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[1.12.x] 'Project Orion' Nuclear Pulse Engine


RoverDude
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3 hours ago, DStaal said:

Not sure if you can do it with Ground Construction, as I haven't tried - but I know you can make fuel canisters w/fuel using EL - as long as you have a lot of Enriched Uranium lying around...

But can you make NPUs for Orion (perhaps you mean that you can...)?

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4 minutes ago, damerell said:

But can you make NPUs for Orion (perhaps you mean that you can...)?

I was forgetting the correct name of them.  :wink:  But yes, that was my point: You should be able to build an NPU, with contents, using EL - provided you have Enriched Uranium (and MaterialKits and SpecializedParts) to build the pulse units.

(I submitted the recipe to do this, so if something goes wrong I'd be happy to know.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm new to the forum but not the game.

 

Here is a unmanned prototype of an Orion rocket I made.

20170524193404_1_by_pudgemountain-dbaihk

I combined two cancelled projects into one, the Sea Dragon and Orion it may look ridiculous but it got into a steady 650m orbit.

20170524201406_1_by_pudgemountain-dbaihj

Sadly while attempting to go to Minmus it went to low of an orbit and burned up.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

It would be nice if the medusa variant was configured for more efficiency, given that its sail is much larger than the orion plate.

I've looked into the configs but I don't really know what to change to make it a bit better and not unusable.

Also, I noticed that the nukes comsumption seems to go down when I physics warp instead of going up...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looking at the earlier discussion (panarchist calculates an isp of 37 000 s), isn't the performance of this a little crazy? As in, 10-20 times better than the real Orion:

DlmOKMr.png

The Orion people were clear that these numbers were for initial operating capability and they guessed that a few vehicle generations down they could potentially reach 10 000 - 20 000 s isp, so it's not completely insane. I'm thinking also from a gameplay perspective though that it might be interesting to have first gen Orions which would "only" give you maybe double the isp of the stock NTR, and go up from there. That would also give more room for a role for advanced variants like the Mini-Mag. Though maybe the current very high isp is a placeholder until all that advanced stuff is implemented?

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2 hours ago, Elukka said:

Looking at the earlier discussion (panarchist calculates an isp of 37 000 s), isn't the performance of this a little crazy? As in, 10-20 times better than the real Orion:

DlmOKMr.png

The Orion people were clear that these numbers were for initial operating capability and they guessed that a few vehicle generations down they could potentially reach 10 000 - 20 000 s isp, so it's not completely insane. I'm thinking also from a gameplay perspective though that it might be interesting to have first gen Orions which would "only" give you maybe double the isp of the stock NTR, and go up from there. That would also give more room for a role for advanced variants like the Mini-Mag. Though maybe the current very high isp is a placeholder until all that advanced stuff is implemented?

I'm not 100% confident of my numbers - it's an approximation, and sometimes I make math errors.  It could be as low as 20,000s or as high as 50-60k. If it's towards the lower end, then performance might be believable. It's definitely well above most versions of Orion which were posited - double the performance or better - but well under the 1,000,000s theoretical maximum.

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/enginelist.php

Edited by panarchist
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Hiya! With the latest dependencies (Firespitter, USI Tools, MM all recent versions), the Orion's spitting out a stream of bombs--both animation wise (the pusher plate's at jackhammer speeds), and imparted DV (constant acceleration, no discrete pulses detected--then again, if it looks and sounds like the bombs are coming out every one-tenth of a second or something...). Though part of the explosion animation (the rainbow-colored plasma cloud) is coming off at the expected pace (once every three or four seconds ore something?), but the detonation animations are at the same jackhammer pace as everything else. 

This was with the weakest bombs (-250?). Have not tested Medusa yet, or higher yields. Have not touched or edited any config files or patches. This is both in a heavily-modded KSP install, and a clean one with only Orion installed. Will log a github issue shortly, but will first jump back into the game to test out other yields and Medusa so I can collect the output log for upload if necessary. 

In any case, thanks for all your work both in stock and in mod, Roverdude!

