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[WIP] DEV: Lithobrake Exploration Technologies 0.1 (2015-07-08)


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OK, been checking.

The 2.5m to 3.75m conical compartment that you may have noticed in the picture I posted a few pages back, showing a v0.90 attempt at a wide-base lander, is in the Stockalike Station Parts Expension from Nertea. It can carry 4 Kerbals, and I've done a successful re-entry using it with a Mk1-2 capsule, but it is a bit minimal. Out-of-the-box the "crew tube" has no electric charge or RCS propellant, which tends to overload the Mk1-2. I may make myself a tweaked version with some battery capacity, at least. The 3+4 combination with a battery, would make a good vehicle for supporting a space station.

The test flights used a 3.75m "pancake" tank of Monopropellant with four of your "Dibamus" OMS/RCS modules, giving plenty of delta-V for a rendezvous. I decoupled this before the re-entry.

Some sort of fuel tank/adaptor with a full-size node at the top and four smaller engine mounts part-way down the tank side, radially-recessed into the tank, would reduce the vertical protrusion of the engine and give rim-space for landing legs. Might it have a central attachment node on the base? Could that be a way of carrying a Rover? Think of something akin to a folded version of that engine unit in your pics of the big landing-legs demo. 5m top, 4 x 1.25m bottom, could be a useful lander descent stage. An LV-T45 "Swivel" is about 12 times the vacuum thrust of a 24-77 "Twitch" radial mount engine

That could imply some sort of heat shield that would be notched to allow the rockets to fire.

A small retro-rocket pack that was visually a .625m pack (Mercury-style) which triggered a 1.25m fairing from the decoupler would look good.

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So the legs are looking really good now. I have a second size configured too. The idea here is that the larger legs will be good with things like SpaceY, and the stock 3.75m engines. The smaller will work great with mainsails and other similarly sized engines.

KSP%202015-06-19%2018-11-10-51.jpg

KSP%202015-06-19%2018-14-09-24.jpg

KSP%202015-06-19%2018-14-16-08.jpg

KSP%202015-06-19%2018-18-57-29.jpg

KSP%202015-06-19%2018-24-31-26.jpg

Some sort of fuel tank/adaptor with a full-size node at the top and four smaller engine mounts part-way down the tank side, radially-recessed into the tank, would reduce the vertical protrusion of the engine and give rim-space for landing legs. Might it have a central attachment node on the base? Could that be a way of carrying a Rover? Think of something akin to a folded version of that engine unit in your pics of the big landing-legs demo. 5m top, 4 x 1.25m bottom, could be a useful lander descent stage. An LV-T45 "Swivel" is about 12 times the vacuum thrust of a 24-77 "Twitch" radial mount engine

So, like a lander body with radial attachment points (somewhat flattened or recessed), plus a center node in the bottom surrounded by four other nodes? I'll keep that in mind, it could be a very versatile lander body.

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hah, i am starting to drool over those large landing legs.

My only question though is why are the larger ones flat on the top? Seems like that would just create extra drag.

Unfortunately legs are always drag-inducers. :) The idea with those is that they're really meant landers (going down, drag is something you don't mind), and even on Eve, you'd probably discard them when lifting off. Taking off from Kerbin, these days the landers are usually in fairings, though of course you need a pretty big fairing to get around those monsters. :)

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i normally design my landers to do sub-orbital hops, which with refueling tends to put them on the larger end of the scale. :P

So dumping the legs is mostly out for me.

Although, to be honest, very few places have an atmo at all. So it isn't a huge issue.

And in my personal experience, fairings pretty much go out the window once you start getting up into this part-size range. Tuck the small stuff into service bays, and just eat the drag from the landing gear. Which is part of why i like the appearance of the smaller of the 2 i guess. *Shrugs*

Any way you look at it though, having landing legs this size is a huge plus in my book, thanks for all the effort. :)

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i normally design my landers to do sub-orbital hops, which with refueling tends to put them on the larger end of the scale. :P

So dumping the legs is mostly out for me.

Although, to be honest, very few places have an atmo at all. So it isn't a huge issue.

And in my personal experience, fairings pretty much go out the window once you start getting up into this part-size range. Tuck the small stuff into service bays, and just eat the drag from the landing gear. Which is part of why i like the appearance of the smaller of the 2 i guess. *Shrugs*

Any way you look at it though, having landing legs this size is a huge plus in my book, thanks for all the effort. :)

Yeah, I started out with slanted tops on those legs, and wasn't happy with what I was getting. I could always try again, but of course it makes them look even bigger, since any slope has to start at the top of the existing box (there's very little clearance inside for the pistons, so it can't go shorter, unless I get more cheaty and compress the piston as part of the animation).

My fear is that even with a sloped top, the drag would probably still be significant. We may be looking at brute-forcing those guys in any case.

Part of why I permitted myself a very blocky design on those, is that I was thinking along the lines of the gigantic stock rover wheels that look impractical but beefy. Not elegant, just big. :)

Maybe huge ore drills and tanks to go with your new parts?

Maybe. :) Drills might be a pain, in terms of animation, but we'll see. Right now I'm starting out by adding parts that will make it easier to use the large stock parts. I noticed that the largest aircraft landing gear are too tall for stock ladders, and people are using them to get around the mainsails for Eve landers, since the stock landing legs aren't big enough. So that seemed like a great niche to address.

