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[1.12.x] Kerbal Atomics: fancy nuclear engines! (January 22, 2022)


Nertea
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1 hour ago, Brigadier said:

@Sesshakusimply copy the MM code into a txt file, and save it with a descriptive name and a .cfg extension.  Place the file in your GameData folder (I use a unique folder within GameData to store all of these personal .cfg files so they're easy to find and aren't overwritten by mod updates).  MM reads all .cfg files in GameData at loadup.  Since these two MM patches are marked FINAL, they'll be implemented towards the end of the MM patch sequence.

I tried it before reading your post and instead of creating a cfg, I just added the line you gave me to one of the existing patches. Seems to work. Thanks!

Now, back to business. I'm trying to redesign the whole mission. And again, I just can't seem to make it "work" in the sense, that it still seems to require too many pieces for too little delta v. Here's a pic

I must be doing something wrong, because I can get the same delta v with a far more simpler (and lighter) stock nuclear engine.

The only advantage I seem to get is a little more TWR. Is there any way I can make my own version so that the engine performance per fuel unit is more effective? Because I'm looking for something that allows me to make longer missions, but without requiring too many parts. If the kraken was more stable then I wouldn't mind the current balance, but anything above 400 pieces becomes too unstable even for my i79700k. And I can't seem to make it simpler.

 

1 hour ago, Nertea said:

Yes, this is a problem with stock KSP. This mod bundles another mod that attempts to fix this, but it is disabled in the presence of Kerbalism because they do their own thing. 

Oh shoot, that explains the EC bit.

 

Thanks in advance to all the people helping my inconsequential problem.

Edited by Sesshaku
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10 minutes ago, Sesshaku said:

The only advantage I seem to get is a little more TWR. Is there any way I can make my own version so that the engine performance per fuel unit is more effective? Because I'm looking for something that allows me to make longer missions, but without requiring too many parts. If the kraken was more stable then I wouldn't mind the current balance, but anything above 400 pieces becomes too unstable even for my i79700k. And I can't seem to make it simpler.

 

I can't see what engine you're using in the screenshot, but the KER windows shows 468s of Isp on that stage. What engine is it? I don't have an engine with that low of an Isp rating in this mod in the standard configuration, are you using some kind of other patch?  The 600s shown in the LV-N screenshot says that you are using an LF mode there. 

 

Edited by Nertea
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1 hour ago, Nertea said:

I can't see what engine you're using in the screenshot, but the KER windows shows 468s of Isp on that stage. What engine is it? I don't have an engine with that low of an Isp rating in this mod in the standard configuration, are you using some kind of other patch?  The 600s shown in the LV-N screenshot says that you are using an LF mode there. 

 

The stock nuclear engine pic is done with ....I forget...either a Tundra or Tantares fuel part. Those tanks can be changed to either LFO or LF with another mod called SimpleFuelSwitch. Is that mod incompatible with this one?
I can't tell you right now which engine it was on the pic with your parts because I was just moving pieces to see if any provided a reasonable result. I think it was one of the criogenic engines with dual boosters in LH2+O mode (the fuel parts were made according to that one).

Tell me what you need me to do in order to give you more information and I'll do it.

And if not, give me a sec, I'm opening the game again, and I'm gonna edit this post with a couple of pics with each engine and the result I get, to see if indeed there's something wrong going on with the engines.

Edit: Just to be sure, before testing I made a clean install of all the mods. And it seems to be working a bit more reasonable (1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 ).
 

Still, this is with evaporation mechanic disabled to avoid the EC warp trouble. And with a quickly made ship, that although fits all the standards for the mission (cargo with lander, food, oxygen, water, and enough area for stress release), doesn't have any of the electrical requirements of the evaporation mechanic, solar panels, antennas, rcs, radiators, etc.

 

After I polished it a bit and made it a little bit more "complete" I get this.

Don't get me wrong, that's an impressive delta v for such a light weight, but still, it's below 7000, that leaves me with little room for mistakes and exploring. Is there any way I can manually adjust the values just a tiny bit, to get, let's say something between 20-30% more delta v?


Again, thanks a lot for everyone's help. And I might as well just mention, that my "troubles" aside, this is a fantastic mod, with great mechanics and amazing artwork. The visual diversity of the fuel tanks and the engine animations are top notch. Good job.

