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[1.4][1.7.7] GravityTurn continued - Automated Efficient Launches


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I'm seeing this refrain more and more, and it's annoying.

If you don't like a mod, that's fine.  No need to argue about it or complain, just don't use it.

If you want to use just a single feature of a mod, go to that mods thread and ask about it there.  Not here.

When some asked me about a single feature of a mod I maintain and improve, he was respectful and polite, in response I spent some time pulling that feature out into its owl dll and sent it to him.

For the record, I use this mod, and also use Mechjeb.  This mod does a more efficient job of getting a vessel into orbit, but it takes about 1/2 an orbit to do so.  Mechjeb is less efficient, but gets a vessel into orbit much faster. I like and use both.

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1 hour ago, AndyMt said:

I'm thinking about a tabbed UI where the tabs would be "Simple", "Standard" and "Advanced".

  • Simple: only the most basic parameters will be shown (turn height, turn speed, destination height, inclination).
  • Standard: the UI we have right now with staging and stats as separate popups on request.
  • Advanced: Same as we have now, plus staging parameters and the stats all in the same window again.

But I'm not sure if this is the way to go.

Even though I've logged probably over a thousand hours since 0.21(?), I'm a filthy casual sometimes: up until this month when I found your mod, I've launched everything manually.  Having a Simple tab would accomplish exactly what I want right now but I can also see it as a gateway into the other tabs, hiding away, waiting to be played with one day...

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3 hours ago, salajander said:

I have a question about how to use the guessing/improve launch functionality.

When I have a launch that's going poorly (clearly inefficient or not going to make orbit or so forth), when/how should I end it so GravityTurn is able to correctly update its guesses? Revert at any time? Do I have to wait for the launch to "complete" either by reaching orbit or crashing?

I find I get the best results by waiting until the vessel either gets out of the atmosphere, or crashes, before reverting. Time acceleration makes the wait more tolerable.

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I used this in it's original iteration way back when, so I was very happy to see it return. That said, I did my first launch and got some unexpected results. Instead of going near horizontal in the 30-40K region like I expected, it shot straight up at about a 15 degree angle until I hit 80Km, then did an orbital burn of over 1700 mps. Definitely NOT what I was expecting it to do. Have you seen this behavior before? For reference, using the version available via CKAN, which I THINK is the most recent build.

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57 minutes ago, CrashTestDanny said:

it would be really nice if it could have a options to finish off the orbit (circularizing would be a nice first step - my launch left me 5m from Ap in an 80km x 59km orbit.  Looks like GT is giving up soon as the ship hits 70km).

Well, it's not actually 'giving' up.. its stopping because its job is done. If you have MJ installed, it will auto-handoff to MJ to perform the circularisation for you.

For those who don't mind running dev versions, build 644 of MJ for 1.2 was released a day or so ago. It's pretty solid, and works well with GT (as did 643).

4 minutes ago, Shadriss said:

I used this in it's original iteration way back when, so I was very happy to see it return. That said, I did my first launch and got some unexpected results. Instead of going near horizontal in the 30-40K region like I expected, it shot straight up at about a 15 degree angle until I hit 80Km, then did an orbital burn of over 1700 mps. Definitely NOT what I was expecting it to do. Have you seen this behavior before? For reference, using the version available via CKAN, which I THINK is the most recent build.

More information needed. Did this happen just after staging? A pic of the ship in the VAB, or a link to the .craft file, would help, too.

 

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1 hour ago, CrashTestDanny said:

 Also would be nice if it had some staging built-in.  I thought that little "Auto-StageManager" button was going to handle that, but it seems to only worry about fairings.  I know smart parts is my friend, but I was really hoping for something integrated.

Staging generally works fine. I've found that if you tinker with staging whilst on the pad, the first stage will sometimes not auto-stage, but should be fine again on subsequent launches.

Fairings is a separate issue.. I don't like the way GT currently deploys fairings. The blurb in the setting about "getting rid of them as soon as practical" is incorrect, in my experience. I've found in experiments (with a relatively draggy Mun lander as payload) that allowing GT to deploy fairings at the default setting results in over 200m/s extra dV being required, compared to keeping the fairing on until reaching space.

Edited by JAFO
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2 hours ago, DStaal said:

Staging has always worked for me - though I'll admit I'm still on the KSP 1.1.3 version, as I'm waiting for other mods to update.  If you have MechJeb installed, this should hand off to it once your ship leaves the atmosphere, so MJ should do the circularization burn for you.

