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Found 20 results

  1. Where can I find Ion engines and how do I put them to use? They don't make much sense to me.
  2. I once made an ion craft in a sandbox game and spun it out to Duna but it was able to do it in a single burn. When I watch videos on youtube I often see people doing multiple burns at periapsis to take advantage of the oberth effect, which I get. What I don't know though is how do you calculate what burn you need to do the transfers? Obviously you can't set up a single node ( or maybe you do ) for a single burn and surely after say 5 burns the planet your orbiting will be a day or 6 ahead in it's orbit so how do you know if you're still on target? The only video I've seen that even briefly covered how to do it was one of Matt Lowne's but it was very brief, I didn't quite get it the first time around and now I can't find which video it was. Can someone explain it to me or direct me to a guide on the subject?
  3. I've published a new version of Gossamer Albatross [KerbalX] with enhanced balance & controls. UPDATE: Albatross has been retired. Please try Gossamer Anisoptera... You'll love it. I'm opening a topic on it because it's not so trivial to fly. The Albatross is a great tourist vehicle (24 pax) -- a "lo-grav flitter" -- to see the Mun et al. "up close and personal". Pre-flight check-list: AG7 extend sails RCS on stage the ion drive (you may need to create a dummy stage before it to make Space bar work) toggle AG0 and ensure that the Puff engines are shutdown AG8 hover mode SAS on, SFC mode, Radial Out Lift-off: engage full thrust (Z) climb to a safe altitude select SAS Hold (press and release F momentarily) AG9 flight mode Cruise: use F to defeat SAS Hold momentarily while adjusting the craft attitude use attitude to vector ion drive thrust AG0 to engage horizontal propulsion via the MP Puff drive Landing: by the time you get to this, you will have figured it out hint: you can use the throttle to carefully adjust your sink rate hint: you can use the RCS translate thrust for enhanced deceleration hint: if you get desperate, you can turn tail and use the Puff drive (AG0) to decelerate. hint: its got wheels. if you can't land like a chopper pilot, then align the wheels with your direction and land it like a plane. WARNING: THIS MACHINE TURNS INTO A PUMPKIN AN HOUR BEFORE DUSK. HAVE IT ON THE GROUND OR IN ORBIT BY THAT TIME AT ALL COSTS. The manufacturer claims to have orbited this machine from the surface of the Mun. With sufficient skill and iron nerves, it ought therefore be possible to land it, too. [Your speed may vary... [Although your altitude will always come back to zero!]] Refueling: via a Klaw to be attached to the small girder at the rear of the spacecraft. Deployment: Attach it to a lander via the top dock and sky crane it in OR use HyperEdit if you just want to joy-ride the machine. You won't be disappointed. OR *NEW* you can download a fully-equipped world save file: (UPDATE: the Albatross Pylon Challenge will be updated shortly to use the new Anisoptera...) Pireps made here would be appreciated...
  4. I have been away. Had an intense and torrid love affair with Elite Dangerous - which will only run in Windows. Most of my games are installed in Linux which meant I didn't play anything else but ED for a few months! Having had Windows force an update while I was playing ED ( and in combat no less, the digital rug was firmly pulled from under my feet) my system, set up as it is, defaulted to Linux on reboot so Here I am again! To get back into KSP I thought I'd try something in Sandbox before getting back into my proper career mode game and after killing Jeb on re-entry after a Mun Orbit or 3 using an example ship ( I really should have done some breaking maneuvers, I just didn't realise I had no heat shield ) I decided to see what ion thrusters were all about. They say they can go anywhere so I built the "Go Anywhere Seat". It has 19,600 m/s DV. Enough RTG's to run both ion engines at 50% power indefinitely the solar panels should make up the rest ( I hope ) even so the 1k battery can recharge off the RTG's in deep space if the sunlight is too little.. here it is in all it's glory with Valentina on the nose in the seat! Now, the thing is, it only has 4kn of thrust. I thought KER said 0.4 TWR when building which would have been fine and dandy. However it's only 0.04. Now I know this thing CAN fly anywhere. Just how to do it. For example a minmus transfer orbit is a 46 minute burn. So I know I'll need to do several burns to increase AP to the desired distance. What I want to know most though is how do I get encounters when navigating using multiple burns like that?
