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While KSP simulates atmospheres with variable depths and densities it lacks dynamic weather limiting its utility as tool for exploring concepts in atmospheric science. Kerbal Weather Project was developed to remedy this. In KWP, weather and climate data from a state-of-the-art global circulation model was incorporated into KSP gameplay. This was accomplished through a global hourly climatology, enabling players to experience diurnal and spatial variations in atmospheric conditions. In addition, point weather data is provided for Kerbin launch sites, giving players the option of experiencing dynamic weather conditions that change from day to day. KWP features a text-based GUI showing remotely sensed weather data (in space) and in situ weather data (in the atmosphere). Compatibility KWP works with stock KSP and should work with the vast majority of KSP mods. KWP has been tested, without major issues, in a KSP 1.10 playthrough with 220 other popular KSP mods. That said, KWP may conflict with mods like real heat that modify the stock game's aerodynamic or thermodynamic system. KWP can still be used with these mods as KWP's override of the stock thermodynamic system can be disabled in the settings menu. KWP is compatible with the aerodynamics overhaul: Ferram Aerospace Research (FAR). Note that since FAR overrides KSP's thermodynamic system, pressure and temperature data from KWP will not affect flight dynamics when FAR is installed. Note that FAR may not be compatible with the latest version of KSP. Background Kerbin weather and climate analyses were produced using the Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS; Skamarock et al., 2012) a state-of-the-art atmospheric general circulation model developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). MPAS was run for six-years (1st year: spin-up) at a resolution of 2 x 2 decimal degrees. Fortunately, Kerbin’s atmosphere has the same chemical composition as Earth’s. In MPAS, terrain and biome data from KSP were used to classify land use, vegetation type, green fraction, and other geographical datasets. In addition to land surface modifications, several changes to MPAS were made to enable more realistic simulations of Kerbin's atmosphere. These changes are listed below: Axial obliquity was set to zero. Orbital eccentricity was set to zero. The solar constant was set to 1360 W/m2 The day length was set to six hours (21600 s) The Coriolis parameter was multiplied by four. An hourly global climatology of Kerbin was developed by averaging the results of the five-year MPAS simulation, by the hour. Results from this simulation were incorporated into the game via KWP. Required Mods Toolbar Controller Click Through Blocker ModularFlightIntegrator Recommended Mods Kerbinside Remastered - adds launch sites compatible with KWP. Note that the lite version of KWP does not include weather data at Kerbinside launch sites. KerBalloons - Launch weather balloons! Atmospheric Autopilot - makes flying during windy conditions a little easier. Downloads and Installation Instructions Full Version (84 MB): High resolution climatology, 5-years of weather data at stock and Kerbinside launch sites. GitHub: https://github.com/cmac994/KerbalWeatherProject/tree/master Spacedock: https://spacedock.info/mod/2607/Kerbal Weather Project Lite Version (13 MB): Low resolution climatology, 1-year of weather data at stock launch sites. GitHub: https://github.com/cmac994/KerbalWeatherProject/tree/lite Spacedock: https://spacedock.info/mod/2611/Kerbal Weather Project - Lite See the links above for information on how to install KWP. Alternatively, you can just use CKAN. KWP Animations Weather Animations Simulated Infrared (IR) Satellite Imagery for Kerbin (Each Frame = 1 day) Light colors = high clouds or cold surface; Dark colors = low clouds or warm surface Precipitable Water (PW) on Kerbin (Each Frame = 1 day) Note vortices of high PW in tropics... those are tropical cyclones (hurricanes)! Upper level winds on Kerbin (Each Frame = 1 day) Surface Temperature on Kerbin (Each Frame = 1 day) Climatological Animations Average Temperature by Height Average Wind Speed by Height If the above charts are bit challenging to decipher check out the chart interpretation page on the mod webpage. KWP Gameplay A crewed weather balloon being carried away from the launchpad by northeasterly trade winds. An uncrewed glider flies into a strong headwind and ends up traveling retrograde! A polar orbiting satellite passes over the KSC providing remote sensing weather data along its track SRB Recovery with and without wind. Additional Information For more screenshots, animations, and information about KWP check out the official mod webpage. The science behind KWP, as well as its potential as an educational tool, will be presented at the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in January 2021. A link to the AMS poster presentation is provided here. In addition to weather and climate analysis, the mod webpage provides several demonstrations detailing the effects of KWP on atmospheric flight and reentry. A series of short-stories are also included to highlight how KWP can be used for both shenanigans and serious science! What KWP Does: Adds climate and weather data to the stock game Climate data varies geographically, vertically, and diurnally. Point weather data varies with height and time and is valid only for a fixed location. Modifies air pressure, density, and temperature on Kerbin affecting the aerodynamics and thermodynamics of flight. The scale height of the KWP atmosphere is higher (8.5 km) than in the stock atmosphere (5.6 km). Consequently, air pressure and density will decrease more slowly with height when playing with KWP enabled. This makes re-entry and