Edited by Sesshaku
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45 minutes ago, Sesshaku said:

The stock nuclear engine pic is done with ....I forget...either a Tundra or Tantares fuel part. Those tanks can be changed to either LFO or LF with another mod called SimpleFuelSwitch. Is that mod incompatible with this one?

This picture:

R17okxw.png

You say it uses a Kerbal Atomics engine. However in the KER window, I see the stage has 468s of Isp and 360 kN of thrust. I don't have an engine in this mod with those properties. So I need to understand what engine that is so I can work out what is wrong. 

 

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38 minutes ago, Nertea said:

This picture:

R17okxw.png

You say it uses a Kerbal Atomics engine. However in the KER window, I see the stage has 468s of Isp and 360 kN of thrust. I don't have an engine in this mod with those properties. So I need to understand what engine that is so I can work out what is wrong. 

 

I'm sorry, I took those pics improperly and I don't remember which one was it. I'm sure it was a cryo something. I edited the above post with the results after a clean install to make sure everything is as intended. Also, to be clear, the only thing "wrong" with the mod was the upper mentioned EC glitch that made me loose all the LH2 fuel while warping. But thanks to the patch that let me disable the evaporation mechanic that problem is gone. So the only thing left is to know if I can get just a tiny bit more delta-V without creating a larger structure.

PS: I will say this, while making the above edit, I noticed my KER install doesn't seem to work fine with this mod. It didn't register the delta v of the engine stage, instead I had to rely on the stock delta v calculator. Take this for example, KER doesn't register the delta-v of stage 4. So maybe something was wrong with my KER installation in the picture you mentioned.

Edited by Sesshaku
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1 hour ago, Sesshaku said:

Don't get me wrong, that's an impressive delta v for such a light weight, but still, it's below 7000, that leaves me with little room for mistakes and exploring. Is there any way I can manually adjust the values just a tiny bit, to get, let's say something between 20-30% more delta v?

 

Ok, well you could use a better engine, the Liberator (from this mod) would probably fit you well in that case. Barring that, you can edit the config files of the engines.

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20 minutes ago, Nertea said:

Ok, well you could use a better engine, the Liberator (from this mod) would probably fit you well in that case. Barring that, you can edit the config files of the engines.

What an absolute moron I am. When I read this I said: what Liberator? Couldn't find it anywhere. Then I remembered the tech tree. You see, for months now, I no longer had anything else to unblock on my career save, all the extra tech from the community tree was blank. So for some impossible to rationalize reason, in my mind I never even considered the possibility of not having everything unlocked. Now I see I had not one, not two, but THREE more advanced nuclear engines blocked by two technologies.

Lo and behold I now have 11k of delta V. Which is exactly the delta V I wanted.

 

I AM SO SORRY for wasting everyone's time.

Edited by Sesshaku
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Kerbal Atomics 1.2.0

  • Marked for KSP 1.11.x
  • Updated DynamicBatteryStorage to 2.2.1
  • Updated B9PartSwitch to 2.17.0
  • Updated CryoTanks to 1.5.5
  • Updated DeployableEngines to 1.2.3
  • Updated ModuleManager to 4.1.4
  • Added Waterfall support to engines
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@Nertea,  

I've spent a few hours trouble-shooting multiple issues that I've found with KA.  I'm going to report them all here, just to keep it in one place, but this involves interaction with multiple mods.

- KA engines (at least the ones I tested, see note at end) and the Stock LV-N all work fine with no additional mods, aside from KerbalAtomicsLH2NTRModSupport.  The LV-N switches modes as expected.

- With Waterfall, the Stubber produces no noise during thrusting, but otherwise works.

- With Waterfall and SystemHeat core, no change to noiseless Stubber.  Otherwise, thrust and plume effects are fine.

- With all above, plus all four SystemHeat extras (which I have in GameData as separate SystemHeatExtras folder), no change - Stubber is still the silent outlier.

- With all above, plus NearFutureElectrical, no change.

- With all above, plus NearFutureElectricaNTRs, things go haywire:
  - The Eel and Stubber produce no thrust, even though the plume effect is there; Eel  produces sound, but Stubber is still noiseless.
  - The LV-N produces no thrust in the LH2 mode, but does in the LF mode.  In both, the plume and noise come on and change with mode.
  - The Neptune produces no thrust in either the LH2 or LOx Augment modes, but still has plumes and makes noise.

  - For all the engines producing no thrust, Isp is normal before throttling up, but drops to 0 after doing so.  Fuel requirement is being shown as met.

