Kurld

[RETIRED] PEBKAC Industries: Launch Escape System

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NOTICE:  As of 2018-06-22,  @linuxgurugamer has kindly agreed to take this mod over. Any applicable license to this mod is hereby transferred to him, exclusively. I'd assume he may/will start a new thread for this mod. I won't be supporting it any further. It's been fun and thanks for everybody's patience, assistance and kind words and encouragement.

I will ask the mods to lock this thread. All future discussion should take place on the new thread.

 

See the imgur album for screenshots.

Thanks @Kottabos for doing a nice video review!  The PEBKAC parts actually start around 2:30.

 

Recompiled for compatibility with KSP 1.3.x  I have not done any localization, nor do I plan to do so. If you want to create a localized copy, let me know and we will figure out how to make it happen.

It seems to run OK with 1.4.1 but I have not examined any of the DLC yet.

This add-on is a set of parts I created because I was a little dissatisfied by the stock Launch Escape System (LES). The PEBKAC Industries LES (PKI-LES) is designed to more or less simulate the Apollo and Mercury LES's used in real life. 

The LES for the 3-naut capsule features a totally non-functional Boost Protective Cover (BPC), launch escape motor, tower jettison motor and a small pitch control motor/nosecone and canard assembly. The canard assembly deploys roughly 8 seconds after the launch escape motor runs out of propellant and serves to help orient the escaping CM toward retrograde. It now includes a science experiment to simulate the "Q-ball", which contained atmospheric/aerodynamic sensors which were part of Apollo's "Emergency Detection System".

The LES for the 1-naut capsule is modeled after the one from NASA's Mercury capsule. It didn't have any pitch motor or canards.

The included plugin allows you to automatically conduct abort procedures. Just add the parts, hit the "ABORT" key and everything will take care of itself. Use staging to jettison the LES after a successful launch. Or you can add the jettison command to an action group if you prefer.

I based all of the non-performance-related details (cost, tech-tree, etc) of the PKI-LES on the stock parts. Many of the other details were tweaked to be more realistic. One big difference is that the PKI-LES has a much total thrust than the stock part from Squad. The mass (and centers of mass) of the parts were extrapolated from the Apollo and Mercury LES and scaled to be proportional to a "stock" CM assembly. I tweaked the aerodynamic properties to be (IMHO anyway) closer to reality. The end result is a more or less realistic flight profile. From the launchpad, the included example craft should reach the ocean upon initiating an abort. Also included in this version is a LES for the 3-naut capsule which has no BPC. Aside from this visual change, the part should function identically to the other Mk2 LES.

The plugin code to make is compatible with the LES for the SDHI Service Module System. It should be flexible enough to use with pretty much any other LES out there.  If you find one you want to use and can't figure out how to use my plugin to automate it, drop me a PM.

The download includes a sandbox save-game which has two example craft using stock parts showing how the PKI-LES is supposed to be assembled and configured.

Finally, if you play career-mode, you should eventually get some flight-test contracts for the PKI-LES parts.

 

Edited by Kurld
transferred to another modder

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So, if my launch doesn't go as planned, I use this to get my crew to safety? Otherwise I have no idea what this all means :D.

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You ever tried using the KSPX LES, Kurld?

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Cool! It works very well and even looks nice. I was waiting for a proper LES mod with a protective cover with the docking port in mind. I usually make it with the stock LES and procedural fairings but now I'll definitely use this.

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Bomoo: no I haven't. I'll try to take a look at it, sooner than later, though.

Clythoris: yes, that's the um, idea.

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I'll try to get one up later today from another computer.

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NuFAR players may find that the boost protective cover has better area rule performance than a bare capsule. That sharp transition from cone to cylinder is expensive.

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Could you make a version without the cover? For use with Ven's stock revamp?

SmallFatFetus

I'll see what I can do. Not a lot of time recently, but doing this shouldn't take long.

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Could you make a version without the cover? For use with Ven's stock revamp?

SmallFatFetus

Assuming that Ven's revamp is the same size/proportion as the actual stock part (I don't use that mod); I've added a version to the download that has no aft BPC (the forward cover "nosecone" sits basically flush on top of the 2m capsule).

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Thanks for taking the time to make this, it works great with the SDHI Service module system!!

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Release version 1.05. Finally am able to get rid of the staging icons. I also added some new flame FX from MP_Nazari's excellent Hot Rockets mod. I've included the assets required in this download. Enjoy!

