The SSME would be expelling mass at 4.44 km/sec, and for 2280 kN needs to expel 513 kg of propellant per second. The kinetic energy of propellant per second is determined by 1/2 MV^2, so 0.5*513*(4440)^2= 5056538400 W or 5.06 GW. To increase Isp by 1% would require a 2% increase in propellant energy (1.01^2 = 1.0201). 2% of 5.056 GW is 2% of 5056 MW, or 101 MW. You'd need 100 MEGA watts of power to increase the SSME's Isp by 1% 300 MW for all 3. You think the dry mass of that machinery is going to be worth a 1% increase in Isp? This is of course assuming 100% efficiency. FWIW, solar energy at earth is about 1 KW/square meter, and the most efficient solar cells are about 30% efficient. The most efficient ion engines are around 70-80% efficient.. lets say 80%. So for increasing propellant KE by 100 megawatts, you'd need to capture 100/0.3 /0.8 = 416 MW of solar energy. This would then require 416,000 square meters of solar panels. So a 644 x 644 meter solar panel would do it... to increase 1 of 3 SSME engine's Isp by 1%. On top of that, Ion engines are more efficient the faster they eject material, because that way more energy goes into KE of the propellant, and less (as a %) into ionizing the propellant. An engine increasing SSME exhaust velocity by 1% would barely be giving the propellant a nudge, but would have to spend a lot of energy ionizing all that propellant. Energy efficiency would plummet (your solar panel area or nuclear reactor size would skyrocket... your rocket would not) You'd have a hard time supplying that much power with a nuclear reactor, solar panels are out of the question. Ion engines only work for very long burn times, with low power output and low TWR. Chemical engines are the opposite. Combining them will have the strengths of neither. You'll have poor TWR, still have a poor Isp, and your dry mass will be terrible resulting in reduced dV. If you're going to go with a nuclear reactor for power, use an NTR. If you're going to go with solar, you won't be able to accelerate any meaningful amount of reactants from a chemical reaction. Even using a tiny tiny tiny chemical engine with a massive solar array won't work well because you aren't using propellant optimized for use in an ion engine, nor an optimal ion engine design. Really, if you want high Isp and high thrust, nuclear or antimatter reactions are pretty much the only way to do it. Beamed power can be interesting too, but wouldn't work in deep space/the ship wouldn't be independent.
  4. Perhaps this thread is of interest to you?
  5. I started a new career in my custom 3x system, skipped a lot of grinding by setting very high starting funds and science. Still took a contract to scan and return a volcanic rock from Kerbin... which I modded to show up in the badlands, along with geysers (as if the badlands were a volcanic place like yellowstone). On a 3x planet, its quite a trip, I got there, got the scan. I started with 1350 units of LF, I got back with less than 5... I guess I estimated pretty well, but I didn't think I was going to make it. I was also doing the explore contracts without wanting to skip ahead, so I launched a recoverable mission for a mun flyby. This screenshot is good at demonstrating the difficulty of SSTO and 100% recovery at this scale. Not very close to orbit yet, but would be in orbit already and then some at normal scale.
  6. Its worth noting that when you don't want to move a part, you can lock it in place, at which point part autostrutting is allowed across the joint, and it can be much more rigid. However, setting part locking as a toggle to an action group isn't a great idea, and its a really bad idea to set part lock AND motor engagement toggle to an action group is a terrible idea. If a part is still moving you'll get an error message that it can't lock while moving, and as a result of flexing or whatever, some joints may lock and others might not. Pressing the toggle action group again may lock some joints that were previously unlocked, but it also unlocks joints that were locked. This is a big problem on my multi-engine tilt VTOLs. So I use 2 action groups, one to just lock joints (that I can spam until they all lock), and one to unlock. I have motor toggle on a separate action group, so I can ensure all joints are locked before disengaging the motors (to save EC on certain designs)
  7. There's science to funds instant strategies, and there is rep to funds instant strategies... but nothing to instantly convert funds to science. I suppose something like an instant "outsourced R&D" could be usefull. They have a "Patents Licensing" strategies, so maybe a "Patents Purchasing" that gives you instant science at the expense of funds?
