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I present to you fine spaceplane enthusiasts... the Kerbal Wind Tunnel mod! We all build spaceplanes to fly faster and higher, but how do you know how fast or how high your current design can go? In the real world of aircraft design, engineers calculate the flight envelope for their aircraft before the first test flight rolls out. This mod runs your spaceplane through a virtual wind tunnel while still in the SPH and predicts its engine and flight performance at every speed and altitude. It also gives you a readout of various performance curves, plotting against angle of attack: ... and velocity: Try it out and start building even better spaceplanes today! You can even output the data to a CSV file to incorporate knowledge of the performance data into a KOS script or the like! Check out this Imgur album for more details on these images and more: https://imgur.com/a/D2i4Fge Download it from GitHub: https://github.com/DBooots/KerbalWindTunnel/releases Or SpaceDock: https://spacedock.info/mod/1927/Kerbal Wind Tunnel Source: https://github.com/DBooots/KerbalWindTunnel Released under the MIT License (with sub-components under their own license). P.S. This mod incorporates a pretty sweet graph-drawing library I made. If anyone's interested in super-simple graphing of data, hit me up.
All I wanted was to figure out how much excess thrust I had for my spaceplane along its ascent profile. And then I wanted to know the lift curve slope and level flight AoA so I could program my kOS spaceplane autopilot better. Next thing you know, I'm writing a mod to work in the Spaceplane hangar to calculate flight envelopes, alpha curves, and so much more. And it works, sort of totally! Check out the release thread here: https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/177302-ksp-142-kerbal-wind-tunnel/ This shows that the Aeris 4A has a ceiling of about 22km and a max speed at sea level of about 790m/s and a max overall speed of about 1360m/s at around 14km using its air-breathing engines. Then, at 15km and at 964m/s its level-flight AoA is 2.8 degrees and it has 365kN of excess thrust. Great! But now I want to freshen up the GUI (thanks @TriggerAu, but this was clearly designed for Transfer Window Planner ) and add in Lift, Drag, and L/D curves for a given altitude and mach number. I also want to move to using background threads for calculating (right now, I either hang the program for 20 seconds while it calculates that graph or put up with artifacts from my non-thread-safe implementation on the BackgroundWorker, as you can see). First, some credits: Thanks to @linuxgurugamer and @Boris-Barboris. I learned a ton about the aerodynamics model from your Correct COL mod. Also your method of drawing line graphs is coming in handy for the lift curves I'm working on drawing. Thanks to @TriggerAu. I learned a ton about making the graph from your Transfer Window Planner. And thanks to the MechJeb team. I'm using a lot of your tricks to make things more thread-safe.
This report/analysis seeks to answer the question: What would the future of the Kerbals look like? Specifically in the time frame of say, 100-300 years, a future firmly ingrained in realism and hard Sci-Fi.. I’ve had the idea of creating a story set in that approximate era, but being an extraordinarily extravagant idea, this series is dedicated to finding out the specifics. I also hope that this series will help future writers help flesh out their futuristic universes as well. Things to Note: -There’s a fair amount of mods used in this series—but i’ll try to keep it at minimum -Nothing too implausible will be used (no warp drives, but certainly nuclear fusion) -If you’ve got an idea for a chapter, let me know! -Want to contribute directly to the project? Come to the ToughSciFi discord, where this series has a channel for itself. -It helps to read the comments, since some bring up some good points -When writing these chapters, I do tend to assume that kerbals have a similar physiology to humans... But greener and smaller? -The goal of this series? Consider all the essentials for world building a futuristic Kerbol System -For engines I try to mix info from the game and real life, but the pros and cons, as well as the uses sections generally reflect the in-game depiction of the engine -Since I have both near Near Future Electric and KSP-I installed, a modifier lowers the output of KSP-I stuff* *I later chose to just work with the power output in KSP-Interstellar, so I amended most of the chapters to reflect this Table of Contents PROPULSION Chapter I—Atmospheric Propulsion Chapter II—Electric Propulsion Chapter III—Nuclear Propulsion Chapter IV—Fusion Propulsion Chapter V—Mixing Propulsion Systems Chapter VI—Beamed Power THE PROCESS OF COLONIZATION Chapter VII—Colonizing Moho Chapter VIII—Colonizing Eve a. Colonizing Gilly Chapter IX—Colonizing Kerbin Orbit Chapter X—Colonizing the Mun Chapter XI—Colonizing