  5. My ship had no shaking problems last night but when I load today on any of my 3 or 4 saves with this ship it shakes itself to pieces. Very repeatable. Nobody appears to have a solution on the forums so I guess I have to relaunch. I needed to modify the ship anyway. I used autostrut on almost everything and set it to various modes. I also used rigid assembly on a lot of the ship. The following was written before I encountered the shaking. Ion engines can be useful. I meant to build a rocket with some ion engines to fine tune navigation, but I ended up with nothing but ion engines for three quarters of the trip to Laythe. Set a course near Kerbin with the last of my big fuel engines and then found I was 800,000,000 meters off. The sun was pretty dim. I had 20 ion engines and about 12 gigantor solar that were actually getting sunlight. I could leave all the engines on for about 20 seconds and then the batteries would be totally drained. It seemed to take about ten minutes to recharge after turning the whole ship 90 degrees to get a little more light on the panels. Then I'd have to turn the ship back before the 20 second burn. That got very tiresome so I noticed that I was constantly moving closer to my target even with a little thrust in the right direction. Seemed like if I could just keep thrusting a tiny bit for a little more than an hour I'd be able to skim the atmosphere. I ran the engines at about ten percent power and got the ship on course. Dealing with this kind of problem and rationing my thrust seemed very real, very immersive. Very satisfying when my fiddling about actually got me the precision insertion that I wanted. Too bad I didn't know enough about Laythe's atmosphere. As my course got closer I shut down all but one engine in each pod of five engines, but that was still too much power. I wanted to hit at 15,000 feet because I didn't want to come back out of the atmosphere and smash into Jool which was huge and right in my path. I shutdown all but one of the ions. Oddly, as I thrusted towards my target I was moving away. The engine wasn't on the centerline of the ship so I guess it was rotating it and pushing me in the wrong direction. I activated the other engine across from it and started moving closer to 15,000. Got it to 14,986. That's what the ions are good for, setting up your encounter with the atmosphere and controlling your entry within fifty feet instead of 50,000 feet. I close the solar and communications dish and inflated the heat shield, pointed it prograde. Not very exciting in real time, even when you're between the two huge bodies. I got closer and things went very fast. The heat shield turned red and then the whole rocket turned sideways. Everything started blowing up and blowing away, but then I slowed down and popped one chute. I was heading for the ocean. The chute slowed me down enough for a water landing where I could watch the sky for a few days. Jool took up a huge part of the sky, but I only saw one, tiny moon. It appeared to be circling, but I don't think that's true. Not sure which moon it was. It popped up behind Jool, a small bead, and moved almost vertically. If I was going to do it again, I'd go for a higher orbit, maybe 25,000 meters or more, maybe even 40,000. try to slow down and get caught in orbit, but not land. Experimenting with this might have been nice but the ship shakes itself to pieces every time I reload now. I don't think it did that last night. Pretty sure I reloaded last night. Originally, what I intended to do with this rocket was control my final stage with a mixture of fuel and ion engines. I'd set the engines to different action groups and when I needed a precise atomospheric insertion, I'd turn off the liquid fueled engines and just use the ion engines. Maybe another action group to turn off all but one ion engine. I started work on that but got all confused by fuel flows and the game changing numbers that I'd tediously entered and doing things that weren't intended or making any sense.
  6. Hey all, so I've been trying to build a mars tranfer vehicle somewhat in the vein of Hermes (from The Martian). For me, it's an 80 ton, crewed, ion propelled spacecraft. Unfortunately, when I got it assembled and fueled in orbit, I discovered that my mod install had reduced the thrust of the engines from 2 kN to 0.25 N which is 8000 times less thrust, and KER told me a 10 m/s burn would take 4 hours and change (8 engines). I am obviously going to have to rethink my plan, but that's actually not my main point of interest. \ All this got me wondering, how would a real world ion rocket leave earth orbit for an interplanetary transfer? I am very experienced with using multiple perigee kicks to make low thrust escapes, but the thrust of real life ions is SO low that this isn't possible. Even if I halved the mass of my rocket to 40t and tripled the number of engines, it'd still be more than half an hour for 10 m/s. At that rate, it'd take more than 300 kicks to reach escape velocity. I know that all real world ion spacecraft to date have been lauched into heliocentric orbits using chemical rockets, so I'm not sure it's actually possible to use such a low thrust system for earth escape. There are however, several hypothetical vehicles, both fictional and real concept designs, that do appear to exclusively use ion propulsion once in orbit. Does anyone know what kind of trajectory would be used? The only one I can think of is a very long spiral up to very high orbit, and from there on to deep space. However, I imagine this would eat up an absurd amount of dV, so it doesn't seem like a good option for anything except maybe a solar sail vehicle. Ion drives in stock are time consuming, but you can basically treat them the same way you would small chemical rocket engines like the LV-1. With realistic ion drives though, I don't have the first clue how to use them. Thoughts? Ideas?
  7. Mr_Kerbal

