Shadowmage

[WIP][1.7.x] SSTULabs - Low Part Count Solutions (Orbiters, Landers, Lifters) - Dev Thread [11-18-18]

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44 minutes ago, SpaceEnthusiast said:

I thought your mod and RealFuels were meant to work together. I kinda need RealFuels since I play on RealSolarSystem and without it I'll never get to orbit.

Not by me.  I provide some -very basic- real-fuels integration patches for the fuel tanks; that is it as far as my support for it goes.  I don't use it, don't know how it is supposed to work or how the patches are supposed to be setup or created; I'm really not the right person to be doing support/patches for it.

All RSS/RO support should be handled by the RO patches.  Which have -not- been updated yet.  So I would expect things to not work until they have been.  I -do not- use RO/RSS, and as such do not make those patches (though I may provide technical support for others to help them figure it out); you will have to wait until the community at large gets its sorted out, or figure out and fix the problem yourself.

 

Edit: I should add that even the basic RealFuels compatibility for tanks is broken at the moment as there was no 1.1.x version of RealFuels available when I did my last update.  That should be fixed up with the next release (likely this weekend).

Edited by Shadowmage

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As a note, not all of the Merlin Vacuum engines have the same nozzle extension expansion ratio. 

M1C vac: 117:1

M1D vac: 117 < x < 165

M1D+ vac: 165

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1 hour ago, saabstory88 said:

As a note, not all of the Merlin Vacuum engines have the same nozzle extension expansion ratio. 

M1C vac: 117:1

M1D vac: 117 < x < 165

M1D+ vac: 165

Sure, but that's not necessarily indicative of bell diameter.  The chamber pressure has increased which means that the throat diameter could be smaller for the same flow (although flow could also have changed).

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Not that I would recommend using this curve, but...
(and note that the x-axis has since been 'fixed' since this screenshot; it now displays from left-to-right, 1->0, full-fuel to empty fuel)

uew11dm.png

Loading from engine config = working; persisting custom curves in part/vessel save data = working; editing, adding, removing keys and values = working;
Handling 'presets' = not yet implemented, but should be done up here in a few hours; hardest part will be coming up with the initial batch of preset curves.... might just borrow a few from RO patches and simplify them a bit for the first pass at these (really don't need 200 data points... <50 should be sufficient if you use the -curve- properly).

Special thanks to @sarbian for his Amazing Curve Editor who's source pointed me in the right direction for the graph drawing.  While I didn't use any code from it, I certainly learned some things from the code :)

 

On the note of RealFuels/RO/RSS support -- should have an update set of RO patches available within the next week or two; they are undergoing testing and cleanup at the moment and awaiting a few bug-fixes (in SSTU and others).

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As far as presets go, the only thrust curves I could ever see myself using are constant and decreasing (maybe to 50%) ... and maybe something in between.  TWR grows naturally as you burn fuel, so decreasing would keep it to a reasonable limit and constant covers the case when you're not burning for long enough for that to matter.

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2 hours ago, blowfish said:

Sure, but that's not necessarily indicative of bell diameter.  The chamber pressure has increased which means that the throat diameter could be smaller for the same flow (although flow could also have changed).

In the case of the Merlin Vacuum, the extension was lengthened which caused changes to the interstage to be nessesary between the various models. Below is a link discussing this change in the upgrade from v1.1 to full thrust. The change from v1.0 to v1.1 is more externally obvious when looking at the M1C vac vs standard M1D. 

http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/falcon9ft.html

Maybe more detail than you wish to add, but I thought I'd mention it. It really is a different length. 

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32 minutes ago, saabstory88 said:

In the case of the Merlin Vacuum, the extension was lengthened which caused changes to the interstage to be nessesary between the various models. Below is a link discussing this change in the upgrade from v1.1 to full thrust. The change from v1.0 to v1.1 is more externally obvious when looking at the M1C vac vs standard M1D. 

http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/falcon9ft.html

Maybe more detail than you wish to add, but I thought I'd mention it. It really is a different length. 

 

In order to get into those kind of details I will need schematics/diagrams (with dimensions) for each engine.  As they apparently don't exist (at least not available to the public)... I'm not going to worry about it.

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An idea for the msrb, ever thought of adding in the ability to tweak the thurst which will affect the burn time eg higher thrust lower burn time and lower thrust higher burn time

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16 minutes ago, SpaceBadger007 said:

An idea for the msrb, ever thought of adding in the ability to tweak the thurst which will affect the burn time eg higher thrust lower burn time and lower thrust higher burn time

You can adjust the thrust limiter to increase the burn time.

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1 hour ago, blowfish said:

You can adjust the thrust limiter to increase the burn time.

Where/how do you do that? Is it when you right click on the srb?

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59 minutes ago, SpaceBadger007 said:

Where/how do you do that? Is it when you right click on the srb?

Yes.  It's a stock feature (you will see it on the stock SRBs too).