Minmus Chapter XII—Colonizing the Duna System Chapter XIII—Other Propulsion Systems Chapter XIV—Colonizing Dres Chapter XV—Colonizing Jool Chapter XVI—Colonizing Laythe Chapter XVII—Colonizing Vall Chapter XVIII—Colonizing Tylo Chapter XIX—Colonizing Bop and Pol Chapter XX—Colonizing Eeloo ———————————————————————————————————— Chapter XXI: Non-Rocket Spacelaunch—Part One Chapter XXII: Non-Rocket Spacelaunch—Part Two Chapter XXIII: The Ship Design Process I Chapter XXIV: The Ship Design Process II Chapter XXV: Depicting the Future In KSP ———————————————————————————————————— PLANETS OF A COLONIZED KERBOL SYSTEM Chapter XXVI: Who and Why Would Kerbals Colonize Space? Chapter XXVII: Moho in a Colonized Kerbol System Chapter XXVIII: Moho in a Colonized Kerbol System, Part Two Chapter XXIX: Eve in a Colonized Kerbol System Chapter XXX: Eve in a Colonized Kerbol System, Part Two Chapter XXXI: The Kerbin System in a Colonized Kerbol System, Part One Chapter XXXII: The Kerbin System in a Colonized Kerbol System, Part Two Chapter XXXIII: The Kerbin System in a Colonized Kerbol System, Part Three Chapter XXXIV: The Duna System in a Colonized Kerbol System, Part One Chapter XXXV: The Duna System in a Colonized Kerbol System, Part Two Chapter XXXVI: Dres in a Colonized Kerbol System Chapter XXXVII: The Joolian System in a Colonized Kerbol System, Part One Chapter XXXVIII: The Joolian System in a Colonized Kerbol System, Part Two Chapter XXXIX: Eeloo in a Colonized Kerbol System ———————————————————————————————————— SPACE WARFARE IN KSP Chapter XL: Overview of In-Game Space Warfare Chapter XLI: Approaches to Depicting Space Warfare Chapter XLII: Space Warfare, In-Game Chapter XLIII: Combined Approach Space Warfare & Epilogue Craft Files: The Uncatchable Swift Mod List (Incomplete): Further Info (I mainly cover topics when applied specifically to KSP, these cover a broader range of topics) Without further ado, let's get started! Chapter I: Atmospheric Propulsion "It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a nuclear-powered hypersonic ramjet airliner!"-Linus Kerman A hypersonic, heavily-modified concept version of the Stearwing A300 that utilizes nuclear ramjets Perhaps we should start with something that is readily available to kerbals—flight. With jet fueled engines it is possible to reach speeds of over Mach 5. While that is excellent, major problems arise from its use—large portions of the plane are reserved for fuel, not passenger space, and a large amount of funds are used on fuel. Preferably there should be a way to reach those speeds without fuel... A conventional 16-passenger hypersonic aircraft, almost half of its takeoff mass was dedicated to fuel. The main focus of this chapter is thus about finding new ways of (supersonic) aviation. The way in question (with the mods available) is the powerful nuclear jet, generally produced in two varieties; turbojet and ramjet. On Kerbin they achieve speeds similar to that of the liquid fuel jet planes, with higher thrust. They perform exceptionally well on all atmospheric bodies, with tests on Duna achieving orbital velocity. Without the need to load fuel, planes could be lighter and take less time to be able to fly. A basic fighter design that can reach hypersonic speeds and reach space on Eve. Such designs could easily outmaneuver jet fuel enemies, but you probably don't want a nuclear jet flying over your own territory... Duna, where nuclear ramjets achieved an apoapsis of ~5000 km Disadvantages Sadly, this is where we must look at the disadvantages. There’s one obvious one—the radiation hazards. Shielding (though we must take in the "future tech" factor) would be very heavy, and of course nobody would want to sit next to a nuclear reactor (10% flight ticket discount for sitting next to it?).That said, they could still be used on special SSTO launches in certain areas. Second, they would be expensive (likely initially and maybe for maintenance), which would make their flights high-priced but also keeps them from being used for missiles (Well, except for the fact that the TORY ramjet part is based off a supersonic nuclear bomb delivery method called Project Pluto...). A 64-Passenger concept aircraft that would use nuclear jets, with a conventional rocket thruster to reach orbit, at which point it can safely return with a powered landing. Provided enough shielding is given, they could be practically everywhere in locations with poor infrastructures and no alternatives, a fate likely for the planet Eve. How Would I Use This In a Story? As a method of getting around on planets, and the best part is that you can actually make the plane in game, so you don't have to resort to pure prose or drawings. As for part of the story, I'm not exactly sure what they might be used in, but perhaps a radioactive crash involving such a plane could have be a plot point... End of Chapter One: Atmospheric Propulsion Next Time: Spacecraft Propulsion (Electric) Thanks for reading!