 

EDIT: Wait, I just noticed that the same issue was logged on github back in April. But submitted the output log in case it's useful (how does one merge issues in github again? Just realized I could have submitted this under Issue #46 instead of logging a new issue.)

Edited by B-STRK
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  • 2 weeks later...

I love the idea of this mod but it isnt working for me at this time.  I managed to deploy the nuke sail, and I get a sound effect, but no visual effects or thrust.  I might be failing to load the bombs?  Im not sure.  

Im pretty heavily modded, including Real Plume (Broke one of my other mods...) and I am hoping you might have suggestions before I start ripping mods out?  

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1 hour ago, The_Joe said:

I love the idea of this mod but it isnt working for me at this time.  I managed to deploy the nuke sail, and I get a sound effect, but no visual effects or thrust.  I might be failing to load the bombs?  Im not sure.  

Im pretty heavily modded, including Real Plume (Broke one of my other mods...) and I am hoping you might have suggestions before I start ripping mods out?  

Is the engine configured to use the same bombs you have loaded?

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7 hours ago, RoverDude said:

Is the engine configured to use the same bombs you have loaded?

How do I check this?  Is there documentation that I missed?  

Side bar, I love your work man.  Im playing through with USI life support and MKS and thoroughly enjoying the items you've added.  

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Just dropping by to mention that I absolutely love this mod. I don't have any pictures, but let me describe what happened when I tested it:

 

So, my initial test vehicle was really simple: an Orion Drive, a nuke tank (forget what it's actual name is), and a large command pod from another mod. After countless failures with another mod's fusion engines, I wasn't expecting much. A liftoff from Kerbin into suborbital space, at best. So without much thought I hit the spacebar...

To quote Solomon Epstein: "Way better than I ever expected. [Isp/thrust] was through the roof. A hundred times better than had even thought possible." By the time I finally decided to cut off the engine, I was going at over fifty kilometres per second and had only used up about a quarter of the nukes in the tank.

A few in-game days or weeks later, after having some fun testing other mods, I realised that my test ship had plenty of Dv to do more than simply become an interstellar probe (as I had intended after cutting off the engine). So at 33 million kilometres from Kerbol, I turned the thing's path right around and set course for Jool, specifically Laythe. It wasn't until the atmospheric entry flames had disappeared did I remember that an Orion engine's thrust can't be throttled, and as such landing was problematic, and everything except the command pod exploded.

 

From then on I've used the orion drive as a 3-part booster (decoupler, nuke tank, orion) to get literally anything into orbit. So, thanks for making this mod. It's really helped me out.

Edited by ChrisSpace
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
I've made ship with 3x tanks and orion engine, plus 4x RL-10 engines for precise speed regulation. Was able to use mechjeb's rendezvous autopilot to meet other ship on solar orbit even, in partially manual mode (had to switch to ordinary engines before the autopilot starts calculating and nearly end of a maneuvers as it wasn't able to set right maneuver timing with pulse engine activated), quite funny to drive. But found some problems:
1. Can't attach anything (including strut connectors and beams) to sides of fuel tanks and engine. That makes very hard to build large ships and additional stages, especially with medusa engine which can't be activated on the ground. It tends to flex and stretch causing many problems, especially at launch. Perhaps i need a mod with 10m+ service bays or something, but still would be nice to have ability to attach at least strut connector to these tanks to stop flexing.
2. Not sure if i did everything right, but i can't use anything bigger than 250 bombs. 500 and bigger just show animation without thrust.
3. Because the engine doesn't provide thrust value while not activated - mechjeb's autopilot things couldn't be used in automatic modes.
4. Would be nice to have ability to reduce frequency of bomb explosions (so it could use thrust setting from main interface), quite hard to stop engine at right moment to switch to liquid engines for precising.
Album 1w7EA will appear when post is submitted

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  • 3 weeks later...

After returning from a much heralded exploration of Jool and its moons, K.E.V. Orion was upgraded with a more powerful communications dish and another reaction wheel assembly to make attitude changes a bit faster. Following a crew rotation and resupply, she heads back out for a 600 day cruise to Sarnus.

rpajoJ3.png

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