- With ALL of the above, plus ReStock added, the LV-N's exhaust plume gets moved about a nozzle-length downstream of where it's supposed to be.  I haven't worked backwards to see if it's just Waterfall and ReStock not playing together (yet - I know it's being assessed for other KSP 1.11 issues)

NOTE: I haven't tried out the 2.5m and 3.75m NTRs, because I've PermaPruned them to save RAM and I didn't feel like making a monster craft to accommodate all 8 or 9 NTRs at the same time.  Plus it's now 2 am and I have a lot of cooking to do on Thursday.

One last recommendation, and this goes out to anyone who can answer the mail: it would be really good if there was a "System Heat and NTRs for Dummies" posted someplace.  I've mastered stand-alone power reactors and radiators well enough, but I'm going nuts trying to figure out how to set things on an NTR, when there are two power level sliders.  I can't figure out if I need radiators when I don't want to run the NTR as a bimodal engine, or if I can drop the reactor power (on one or both sliders?) while still thrusting, to allow propellant to do the cooling.

Anyways, I'm not going to get upset if this goes unresolved until after Xmas.  Everyone needs a break.  So happy holidays, and thanks for all the great content!
 

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50 minutes ago, KSPrynk said:

- With all above, plus NearFutureElectrical, no change.

- With all above, plus NearFutureElectricaNTRs, things go haywire:
  - The Eel and Stubber produce no thrust, even though the plume effect is there; Eel  produces sound, but Stubber is still noiseless.
  - The LV-N produces no thrust in the LH2 mode, but does in the LF mode.  In both, the plume and noise come on and change with mode.
  - The Neptune produces no thrust in either the LH2 or LOx Augment modes, but still has plumes and makes noise.

  - For all the engines producing no thrust, Isp is normal before throttling up, but drops to 0 after doing so.  Fuel requirement is being shown as met.

Ooof, no no. Don't do that.  I don't think the SystemHeat patch is configured to clean up the NFE-KA patch. Don't use those two together. The NFE patch is going to get retired. 

51 minutes ago, KSPrynk said:

- KA engines (at least the ones I tested, see note at end) and the Stock LV-N all work fine with no additional mods, aside from KerbalAtomicsLH2NTRModSupport.  The LV-N switches modes as expected.

- With Waterfall, the Stubber produces no noise during thrusting, but otherwise works.

- With Waterfall and SystemHeat core, no change to noiseless Stubber.  Otherwise, thrust and plume effects are fine.

- With all above, plus all four SystemHeat extras (which I have in GameData as separate SystemHeatExtras folder), no change - Stubber is still the silent outlier.

This is probably just a misconfiguration in the sound block. I will look into it. 

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@Nertea, I dropped the NFENTRs Extra and that cleared up a bunch of issues.  But here are some more as I'm finding them:

- NTR Isp doesn't appear to be syncing with reactor/system temp: it's tied to the Fission Reactor Power Setting, and will ramp up and down at a rate that doesn't appear to be tied to either (is this the Response Speed parameter?).  Which creates an interesting situation where an NTR, like Eel or Stubber, can operate at full Isp efficiency while a couple 100K above room temp, and well below ideal operating temp.  Conversely, the LV-N seems to take much longer to reach max Isp at 100% Power Setting, not hitting 900s with LH2 when hitting ideal operating temp, and barely reaching it just before hitting auto shutdown temp.  Is this all an artifact of retaining flexibility to run KA without System Heat?  Note: I'm doing these tests with a single engine and 4x YF-75 radiators (ideal for an Eel; only delays inevitable for more powerful engines), with System Heat.

- The Eel doesn't get the Activate Engine button back in the PAW after exceeding automatic shutdown temp and coming back down to ideal operating temp.  I've had to action key the Toggle Engine function to switch it back on.  I suspect this has to do with Eel's unique nozzle extension animation, as the Stubber and LV-N got the button back after Enable Reactor became available after getting back below auto shutdown temp.