    Ion Engines, Good or Bad?

    After recently sending a probe to the Mun, I have came across some issues regarding the Ion Engine, but rather than list everything bad about it, I've decided to turn this into a conversation. What are your pros and cons of the IX-6315 "Dawn"? Please feel free to post your opinions on this topic below! - Mr_Kerbal
  8. Please post your craft using dawn ion drives. Why did you choose dawn over something like nerv? Is this a craft built "for fun" or is it a career game workhorse? I'd love to hear all about your design decisions and engineering choices. (if this repeats a thread, please post link? Happy to just continue conversation there.)
  9. Does anyone have any experience and/or tips regarding the use of ion engines when voyaging between Kerbin and Moho? (Pardon me if this has been discussed elsewhere. Search seems inop at the moment.)
  10. Omegagoldfish

    The Ion Express

    After an "unfortunate accident", all of the liquid fuel tanks at the KSC were ruptured by angry gophers. While, inexplicably capable of functioning in atmosphere, these tanks will violently explode once they reach orbit. Sadly, however, a Mun mission is scheduled, and the tourists don't want to wait for things like "supplies". However, an intern found that the helium supply for the balloons was actually xenon. With no other option, the mission must go on. THE RULES: Once you reach LKO, you cannot use any liquid fuel or solid fuel engines. Monopropellant is only allowed for RCS systems. Orbit the Mun and return in as little time as possible, and bring a minimum of two kerbals with you.
  11. Please excuse my crude physics. Since both VASIMR and ION drives work on the principle of accelerating propellant magnetically, presumably you can improve efficiency by increasing the length of it / adding bigger more magnets for more acceleration? I'm probably gonna make a VASIMR and i like doing engines capable of driving things bigger than probes. Presumably i should run on more logic than 'make it bigger'. Thanks!
  12. For small SSTO probes or larger, long term long distance SSTO travel, I feel like our 0.625m Dawn ion engine needs a bit of love. Well. Not the Dawn engine itself, but the Ion engine mechanic. We have a huge whopping/gaping hole in Ion engines or Ion fuel tanks which desperately needs filling. Sure, we have nuclear engines... I guess? But they are also somewhat limited to LFO, and man - that stuff's heavy! Xenon gas and electric power is as light as air!... Hence... "Gas". Bad pun, huh. As more ION engines are needed/wanted, this is an idea for an SSTO based Ion drive: An inline Ion engine which doubles up as a jet engine. Mode 1: Liquid Fuel, wet mode. It should be moderately inefficient with this mode due to its upper stage efficiency. Mode 2: Ion Xenon/Electricity mode. Slightly less efficient than the Dawn drive, but has 1.7KN extra thrust. This is because the engine is a 1.25m/MK1 drive. Like really, who builds a 0.625m SSTO? Just put it in a bay! But when efficiency Is needed, it would be awesome to have a 1.25m/MK1 Ion engine. And with that? 1.25m xenon tanks. In use with the Gigantor solar array, I think this could work rather well.
  13. Am I doing my interplanetary burns correctly? When travelling to Duna and the rest of exterior planets, my escape burn from Kerbin must be done on the night side of the planet to make use of the optimal ejection angle. This is of course is a problem with ion engines, so right now I'm dealing with it by doing multiple burns in consecutive orbits around Kerbin. Am I missing something, or it's inevitable due to orbital mechanics to have to burn on the night side?
  14. I attempted to capture a Class-E asteroid (HSJ-227) using an ion-powered pusher, it actually worked, but I need to make some adjustments and learn how to aerobrake better. the system was designed to be fully recoverable, which is just as well, due to the cost of the whole thing. perhaps my next attempt will be successful.
  15. Wcmille