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I was keeping an eye on this mod for some time, but since I mostly play career I thought I'd wait a bit (craft breaking and such). Now I actually installed it and my jaw dropped open in a very cartoonish style. I'll just play with it now, and if some future update breaks something, I will rebuild it with style and have fun while doing so. :D

Very outstanding work, thanks for your time and efforts.

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9 hours ago, hendrack said:

I was keeping an eye on this mod for some time, but since I mostly play career I thought I'd wait a bit (craft breaking and such). Now I actually installed it and my jaw dropped open in a very cartoonish style. I'll just play with it now, and if some future update breaks something, I will rebuild it with style and have fun while doing so. :D

Very outstanding work, thanks for your time and efforts.

:)

Regarding the craft breakage -- most of that should be coming to an end fairly shortly;  I -think- I've done the last of the major craft-breaking changes in this upcoming release (modules/resources).  From here out (or after this weekends' release anyhow) any further changes should mostly be balance related and far less likely to completely break existing craft.

 

5 hours ago, Brainpop14 said:

Can you add an RD-180 engine?

Its on the list of engines stats; whether I'll ever get around to doing it is questionable.  In the end it will come down to if there is a need for the engine (does have a purpose that other engines/clusters cannot fill?), and is there enough solid/concrete information available (diagrams/schematics) as dealing with these Merlin engines (and their lack of reliable information) is driving me insane.

 

Edit:  Regarding the merlins, I've mostly settled on this set of geometry for them:

nB92xW5.png

With the -1B/1BV being modeled after the limited information available for the -1Ci variant.

Edited by Shadowmage

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1 minute ago, Shadowmage said:

Its on the list of engines stats; whether I'll ever get around to doing it is questionable.  In the end it will come down to if there is a need for the engine (does have a purpose that other engines/clusters cannot fill?), and is there enough solid/concrete information available (diagrams/schematics) as dealing with these Merlin engines (and their lack of reliable information) is driving me insane.

Just like you're amazing work, SpaceX just can't stop trying to improve their creations :wink:

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Regarding the Merlin engines @Shadowmage. Just as long as it's "close enough for government work", it'll be great. But, I know how you like the attention to detail on things such as this, but if you cannot find a definitive schematic, I'd go with what's been posted as far as pictures and limited schematics and fill in the rest with what would you think it should be. Tackling engines such as this, while offering more options, do find themselves at bit more troublesome than something that's well documented. Besides you got bigger fish to fry: the wheel issue. Once you solve that Greek tragedy of a myth, you know it's going to turn the Unity world on it's ear, right? At least in regards to KSP. Lo-Fi can get to work on his Kerbal Foundries mod and give us back our rovers and landing on things with other things, with wheels. 

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10 hours ago, Shadowmage said:

Edit:  Regarding the merlins, I've mostly settled on this set of geometry for them:

*snip*

With the -1B/1BV being modeled after the limited information available for the -1Ci variant.

Nice work!  One minor nitpick - I noticed you widened the 1D's exhaust duct - could you widen the 1DV's similarly?  All the pictures I've seen suggests that it's as wide as the turbine.  Also I think the regular 1D's exhaust nozzle should be a little longer - AFAIK it extends down almost to where the main chamber's throat is (pic).

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I managed to get a (somewhat blurry) picture of Merlin 1DV from the webcast today.  The exhaust manifold is pretty beefy.

Spoiler

ta2tjj0.png

Also non-blurry official photo

Spoiler

ChwFlZpUgAAmYuo.jpg:large

 

Edited by blowfish

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9 hours ago, blowfish said:

Nice work!  One minor nitpick - I noticed you widened the 1D's exhaust duct - could you widen the 1DV's similarly?  All the pictures I've seen suggests that it's as wide as the turbine.  Also I think the regular 1D's exhaust nozzle should be a little longer - AFAIK it extends down almost to where the main chamber's throat is (pic).

Aye, will see what I can do for those.  Likely the last changes I'll be making though as I'm pretty happy with where they are at currently, and need to start working on the actual time consuming processes, such as unwrapping and the UV layout.

 

In other news; tracked down the source of the 'impossibly crash resistant parts' -- http://bugs.kerbalspaceprogram.com/issues/9695

Also fixed up the burn time and thrust displays for the MSRB parts; they are now updated in real-time in the editors (well..event driven anyhow)... but the displayed values should be accurate for the current engine setup, including thrust limiter (though not including any thrust curve).  Thrust curves are fully implemented and working, along with a set of simple presets (most just linear falloff, but one that approximates a curved/exponential falloff).  If a preset is used it will be directly loaded rather than persisted in the part; so if a preset is changed any in-flight/existing craft using that preset will also be updated (to force it to custom/persistent, just edit one of the values after selecting the preset).

Did quite a bit more work towards the initial career balancing; lots of price and tech-node updates coming with tomorrows release.  Likely very close to what I would consider a good point for the initial public/stable release branch.  Have decided that I'll be pulling the SC-E parts from the mod until I can get them reworked properly; no reason to have them hold back everything else when they can be easily separated from the rest. 