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On 12/26/2020 at 12:29 PM, KSPrynk said:

@Nertea, I dropped the NFENTRs Extra and that cleared up a bunch of issues.  But here are some more as I'm finding them:

- NTR Isp doesn't appear to be syncing with reactor/system temp: it's tied to the Fission Reactor Power Setting, and will ramp up and down at a rate that doesn't appear to be tied to either (is this the Response Speed parameter?).  Which creates an interesting situation where an NTR, like Eel or Stubber, can operate at full Isp efficiency while a couple 100K above room temp, and well below ideal operating temp.  Conversely, the LV-N seems to take much longer to reach max Isp at 100% Power Setting, not hitting 900s with LH2 when hitting ideal operating temp, and barely reaching it just before hitting auto shutdown temp.  Is this all an artifact of retaining flexibility to run KA without System Heat?  Note: I'm doing these tests with a single engine and 4x YF-75 radiators (ideal for an Eel; only delays inevitable for more powerful engines), with System Heat.

Well, ok. So this stuff belongs in the System Heat thread but you should know that temperature is no longer 'inside the reactor core' temperature. This is now cooling loop temperature and it is unconnected to Isp. Thrust/Isp is now directly connected to reactor power, which now ramps up slowly. 

 

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So I noticed that the fission aerospikes don't have exhaust cooling with the SystemHeat patch installed, now they always need radiators. Is this an intentional change?

None of the big radiators that are now required seem aerodynamic enough for atmospheric launch vehicles.

Edited by Apelsin
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13 hours ago, KIMCHI said:

Is this compatible with RO?

RO always does its own thing. Better to ask RO if they have made compatibility with it. 

21 hours ago, Apelsin said:

So I noticed that the fission aerospikes don't have exhaust cooling with the SystemHeat patch installed, now they always need radiators. Is this an intentional change?

None of the big radiators that are now required seem aerodynamic enough for atmospheric launch vehicles.

 I would take this to the SH thread.

The intent is to require you to use heat sink type setups if you're in the atmosphere, but I've had exactly zero feedback on that patch, so it's worth looking at. 

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Is the NearFutureElectricaNTRspatch still intended to be part of kerbal atomics? It says experimental I know but I do not get what it adds. Its a bit confusing to have 2 reactors especially with system heat. 

On 12/24/2020 at 8:59 AM, Nertea said:

Ooof, no no. Don't do that.  I don't think the SystemHeat patch is configured to clean up the NFE-KA patch. Don't use those two together. The NFE patch is going to get retired. 

On 12/24/2020 at 8:06 AM, KSPrynk said:

Nevermind, lazy stupid me....

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am having problems getting the correct ISP for the engines. They say they have a high ISP of around 900, but the "Neptune" burns over 100 units of fuel a second... Can someone provide a list and or an example of what the ISP and the fuel burn rate should be for the engines that are implemented with this mod?

Edited by justcausebr0
wanted to add more detail
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20 hours ago, justcausebr0 said:

I am having problems getting the correct ISP for the engines. They say they have a high ISP of around 900, but the "Neptune" burns over 100 units of fuel a second... Can someone provide a list and or an example of what the ISP and the fuel burn rate should be for the engines that are implemented with this mod?

I loaded up a test stand to check the engine and I see a nominal propellant flow rate of 101.5 units/second so that's about right. Something important to keep in mind here is that one unit of LH2 corresponds to one liter of volume (plus a fudge factor on the tanks). One unit of stock liquid fuel actually corresponds to about 5.5 liters I believe, and density-wise is close-ish to RP-1 kerosene. The stock value of a "unit" of a resource of completely arbitrary, while Community Resource Pack (where liquid hydrogen is defined) generally tries to define its values against some real-world baseline.

The game calculates fuel consumption based on the fuel mass (one unit has X mass as set in the resource definition), but then lists propellant flow in once-again arbitrary "units" so I wouldn't take it too much to heart. I checked the stock LV-N (with its dual-fuel kerbal atomics patch) and it burns 95 units of LH2 per second, but only 2 units of liquid fuel per second when in that mode.

Edited by Captain Sierra
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28 minutes ago, Captain Sierra said:

I loaded up a test stand to check the engine and I see a nominal propellant flow rate of 101.5 units/second so that's about right. Something important to keep in mind here is that one unit of LH2 corresponds to one liter of volume (plus a fudge factor on the tanks). One unit of stock liquid fuel actually corresponds to about 5.5 liters I believe, and density-wise is close-ish to RP-1 kerosene. The stock value of a "unit" of a resource of completely arbitrary, while Community Resource Pack (where liquid hydrogen is defined) generally tries to define its values against some real-world baseline.

