godefroi

[WIP] OrbitSnap - Keep your RemoteTech commsats in proper formation!

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I finally got around to trying RemoteTech, and I am really enjoying it. Putting together the commsat formations is both challenging and enjoyable. One thing kinda bugged me, though, and that was that even in the event that I managed to put a satellite in an -absolutely perfect- orbit, if I ever needed to "fly" the vessel to re-point a dish, for example, the orbit would shift and lead to (eventual) gaps in communication.

I am obsessive-compulsive by nature, and this needs attention.

Therefore, OrbitSnap was born. The (imagined) design of OrbitSnap is that once you get a vessel into a "close enough" orbit to one of a set of previously defined orbits, the addon will "snap" the orbit to the defined orbit, and therefore eliminate any (tiny) perturbations that may have been inflicted as you adjusted your antennas. Depending on the strength of the "snap", the addon could also be used to correct orbits upon placement, instead of requiring one to spend time at 1% thrust making minute corrections (even the RemoteTech tutorial suggests save editing as an alternative to these micro-adjustments).

I haven't made a binary build, as the code is currently quite rudimentary. There is currently only one defined orbit (the suggested orbit in the RemoteTech tutorial), and it's defined in code as opposed to a config file or (ideally) a GUI. Also, the "strength" of the snap is not configurable currently.

While I'm perfectly capable of doing much of this on my own (writing C# code is my day job), I am not at all experienced with Unity or KSP modding. I am putting this out there for others that might be interested in contributing and asking for help on some aspects, chiefly the GUI.

The code is hosted on GitHub, at https://github.com/godefroi/OrbitSnap. I'm also very open to suggestions, if there are any.

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Very interesting...This problem has also bugged me for a long time...Not to the point where I get loss of comms or holes in the network, but it has peaked my OCD when, if after an hour of fiddling, I DO get a perfect orbit, it never lasts long, whether I simply rotate the craft, or even just leave it alone for several (Kerbin) days...

If you DO make a mod of this, it wont be RemoteTech dependent, I assume?....I would really like something I could use on a 12-24 Kerbal GPS (Figaro) constellation as well...

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No, there's nothing RemoteTech specific about it. You could set up any orbit you like around any body.

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I've updated the code on GitHub so that it now loads orbits from a configuration file (once, on startup). That means that it could be useful to a wider audience now, even if it has no GUI or any other way to interact with it.

I still welcome any pull requests.

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He-he, in those cases I usually make reserve satellites, like a 4, or even 5-6 satellite constellation instead of 3. :)

Although, I like very much the idea of having auto-adjustments via thrust (maybe try RCS too?). It makes it more realistic than just snapping to ideal orbits.

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That could easily be done, but my OCD merely requires them to be perfect, not perfectly realistic :)

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Can you make it possible to snap to a user-defined orbital period only? For communication or geostationary sats it matters more than the orbit shape, and I like that the orbits don't have to fit perfectly as long as the orbital period is the same.

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Very good initiative, but this should be realy part of RemoteTech, why haven't they implemented something like this?

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Very good initiative, but this should be realy part of RemoteTech, why haven't they implemented something like this?

Maybe it is out of scope for a mod that is about probes and communication systems?

I think I prefer them to be separated too, so people that doesn't want to use remote tech can get still this awesome mods for orbit stuff.

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Maybe it is out of scope for a mod that is about probes and communication systems?

I think I prefer them to be separated too, so people that doesn't want to use remote tech can get still this awesome mods for orbit stuff.

Well asking players to modify their saves just to get a stable orbit should be enough reason to at least offer some basic function to snap orbits.

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Can you make it possible to snap to a user-defined orbital period only? For communication or geostationary sats it matters more than the orbit shape, and I like that the orbits don't have to fit perfectly as long as the orbital period is the same.

In the current version of the code, any combination of orbital elements can be snapped (or not snapped). That means, if you only want to snap the semi-major axis (which defines orbital period), you can do that. The mod doesn't help you with the math, though, you have to specify the semi-major axis.

There's also a bugfix in that it doesn't re-snap all snapped vessels every time it processes them (which is about once every two seconds). No real problem with that, but it's unnecessary work.

Further, you now get a message when it snaps an orbit, so you know it actually worked.

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So, any life left in this mod?
Any news whether it works OK in 1.0.5?
How about at least posting a test release that can be downloaded?

Edited by Stone Blue

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