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Plea for larger heat shields.


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I'm sure this isn't a new suggestion, but could Squad see it in their hearts to please add larger heat shields? As it stands the options for adequately shielding large spacecraft are inadequate. There aren't any options for large landers or aerobraking interplanetary ships. It's obvious that most craft that need to enter atmospheres with the hope of returning (I'm thinking of Eve here) are going to be large.

Adding multiple heat shields radially just looks tacky, and besides, wouldn't it be nice to have reusable craft where a single heat shield can simply be un-docked and replaced when it runs out?

I've experimented by making protective cones out of triangular wings, but these are never aerodynamically stable and add issues with part count.

I also refuse to resort to mods or making my own heat shields with config rescale factor.

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for interplanetary flights i hvae had a lot of success by using the mk4 cockpit. It has a heatshield, you can store things inside the bay and there's plenty of room at the back to fit engines.

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Would it even work in current aero? The way I understand it, putting radial parts into the shadow of an oversized shield wouldn't work anyway. One central umbrella would only protect the central stack; any radially-attached pieces either have their own shield or go unprotected..

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Would it even work in current aero? The way I understand it, putting radial parts into the shadow of an oversized shield wouldn't work anyway. One central umbrella would only protect the central stack; any radially-attached pieces either have their own shield or go unprotected..

With a Mk4 cockpit, bay and tank i managed to shield my engines and keep everything else inside the bay (including a lander).

Solar panels are actually pretty well shielded in themselves (i use the ones i can restow).

Documented the craft here: https://plus.google.com/+MichaelFriis/posts/HsTaU1Lm1Rp

Aerobreaking works like a charm and i have taken several trips to Duna/Ike (different landers) aswell as a trip to Jool (with some "lucky" aerobreaking you should be able to sling into a bop or pol and bring a lander for those).

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With a Mk4 cockpit, bay and tank i managed to shield my engines and keep everything else inside the bay (including a lander).

Solar panels are actually pretty well shielded in themselves (i use the ones i can restow).

Documented the craft here: https://plus.google.com/+MichaelFriis/posts/HsTaU1Lm1Rp

Aerobreaking works like a charm and i have taken several trips to Duna/Ike (different landers) aswell as a trip to Jool (with some "lucky" aerobreaking you should be able to sling into a bop or pol and bring a lander for those).

. Mk4? Like the netera mod?
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I ofcourse mean mk3 :) sorry.

Anyway you should grab that mod... and anything else by netera and roverdude and porkjet. Now I need to go rescue my corrupted(From all the mods) save file for the upteenth time.

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I think claws idea of procedual heatshields is solid. Especially if the were inflatable so you can actually launch them. Coming back from Eve was never a concern of mine though, I hope the devs or a modder make kerbals temperature sensitive at some point, so there would be no chance of survival for a kerbal on eve. For now I just roleplay that only probes can land on the surface.

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I'd like to repeat my question: with the current aero, would they even help? As I understand it, a heatshield only protects the stack, not radially-attached parts. A wider heat shield may look as if it should work, but doesn't work in practice. Am I mistaken?

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I concur, or maybe even just a single procedural heat shield. Where you can specify (or click-and-drag) an arbitrary size.

^^ Probably the best option. There's people who need rationally sized heat shields for large rockets aerobraking at Jool and then there's people like me who need a 12+ meter heat shield for my massive incoming mothership.

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I'd like to repeat my question: with the current aero, would they even help? As I understand it, a heatshield only protects the stack, not radially-attached parts. A wider heat shield may look as if it should work, but doesn't work in practice. Am I mistaken?

This is definitely a concern...and I hope squad fixes this.

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I'd like to repeat my question: with the current aero, would they even help? As I understand it, a heatshield only protects the stack, not radially-attached parts. A wider heat shield may look as if it should work, but doesn't work in practice. Am I mistaken?

Radial parts are protected, yes.

Convection heating uses occlusion cones that protect stack mounted and radially mounted parts alike.

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I'd like to repeat my question: with the current aero, would they even help? As I understand it, a heatshield only protects the stack, not radially-attached parts. A wider heat shield may look as if it should work, but doesn't work in practice. Am I mistaken?

You are mistaken. The drag model works that way, but the re-entry heat works with a "shock cone" built into the model.

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Re-entry heat does not behave like I would expect. If it is using a "shock cone" then I'm not seeing it. Take this ship for example, the ladder at the bottom is blown off by overheating every time, shortly followed by the drill - I can understand the drill overheating if the heat is in a cone shape, but the ladder? That should be completely safe in my mind, yet it is the first to go.

uvwB8RI.jpg

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Re-entry heat does not behave like I would expect. If it is using a "shock cone" then I'm not seeing it. Take this ship for example, the ladder at the bottom is blown off by overheating every time, shortly followed by the drill - I can understand the drill overheating if the heat is in a cone shape, but the ladder? That should be completely safe in my mind, yet it is the first to go.

http://i.imgur.com/uvwB8RI.jpg

Use the debugging menu and enable thermal debugging. Right click the ladder during reentry to see where the heat is actually coming from. The only thing you're shielded from is convective. If heat is conducting through the shield then that could be enough to destroy the ladder.

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Use the debugging menu and enable thermal debugging. Right click the ladder during reentry to see where the heat is actually coming from. The only thing you're shielded from is convective. If heat is conducting through the shield then that could be enough to destroy the ladder.

Well then that begs the question of how much heat should be able to pass through the shield while there is still ablator remaining. It just seems lame to me that parts behind a heat shield are blowing up so easily before the ablator is completely gone. Perhaps the numbers on the heat shield need a bit more tweaking still.

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Well then that begs the question of how much heat should be able to pass through the shield while there is still ablator remaining. It just seems lame to me that parts behind a heat shield are blowing up so easily before the ablator is completely gone. Perhaps the numbers on the heat shield need a bit more tweaking still.

Low conduction is what protects against conducted heat, not ablation. And the shield has very low conduction but that doesn't mean no heat at all can get through.

I say again: Use the debugging menu and see where the heat is coming from.

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