  8. Well, I'm working on a small helo that can deploy from a mk3 cargobay using the new helo blades. I have 4 of the medium sized helo blades, they aren't at 90 degrees to each other, more like 15, 165, 15, 165, so that they can fit in the mk3 bay without adding additional parts for a folding mechanism. 2 of the tiny rotors are used, with their max torque turned down (un necessary, but saves power consumption and weight). 1 Rtg powers it, and it can break 50 m/s with a full science kit (including large scanner arm, and experiment storage container), it was getting close to 60 m/s. With its weak rotors, it took a while to spin up to 460 rpm, but it was able to keep the rotors at that speed in the thin air. I was testing it in my scaled up and custom modded system, which makes flying on Duna a bit harder, as Duna's gravity gets increased 25% (0.3 G to 0.376 G -> ie martian gravity). The 3x rescale of body radius and SMA doesn't really affect flying on Duna. Terrain height got rescaled to 1.5x, and I made the atmosphere 90km high (1.8x) so the highest parts on Duna are in a little thicker air (but stronger gravity). THere was also a height offset lowering elevation a little so I could have some terrain below 0 meters (stock duna's lowest boing is 120 something meters), and have standing water at its lowest points.... Anyway... its still pretty comparable. My first attempt to see how high my helo could fly ended in disaster, after climbing slowly at first, I kept adjusting blade pitch until I reached 30 m/s upward velocity. I did not adequately adjust blade pitch once climb rate slowed, and I found myself reaching a maximum height, then falling down, the fall reached over 70 m/s, and it took a while ot realize that I needed to lower blade pitch into negative values to maximize lift and get optimum blade AoA. I was only able to slow my fall to 20 m/s before impact. Flying around mostly horizontal went well, but that thin air means that you can't change your velocity very quickly, so you need to control your vertical descent rate well, or there simply won't be enough air to stop you. Still, its perhaps too slow for my taste. I may want to make a horizontal prop plane with folding wings for faster traversal of Duna. The rocket powered VTOL with a mk3 cargo bay that I'm using can get the science helo rapidly to the general vicinity of a desired location, but at 3x, its dV margins are thin, and I dislike straying from the equator in what is meant as a surface to orbit shuttle.
  9. Yesterday I was testing a duna* helicopter that would fit in a mk3 cargo bay, and carry science gear. It worked well and SAS wasn't going all funky (like it does on Kerbin, I guess its due to thinner air and less forces on the blades). I could get about 50 m/s forward velocity on it, which was nice, and it was completely solar powered. Then I tried to see just how high I could take it. I eventually got it to a pretty good climb rate of about 30 m/s, and I ended up climbing much higher than I could sustain (over 7km). The problem came when my upward velocity dropped, I was slow in finding the optimal blade pitch, I found my craft plummeting down at over 70 m/s as I was trying to get the blades to the right angle and to slow down and arrest my descent. I opened up the alt-f12 menu and looked at the aero data GUI. I eventually found I was getting the largest upward force (and larger than the force of gravity) with negative blade pitch because I was falling so fast. I managed to slow my descent to 20 m/s before I impacted the ground... the cockpit survived... Looks like I'll need to be careful with the way I fly around on Duna, I can easily find myself in an unrecoverable fall because that air is so thin. I also didn't reach an altitude corresponding to the highest altitude on Duna, so I've got more work to do to make this practical. *It was a modded duna though, 3x rescale to radius and SMA, 1.5x rescale to terrain height, 90km atmo height (9/5ths rescale), and a height offset + water added so it has bodies of water at its lowest points.
  10. Actually, all the changes I've done I haven't yet updated. As I tried to explain, the planet packs don't really need updating for new versions - it is Kopernicus that needs updating when new versions come out. I only need to update for scatterer and kopernicus if they change something. Well, I released Rald by itself, but I also made a few other space rocks and released them as a pack along with Rald. I wanted to add stuff to the inner solar system (so as to be compatible with OPM, you don't want two major planets crossing orbits), and I didn't want to unrealistically pack the inner solar system. So the space rocks I added are as follows: 1) Ike to Mun sized body at Kerbin's L5 point. Based on this: hypothesis , in this case the mass that accumulated at L5 didn't grow to mars' size and remained stable (I'm still going to say that one at L4 did grow to that size, and that gave us Mun). I think its a good addition because there's essentially no transfer windows, and its a low gravity body that doesn't take so much dV to reach, and it could be a good "beyond Kerbin SOI" trainer. 2) 2 new space rocks (Vot and Pact) based on the asteroids Vesta and Pallas (the 2nd and 3rd largest asteroids). Dres gets scaled down to be a more proper Ceres analogue. Thus its more like an asteroid belt with small bodies orbiting between Duna and Jool. While these bodies are less interesting than Dres, if you want to go to somewhere between Duna and Jool, there are more options and thus its more likely a transfer window to one of them will be nearby. 3) Minmus gets moved out to keep Vot, Pact, and Dres company... Thus completing the "asteroid belt" of OPM. 4) As I had limited places to put Rald where it wouldn't interfere with the orbits of other planets, and it wouldn't seem unrealistic with liquid water on its surface and ice caps at the poles, I wanted it to either be a double planet with Kerbin, or a double planet with Duna. With Kerbin it looks really cool, but I wanted it to be a bit more work to get to, and that also makes it more valuable in a role play scenario as a 2nd home for Kerbals just in case something happens to kerbin (such as the L5 body being perturbed and striking kerbin, which would make enough ejecta to probably screw over Rald too if Rald was a moon of Kerbin). As for the DLC, at the moment I don't know what to do. A simple text file in the same format as ROCSdef.cfg in my modpack can add and modify surface features to the stock bodies (such as geysers in Kerbins Badlands, underwater basalt formations, icebergs on Kerbin's ice shelves). Doing the same thing doesn't work for Kopernicus created planets. If Kopernicus updates to fix this, my mod planets/moons/asteroids will get surface features. As its just 1 text file adding them, it should work fine without them.