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Dont get me wrong, I will use them either way but having something perfectly flat like that just feels wrong to me. :)

Even a slightly bubbled top would sooth my spinal reflex of "Flat! Drag! Bad!" heh

That might work better than a full sloped/shaped top too. Duno.

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Dont get me wrong, I will use them either way but having something perfectly flat like that just feels wrong to me. :)

Even a slightly bubbled top would sooth my spinal reflex of "Flat! Drag! Bad!" heh

That might work better than a full sloped/shaped top too. Duno.

Actually, a truncated pyramid design might work. I'll play with it.

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Would be possible to have those legs attached not radially but near the engines? At the bottom of a fuel tank or something similar? With a wider base, you can avoid the drag and hide them better...

Probably. Here's a test I just did in the VAB. I had to rotate them around a bit, but I attached them to the underside of the 5m tank (around a 3.75m Rhino engine). It does let you tuck them in a little more. Drag-wise, I'm not sure what the stock aero will do. Technically they're attached under the tank, and their center of gravity is at the attachment point.

KSP%202015-06-21%2012-49-15-73.jpg

KSP%202015-06-21%2012-49-29-98.jpg

- - - Updated - - -

And a second test, placing the legs first, and then a mammoth afterward (allowing the leg bases to clip into the engine a little):

KSP%202015-06-21%2012-52-56-95.jpg

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- - - Updated - - -

Looks like still some decent drag (the drag markers are coming off the attachment points):

KSP%202015-06-21%2012-54-58-06.jpg

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One question concerning the aerodynamics: is it possible to form the top of the legs more aerodynamic? a pseudo nose cap for those legs, so to say? Afaik the form of the part matters now, doesnt it? Just somewhat round at the top, reduces drag without dragging along a heavy and bulky leg casing.

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One question concerning the aerodynamics: is it possible to form the top of the legs more aerodynamic? a pseudo nose cap for those legs, so to say? Afaik the form of the part matters now, doesnt it? Just somewhat round at the top, reduces drag without dragging along a heavy and bulky leg casing.

Because of the way KSP handles it, its more a question of how the drag cube is generated (is that something the game automatically does procedurally based off colliders or is that something the modder has to rig in Unity?). I have no idea how shape plays into it. Its supposed to matter, but you should remember that KSP still has zero true airflow simulation.

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The drag cubes are automatically generated based on the shape of the mesh. However, the config can override it with a custom drag cube. Unfortunately I don't really have a way to see what the auto-generated drag cube looks like, but I could come up with a fake, low-drag version possibly. But yes, shape does play into it.

I'm already considering making the top more pointed. The original slanted top didn't look great, but I'm thinking more of a pyramid might work OK.

Of course, remember that these are meant to be used mostly on airless worlds, or on Eve where you'd probably discard them for your ascent. They're big, and that should present some engineering problems. :)

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Just a fitting flood light for dark landings missing. :D Those puny stock lights could look pretty funny on that humongous lander.

Heh, well the stock lights look funny no matter where you put them. :) Lights are possible, but I'm trying to be careful about tying too many things together and breaking that "LEGO" sort of feel that the stock game goes for. I'll think about it. :)

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Alright, made progress on the 3-man lander pod. This was the part I started modeling first, back when I started this thread, but kept getting sidetracked by ladders and legs, and other such cool things. :)

The texture is still in-progress (hence the white windows). But this was a good test to make sure the hatch and ladder rungs worked, etc.

KSP%202015-06-23%2021-30-51-14.jpg

KSP%202015-06-23%2021-31-23-58.jpg

KSP%202015-06-23%2021-31-41-30.jpg

KSP%202015-06-23%2021-36-47-61.jpg

KSP%202015-06-23%2021-37-06-12.jpg

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Alright, made progress on the 3-man lander pod. This was the part I started modeling first, back when I started this thread, but kept getting sidetracked by ladders and legs, and other such cool things. :)

The texture is still in-progress (hence the white windows). But this was a good test to make sure the hatch and ladder rungs worked, etc.

http://ksp.necrobones.com/screenshots/2015-06/KSP%202015-06-23%2021-30-51-14.jpg

http://ksp.necrobones.com/screenshots/2015-06/KSP%202015-06-23%2021-31-23-58.jpg

http://ksp.necrobones.com/screenshots/2015-06/KSP%202015-06-23%2021-31-41-30.jpg

http://ksp.necrobones.com/screenshots/2015-06/KSP%202015-06-23%2021-36-47-61.jpg

http://ksp.necrobones.com/screenshots/2015-06/KSP%202015-06-23%2021-37-06-12.jpg

That looks pretty good, stockalike enough while being enough not like stock to be cool. ;)

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looks pretty good.

for the window, would you consider having it extend down, and wrapping around the bottom chamfer to give you better ground visibility when in IVA? (in a similar manner as the stock can)

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That lander looks awesome. Really looking forward to your capsule design, if you are still doing that. You update a lot faster than NEAR and Taurus, so if you made the capsule thing along with a few things to go with it, I'd likely drop the use of those mods haha

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