I don't have MJ installed yet - running 1.2 and no plans to go back, so no MJ until it gets updated.

Danny

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1 hour ago, JAFO said:

More information needed. Did this happen just after staging? A pic of the ship in the VAB, or a link to the .craft file, would help, too.

After some experimentation, I've determined it was a result of the .5 sensitivity setting. It was a relatively light craft in early game with a TWR of about 2.5 at ignition. I was quickly hitting the time to apoapsis mark of 50 seconds, and the throttle was dropping to 50%, but because it was such a light craft, it wasn't leaning over sufficiently for a gravity turn to happen. Dropping the sensitivity to .2 or .3 resulted in what I expected to see the first time. Another reason why the sensitivity needs (I feel) to be dropped, but since that's apparently going to be a thing anyhow, no need to beat the dead horse. Kerbal. Whatever. :)

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3 hours ago, AndyMt said:

I'm thinking about a tabbed UI where the tabs would be "Simple", "Standard" and "Advanced".

  • Simple: only the most basic parameters will be shown (turn height, turn speed, destination height, inclination).
  • Standard: the UI we have right now with staging and stats as separate popups on request.
  • Advanced: Same as we have now, plus staging parameters and the stats all in the same window again.

But I'm not sure if this is the way to go.

I was thinking more organized according to "general" and "specific" as in, settings that you rarely change vs ones you may want to change each flight. Probably you could even just break it up between ones that get modified when you optimize vs ones set by the user. Eventual orbit height, inclination, rotation, those are ones I may want to set each launch (and lock in). Starting turn angle, not so much.

Also, hiding the stage to stop auto staging in options has driven me nuts since the first time I used the mod. It's likely the ONE AND ONLY SETTING I want to change on most every launch. :D

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2 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

Also, hiding the stage to stop auto staging in options has driven me nuts since the first time I used the mod. It's likely the ONE AND ONLY SETTING I want to change on most every launch. :D

This. Totally.

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On 9/23/2016 at 10:44 AM, monstah said:

Well, I do.

I use SAS Surface-relative prograde lock to do my gravity turn.

Still, it would be nice to have something that can estimate the exact ideal angle of gravity turn, as well as one that calculates for non-prograde thrust angles.  (It would be nice if thrust angle could be calculated into MechJeb.  maybe I should add that feature request.)
 

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8 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

I was thinking more organized according to "general" and "specific" as in, settings that you rarely change vs ones you may want to change each flight. Probably you could even just break it up between ones that get modified when you optimize vs ones set by the user. Eventual orbit height, inclination, rotation, those are ones I may want to set each launch (and lock in). Starting turn angle, not so much.

Also, hiding the stage to stop auto staging in options has driven me nuts since the first time I used the mod. It's likely the ONE AND ONLY SETTING I want to change on most every launch. :D

I see :). I was also in doubt if turn angle and height should be in the "Simple" tab. I'll consider the end staging in any case.

Probably we will end up with a "Custom" tab in the end where everyone can combine the parameters they want...

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I've made a few more launches and imagine my surprise when suddenly auto-staging worked at the same time as I manually dumped a spent stage!  I THINK I have identified the behavior; if a stage is stack-attached, it gets auto-staged.  If it is radially attached, it does not...  Hope this helps.

Danny

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2 hours ago, CrashTestDanny said:

I THINK I have identified the behavior; if a stage is stack-attached, it gets auto-staged.  If it is radially attached, it does not...  Hope this helps.

Hmm.. I've never had any problems with radially attached stages. Asparagus staging gives no problems either.

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I think it's sporadic. I've seen the problem off an on with two different designs. Most of the time, no issues and all stages as it should. Every so often, though, it will fail to stage and require *shudder* manual intervention. Don't know if there's a code loop that misses edge cases or what, but the fails are far outnumbered by the normals as far as I can tell.

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That's pretty much my experience with it too.. I haven't been able to identify causes, but as mentioned above, I think at least one of the causes may be when staging is tweaked on the launchpad.

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On 20.10.2016 at 2:18 AM, Shadriss said:

I think it's sporadic. I've seen the problem off an on with two different designs. Most of the time, no issues and all stages as it should. Every so often, though, it will fail to stage and require *shudder* manual intervention. Don't know if there's a code loop that misses edge cases or what, but the fails are far outnumbered by the normals as far as I can tell.