    Ion Engine Cogeneration

    Anybody tried pairing Dawns with Nervs? How'd the go? Can't tell if the boost (Nervs have alternators) is worth it in practice.
  16. When the game was still in Beta I see that folks managed to create electric powered ion planes. I missed out on all that, but wanted to see if it was still possible to do something remotely similar. I used tweakscale to boost the size of the Ox-Stat panel as much as possible , and covered my wings in them... (also note the thrusters have been boosted to 1.25m diameter, and the larger Advanced Canard) I knew that the Ion thruster wouldn't produce much thrust in the lower atmosphere, so i stuck a jet engine on the back with the idea to jettison high up, and fly to orbit and beyond on ion power. Unfortunately, it looks like these panels made my wing really draggy. Even after firing up my stack of Dawn thrusters (an extra 60kn), we're not able to pass the sound barrier at 12km. I suppose I could have tried flying even higher, but it doesn't bode well. Also, we've used most of our jet fuel. I guess if the sound barrier is our target, i should have swapped the Rapier for a Panther or two, which are more efficient. Worse, it appears midday sun at the KSC only makes enough electricity for about 12kn. That won't cut it. Fuel cells perhaps, to boost us to orbit? It looks like the only way to do this is to mod parts. Wing with flexible conformal solar cells that add no drag and not much weight. High power high temperature 1.25m fuel cell that can run off atmospheric air and hydrogen/LF.
  17. Mr_Kerbal

    Ion engine rovers

    Following my recent post on the pros and cons of Ion Engine and the overwhelming amount of response, I've noticed that a few of you fellow kerbonauts use ion engines mainly for your rovers. That's the background of this challenge. -- Mission -- Get to Minmus using a stock only lifter that has a rover powered by ion engines only (No delta V). Then you must land the rover/probe on the surface and drive around. While there be creative, maybe add some science parts for those of you in career mode? That is about it for the mission, if you attempt and/or complete this mission share your screenshots and your experiences on this thread! Thanks again, - Mr_Kerbal
  18. I know this may sound silly, but there should be some way, to get xenon from some sort of air intake or something. Also, maybe some different solar panels/ ion engines? I love all of these things. I love efficiency, can you also maybe add just overall more efficient engines? Oh ,and stock life support if u have time *wink* I understand that it has to be realistic, to me the more realistic the better anyway, thx -Me-
  19. Hi all, I've made this little guy awhile back but hadn't the time to post it. Anyway here it is. It fly's OK but I made it mostly for aesthetics so I'm happy with it. the one thing that threw me (and Carolltie) off was...well... clipped landing gear. Yeah. The Kraken drive was actually rather controllable (as K drives go) when i switched to the lander when it was 2 Km away it would stop and loading quicksave turned it on. Never the less I removed the landing gear on the Mk 2s. Here are some more pics of it on Minmus I have some photage of the K drive but I haven't edited it yet. Hope ya' like it! Planetfall