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Release for version 1.1.x  I tested it with 1.1.1, it will probably work as well in 1.1.2 but I probably wont get to that for a few days at least.  Thanks and enjoy!

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Some updates: I've been re-working these parts for better flight stability characteristics when used with the stock CM. Mainly, the entire LES does not have enough mass (especially the nose-cone, which IRL was loaded up with lead and depleted uranium ballast).  The centers of mass for the individual parts were also not correct, especially for the escape/BPC part, the result of all of these factors being the CoM for the spacecraft in abort mode was too far aft, relative to its center of pressure. In other words, it flew like a dead duck.

This was semi-acceptable, given that it resulted in a quasi-realistic "flip" towards retrograde at the end of powered flight. But I wanted it to be more realistic. After examining the NASA technical documents in depth and tweaking the config files to more or less reflect "reality" in the Kerbal universe, I believe I now have it much closer to real-world performance.

Of course, no good deed goes un-punished... Now that I've got it flying in a more or less "stable" attitude, it's taking too much time for it to naturally pitch into the attitude required for deploying the earth recovery systems. So I've also been working on some new models and learning how to do animations so that the "nose" part will have deploy-able canards. Not sure what I need to do to achieve the aerodynamic effect I am after here.

Wish me luck!  And, hopefully your kerbals will never need to use these parts!

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I've more or less completed "release 2" for these parts.  Specifically, I've:

  • reworked the look and dimensions of the various parts to more or less represent the Apollo LES.  I probably went overkill on some of the details.
  • tweaked the masses, centers of mass and drag cubes of the various parts to, again, more or less represent the Apollo LES, relative to typical "stock" CM.
  • the combination of those changes results in a stable, prograde, flight profile.
  • wrote plugin code to automatically handle abort procedures. No more messing around with action groups. Just put the parts on your craft and it is all set up for you.
  • The nose cone now has canards that deploy automatically after a short delay.  Deploying the canards causes the escaping CM to re-orient itself retrograde, just like in real life.
  • the LES will self-jettison once it reaches the retrograde orientation
  • In case of a successful launch, I added an action (on the nosecone part) to manually jettison the LES.  Add it to any available action group you want.

The revised LES is here on Dropbox.

Future plans:

  • add the other parts from the original release (a version with no BPC and one that will fit on the FASA Apollo CM).
  • add a full set of parts for Squad's Mk1 CM.
  • further plugin code to model various abort modes from real life (for instance, the pitch control motor did not fire above a certain altitude)
  • any suggestions or requests?

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just want to say that's one the best "all rights reserved" licenses I've ever seen, nice!

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On 6/16/2016 at 3:02 PM, Deimos Rast said:

just want to say that's one the best "all rights reserved" licenses I've ever seen, nice!

Thanks.

I've started work on the escape system for the Mk.1 command module. It's loosely modeled after the one from the Mercury missions. It will just be one part. There is no pitch control or aerodynamic component to that design. It did have a separate (and tiny) jettison motor but I think I can simulate it all in one part since I have plugin code controlling everything anyway and impact to overall CoM is practically nil compared to the Apollo design. Hopefully I can wrap it up this week or next.

 

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First off, i'm a huge fan of LES(es?) so this is definitely getting installed when I get home. I love that it has a separate jettison motor.

Is it possible to make the tower jettison a stageable event? I think FASA and the old NP LES have this. When you stage the part the tower jettisons and  sails off into the wild blue wonder. Just my preference.

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41 minutes ago, internerd said:

First off, i'm a huge fan of LES(es?) so this is definitely getting installed when I get home. I love that it has a separate jettison motor.

Is it possible to make the tower jettison a stageable event? I think FASA and the old NP LES have this. When you stage the part the tower jettisons and  sails off into the wild blue wonder. Just my preference.

try adding "stagingEnabled = True" to the Jettison module in the config. It should give you the option to Enable/Disable staging in the editor.

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On 6/20/2016 at 9:06 PM, internerd said:

Is it possible to make the tower jettison a stageable event? 

Yes, as Deimos Rast has said, you can change the line in the part.cfg for the jettison motor from "stagingEnabled = False" to "stagingEnabled = True."  Or you can just delete that line if you want. I haven't tested it, but I basically added that line to prevent it from showing up in the staging.  You will also need to change the same line in the decouple module in the escape part, so it will be stageable as well.  Do not change or remove the line in the ModuleEnginesFx or else the escape engine will be staged as well.

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