So might start seeing the first public/stable/non-dev releases as early as next weekend.  There is actually a ton of non-balance/bugfixing stuff I would like to get done before then regarding promotional materials and the initial craft files/examples; so might be a busy week next week getting all that in order.  Will likely also lobby to some moderators to get this thread moved into the add-on-releases thread and start up a new 'dev only' thread (maybe...not sure a separate dev thread is really needed).

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10 hours ago, ComatoseJedi said:

Regarding the Merlin engines @Shadowmage. Just as long as it's "close enough for government work", it'll be great. But, I know how you like the attention to detail on things such as this, but if you cannot find a definitive schematic, I'd go with what's been posted as far as pictures and limited schematics and fill in the rest with what would you think it should be. Tackling engines such as this, while offering more options, do find themselves at bit more troublesome than something that's well documented. Besides you got bigger fish to fry: the wheel issue. Once you solve that Greek tragedy of a myth, you know it's going to turn the Unity world on it's ear, right? At least in regards to KSP. Lo-Fi can get to work on his Kerbal Foundries mod and give us back our rovers and landing on things with other things, with wheels. 

:)

I won't even start my next career game until there are some usable wheels and landing legs available (mine or others).  The stock stuff is... well... unusable, or at least unfit for its seemingly intended purpose.

I tried taking a few of the stock airplane examples and landing them; yeah.. right.  Tried being the key there; was more like terribly crash and explode even with the most perfect of touchdowns.  And I'm a pretty good pilot by most measures; I fly pretty large/heavy/beast-like RC airplanes and land those without problem.  But take a plane in KSP and touch the landing gear to the ground?  ....instant explosions.  Are they made of dynamite or something?  My RC planes' landing gear certainly don't explode when I land them; even when I pretty much just drop them out of the air, landing at 10m/s+ downwards velocity.. the most that happens is some bent struts... -if- even that.  Landing systems are specifically designed to be able to take some impact force and distribute it in a non-destructive manner; not just crumple, fold, or explode.

Stock landing legs are just as bad; low-speed landings (<3 m/s) that would have been perfectly acceptable in 1.05 now result in the legs breaking (or exploding), which of course results in the lander tipping over, and LCAV.  Would be better off with some simple rigid and animated landing legs without any suspension at all; at least they wouldn't crumple and break if you looked at them strange.  I've currently stopped using them altogether and am just landing on engine bells; even 6 m/s crash tolerance is better than what they call landing legs (well.. engines aren't all that stable... but... just don't bump it and it'll be fine).

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Updated M-1D/V turbo-exhaust geometry.  The geometry shown should be nearly final; need to do the joins on the updated -1DV turbo exhaust and manifold, but everything else is already joined/cleaned and ready for unwrap (some of the -A unwrap has already been started).

9ygJHEo.png

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Unwrap, layout, and bake done; cheated a bit on some AOs, so ended up only using a 1024 texture for the whole set of engines, with a little bit to spare in case I want to do the D+ variants later on, or...?

Did a little bit of initial/preliminary texture work on them, mostly to make sure the unwrap would work out well (it does so far); will likely go with this for todays release.. it is enough that they look usable, though they are certainly far from finished.

AMmDvZJ.png

Going to spend a bit of time cleaning up the engine layout rotations for several of the layouts, check back on any bugs I need to fix, and will hopefully have an updated release ready here in a few hours.

 

 

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Looks great, Mage!

What's the stability of 1.1.x and SSTU like at the moment? Worth switching yet?

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8 minutes ago, Jimbodiah said:

Looks great, Mage!

What's the stability of 1.1.x and SSTU like at the moment? Worth switching yet?

After today's release I would say it is quite stable; have been doing some career-mode testing for balancing stuff and have not run into a single game-stopping or game-breaking problem so far.

The biggest 'not working' thing would be the Series-E (shuttle) stuff; it has been completely removed from the mod until I can get the parts working again... but as that requires wheels they might be awhile, so I've simply removed them so that they're not holding the rest of the mod back.

Worth switching?  Hmm... mostly would depend on your other required mods and if they have been updated yet; not too much new stuff for SSTU, mostly GUI cleanup... the customizable containers are probably the biggest 'new' thing compared to 1.05.

 

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Updated testing release is available:

https://github.com/shadowmage45/SSTULabs/releases/tag/0.4.31.108

Several bugfixes, cleaned up RealFuels compatibility, tons of other cleanup, and a pretty good start on the balance pass.  Added Mini-AVC for version checking (untested, but will be testing it shortly).  Add the Merlin engines with initial stats and models; note that the stats have not been tweaked yet, the TWR on the early ones will be coming down substantially (mass increased).  See the link for full change log and downloads.

WARNING: Lots of changes to command pods and service module parts that may break existing craft; they have all been converted over to hypergolic fuels for both engines and RCS, and have had transmitters to most of them.  Backup your saves and/or finish the missions using those parts prior to installing this update.

 

An early-career 3x Merlin-1A powered Mun orbiter, 1.875m diameter first & second stages

NweZoCf.png

The second and third stages after reaching orbit (really I was just enjoying the new lens-flare effects :))

tVevIxx.png

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