SSTOs a little more challenging. As noted above, if you'd prefer KWP not affect KSP aerodynamic and thermodynamics this can be selected in the KWP settings menu. Provides a text-based GUI for visualizing ambient weather, vehicle velocity, ground track, vehicle relative winds, and aerodynamic variables (e.g. mach number, shock temperature, etc.) What KWP Does NOT Do: At present, KWP does not add any parts or new visual effects to the game. KWP provides a framework for understanding what the weather on a planet with Kerbin's geography and orbital characteristics might look like. The results of the MPAS simulations (detailed on the mod webpage) could provide inspiration for fellow modders to create more realistic cloud cover and visual effects for Kerbin. KWP does not include orographic circulations or other small-scale circulations (e.g. thunderstorm cells). This is a limitation of the coarse resolution MPAS simulations from which KWP was derived. In KWP vertical wind speeds are typically very small (< 1 m/s) so unfortunately, aspiring glider pilots will not be able to stay aloft indefinitely by riding the wind. Future Work KWP provides a framework for implementing weather in the stock game. A rudimentary weather and climate API has been included with KWP. With this foundation laid it is my hope that real-world science missions, like the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM) and the Geostationary Operational Environment Satellite (GOES-R), could one day be emulated in KSP or KSP2. Mods such as SCANSat and Orbital Survey Plus may be one way to realize this concept in KSP, by facilitating the mapping and visualization of climate data for science. Other possibilities include real-time charting or logging of weather balloon sounding data, similar to what is performed twice daily here on Earth. These pursuits could serve as educational tools for teaching basic concepts in atmospheric science. Acknowledgements KSP Developer Squad and KSP creator Felipe Falanghe. KSP modding community - specifically forum users @linuxgurugamer, @JoePatrick1, @Fengist, @DaMichel, @NathanKell, and @DMagic. These mod developers, by publishing their code publicly, provided a valuable teaching tool which facilitated many of the advancements implemented in KWP. Without their prior work, incorporating weather data into KSP would have been exceedingly difficult. License: MIT
The KSP forum moderator's team presents the Threads of the Month February 2021 edition Greetings, fellow forum members, As you can see, I've decided to do this month's thread of the month. Normally, I run from such things because I am more of a background kind of guy. But for some reason, I felt like volunteering to do this. Maybe it is caused by the never-ending and no end in sight lock downs, the ever growing stack of junk to grade already this semester. Maybe it's a combination of the two. Who knows, but as I told the moderation team a while back ago, hell would have to freeze before I'd volunteer to do the thread of the month. I guess hell froze! One of the neat things of being a part of the moderation team is the ability to give back to the Kerbal Space Program community - and one of the ways we do that is to listen to your voices in selecting the threads of the month. This month, we'll look at two categories of mods. These were the top mods selected by those who participated in nominating threads for February: General Community Thread of the Month: This category features a thread that adds to the community and doesn't fit in the game support/game mod categories. This mod was nominated by members because... who hasn't, at some time, had the problem of not knowing what to name your latest creation? This thread by @Timey has a list of possible names you can use. Have an idea of ship names you'd want to add to this thread? Please do! Game Support/Game Mod of the Month: This category features a mod which adds to the quality of life gameplay of Kerbal Space Program. For February, we have two mods that tied for the top honor in this category: This mod was nominated by several of you and is something that a lot of others have asked for from even the earliest version of the Kerbal Space Program. This mod adds WEATHER to Kerbin! I am sure this mod by @cmet24 will be something many will enjoy! This mod was also nominated by the same number of forum members. It's a planet pack and it features something from the Star Wars universe - the First Order's Planetkiller base! @RJVB09 has done a great job of merging the two together. Honorable mentions: Each month we get so many good nominations to choose from. Sometimes it's a challenge to choose which threads are going to receive the honor of being the Thread of the Month. But because not every thread nominated each month can be selected, there are always those that become honorable mentions. The honorable mentions for February 2021 are: KSP Resolutions for 2021 Don't Click This [1.8.0-1.11.0] Atmosphere Autopilot 1.5.16 Honorable mentions for February may not have made the Thread of The Month this month, but if you think they might be worthy of another opportunity, please renominate it! Congratulations to all the winners of the Thread of the Month for February! We'd like to thank @The Doodling Astronaut, @AlamoVampire, @VoidCosmos, @Spaceman.Spiff, @woeller, and @Superfluous J for the nominations! If you find a thread you feel should be considered for next month's thread of the month, then use the "report comment" feature (the three dots on the upper right corner of the comment box) to report the comment. Please put in the text field of the report post "Nomination for thread of the month" and we will do the rest! You can always nominate more than one thread, too. In case you missed January's thread of the month, you can click here.