  11. Ummm but we do have the tech, at least the major parts of it. Shock absorbers? check Shaped charge nuclear bombs? check Materials fur use on the pusher plate? check Sure there would be a lot of engineering involved in putting the components together, and getting it into a working space ship, but there is no fundamentally new tech that needs to be developed. Orion is a rocket, not a conventional continuous thrust one... and antimatter shaped charge bombs would work as well, so you can have an antimatter orion (but as it will need working mass for the pusher plate, you won't have you exhaust as gamma rays... unless you've got some pretty exotic pusher plate) ... Un supported assertion. Would it be uncomfortable? yes. Would the ship be perfectly dampened? No. Can crew chairs be dampened additionally? yes. For interplanetary voyages where high thrust departure is desired, at an average of 1 g, even 1 hour of thrusting gives you 36 km/sec, your crew only needs to endure a about 2 hours of thrust for departure. At these velocities, oberth isn't so important, and you can break it up and have rests. For interstellar voyages, you can drop the average acceleration down to something like 0.1 G, at which point active damping can easily be made to compensate. Agreed
  12. On the right there is what looks like a stack of whit squares. Check the box for points of interest, and that will show you the highest and lowest points on each body (low is usefull for Duna, if you have some lander that works better with more atmospheric pressure) Or use color relief to just find places that are really high, but also close to the equator.
  13. So I checked wikipedia again, and they claimed 97% from fusion, not 99%. Either way... technically speaking its a fusion reactor that gets well past break-even. It was just a single use fusion reactor :p
  14. Yes, the weaponized design would have had an additional fission stage. The wisely and thankfully removed that stage to limit the radioactive fallout created. The result was 99% of the energy was from Fusion. IIRC, the additional fission stage would have doubled its yield, and made it roughly 50:50 fusion:fission.... that is assuming all the added yield came from fission (and not increased fusioning as well), and their calculations were accurate. As it was actually built and tested it was 99:1 fusion:fission. If we regard the fission reactions as the energy input, then the fusion output exceeded the energy input by about 2 orders of magnitude. That's far beyond "break even". Its also an energy output that will destroy cities, not supply them with electricity.
  15. ^this^ Also, we've had Fusion energy since 1951 was it? The Russian's built the largest ever fusion reactor, its energy output was about 100x its energy input. I'm speaking of course about Hydrogen bombs and the Tsar Bomba. They used a fission reaction to start the fusion reaction, but in the case of the Tsar bomba, the fission reaction only supplied about 1% of the device's energy output, the other 99% was fusion. We just don't really have good a way of releasing that fusion energy in a more controlled, less destructive way. Unfortunately, fusion seems to operate better at higher energy levels, there are large economies of scale. If we wanted to make a fusion powered spacecraft, there's always the Orion drive. In theory, one could build a massive underground device to capture energy from H-bombs, as a way to make energy from Fusion. The problem is making reactors that don't release peta-joules worth of energy in a tiny fraction of a second, but still release energy at a high enough rate to make up for losses in the system maintaining the reaction conditions. We've got nothing between a few hundred kilowatts (in a system requiring megawatts to maintain reaction conditions), and... I don't even know how many watts, Yota watts? whatever you call it when hundreds of Petajoules are released in... I don't know, 1/100000th of a second?