The game calculates fuel consumption based on the fuel mass (one unit has X mass as set in the resource definition), but then lists propellant flow in once-again arbitrary "units" so I wouldn't take it too much to heart. I checked the stock LV-N (with its dual-fuel kerbal atomics patch) and it burns 95 units of LH2 per second, but only 2 units of liquid fuel per second when in that mode.

Thank you so much for getting back to me so quick! I probably should of mentioned I am in version 1.8.1 of the game as I am running other mods. So basically what you are saying is these engines just need massive massive fuel storage since the fuel is not very dense? Your breakdown of how KSP represents fuel numbers made a lot of sense, thank you for the clarification. So you really do just need to bring an insane amount of fuel because it is so 'light'. Do these engines work best for large scale rockets and or things launched in multiple stages?

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26 minutes ago, justcausebr0 said:

So you really do just need to bring an insane amount of fuel because it is so 'light'. Do these engines work best for large scale rockets and or things launched in multiple stages?

In a word, yes.  Because of hydrogen's low density, you will need a lot of tank volume in order to store sufficient propellant. However, if you pay careful attention to your vehicle's mass, you will see that it is very low for how large it is. The challenge is the size rather than the mass.

As for whether or not to go with monolithic single vehicles or perform orbital rendezvous & assembly, that's ultimately up to you to decide based on whatever your mission needs are. At a certain point, monolithic launches become hideously impractical unless you have access to orbital construction mods. And for version I'm still on 1.9 due to my install being precariously balanced atop Kopernicus among other things as well so it should be back-compatible just fine up to 1.8.X. (I am also making the assumption that if you have a stable mod install at that version your in-game hours vastly outweighs your forum newb status.)

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42 minutes ago, Captain Sierra said:

In a word, yes.  Because of hydrogen's low density, you will need a lot of tank volume in order to store sufficient propellant. However, if you pay careful attention to your vehicle's mass, you will see that it is very low for how large it is. The challenge is the size rather than the mass.

As for whether or not to go with monolithic single vehicles or perform orbital rendezvous & assembly, that's ultimately up to you to decide based on whatever your mission needs are. At a certain point, monolithic launches become hideously impractical unless you have access to orbital construction mods. And for version I'm still on 1.9 due to my install being precariously balanced atop Kopernicus among other things as well so it should be back-compatible just fine up to 1.8.X. (I am also making the assumption that if you have a stable mod install at that version your in-game hours vastly outweighs your forum newb status.)

I had noticed the light mass, but when building a craft on creative to just mess about i couldn't help but think I was doing something wrong due to the incredible size of the craft. Im running career mode and unfortunately made the choice to purchase these engines before knowing this, but the gears are already turning and I'm sure Ill have my "mothership" soon. I do have a stable mod pack and it is what has really gotten me back into the game recently; brief list of mods: (mods to improve drive plume and planetary textures as well as community tech tree, kerbal attachment systems, a mod for better contracts and a mod for better strategies of course), NearFutureTech (their solar, electric, propulsion, construction, and aeronautics mod's), Science Here and Now, ScanSat, kerbal atomics and heat control, USI kolonization and USI logistics, and various parts of B9 aerospace :)

Thank you for the compliment lmao, I got the game back in 2013 and have been on and off ever since. Not sure how you viewed my hours played since I cant find yours but you have been on the server since 2013 so I'm sure you have your fair share of hours too, its a fantastic game and I literally can not wait for the second one 

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1 hour ago, justcausebr0 said:

Not sure how you viewed my hours played since I cant find yours but you have been on the server since 2013 so I'm sure you have your fair share of hours too

I didn't. I took a guess based on the information you had a stable 1.8.1 modded install that you had a decently sized mod load (due to old version) and that if you had the experience to have that kind of a mod load, you've probably played a good bit.

1 hour ago, justcausebr0 said:

i couldn't help but think I was doing something wrong due to the incredible size of the craft.

Nope that's pretty much what happens. We get jumbo 5 meter tanks for good reason.

Edited by Captain Sierra
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3 hours ago, Captain Sierra said:

I didn't. I took a guess based on the information you had a stable 1.8.1 modded install that you had a decently sized mod load (due to old version) and that if you had the experience to have that kind of a mod load, you've probably played a good bit.

Nope that's pretty much what happens. We get jumbo 5 meter tanks for good reason.

 

Aint nothing wrong with a big ship, I cant wait to use those side mounted tanks as well lol. 527 hours and counting, what can I say I like space things... ;)

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