I've identified some cases where staging doesn't work, for example when using parts with custom modules, like non-stock procedural fairings.  And Rapier engines won't auto stage, too. But most of the time it works and sometimes it doesn't? I haven't observed that yet. I identified and fixed some bugs I must have built in during de-linq-ing the code. Maybe that will solve the issue.

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Now I have 3 ideas I'd like to discuss:

Speedup: With GravityTurn a vehicle takes quite long to get into orbit: what about a "autowarp" feature? Especially after the apoapsis reaches the destination height, things could be speed up until the vehicle leaves the atmosphere. Then when MechJeb takes over it would warp to the circularisation burn. During critical phases like the initial pitch over and also when pitching orbital prograde higher up, time warp would be disabled.

Pitch speed: currently GT tries to pitch over as fast as possible. The angle of attack can get quite high and it can result in wobble for structurally unstable vehicles. So I changed the pitch maneuvers so they take around 3 seconds now. Which of course changes the efficiency figures for a specific speed/angle/vehicle combination slightly. It's generally more efficient now because of reduced drag by a very small amount.

Locking parameters: I'm almost done with that one. But what values should locked parameters have for a new vehicle you launch the first time? I've now implemented the following: every locked parameter is stored in a default config file. When GT finds a vehicle which doesn't have any stored config it will load the default config file (with the locked parameters of the last launch) and then run the "improve guess" feature once. Which is renamed "First Guess" now if it doesn't have previous data.

Speedup I will certainly make an option, but what about pitch speed and default parameters ? What do guys you think?

A general question: Launch parameters are stored by vehicle ID, which changes kind of "often". I think about changing this to using the vehicle name+celestial body instead.

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Re:

Speedup; This generally sounds ok.

Pitch speed; I like the sound of this.

Locking parameters; A default config file sounds good. Wasn't sure about the bit about "with the locked parameters of the last launch" for vessels with no stored config already, but the more I think on it, I reckon it should be ok.

Storage of launch parameters; I'm unaware of any problems caused by the present system. What kinds of things result in changes to vehicle ID?

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1 hour ago, JAFO said:

...
Storage of launch parameters; I'm unaware of any problems caused by the present system. What kinds of things result in changes to vehicle ID?

If that happens no configuration is loaded and no learned data during previous launches - even if this is the same vehicle. One occasion this happens (I think) is if you share vehicles across saves.

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Speedup sounds like a great option. Pitch speed sounds like a great tweakable setting as I've had rockets "fall over" during early-game launches.

For locking and defaults I'd like to see the 2 separated. That is, if I want my default AP to be 75 but a particular launch is 120, I don't want the 120 carried to the next new craft. Similarly if for a given flight I had 6-7 parameters locked for any given reason, I don't want them locked on my next new craft. A "setup" specifically for defaults would be what I'd like to see where I can set whatever defaults I want *and* choose whether I want them locked or not. For example I might like a default start m/s of 50 but don't want it locked if "improve guess" has a better value. Similarly if I want everything in an 85km orbit I *do* want that locked on every new craft at launch.

Just my 2 cents, love the mod. Way more efficient launches than I've ever been able to achieve.

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39 minutes ago, AndyMt said:

If that happens no configuration is loaded and no learned data during previous launches - even if this is the same vehicle. One occasion this happens (I think) is if you share vehicles across saves.

Mmm.. I could go two ways on that.. I can see the advantages, but on the other hand, I don't necessarily want the old learned data to go with the ship. And when I start a new game, I'll often re-use the same names for new craft, as in an older game, particularly in the early stages of the game.. "Mun Lander 1", "Orbiter 2", "Orbital Rescue 1", things like that. Having GT assume it's the same craft as before, even if the design is quite different, could be problematic.

40 minutes ago, plague006 said:

For locking and defaults I'd like to see the 2 separated. That is, if I want my default AP to be 75 but a particular launch is 120, I don't want the 120 carried to the next new craft. Similarly if for a given flight I had 6-7 parameters locked for any given reason, I don't want them locked on my next new craft. A "setup" specifically for defaults would be what I'd like to see where I can set whatever defaults I want *and* choose whether I want them locked or not. For example I might like a default start m/s of 50 but don't want it locked if "improve guess" has a better value. Similarly if I want everything in an 85km orbit I *do* want that locked on every new craft at launch.

I fully agree with this.

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When I tried to use this mod in 1.2 to launch a rocket (meant to be SSTO and reusable but idk if it actually is yet), it insisted on detaching the second stage fairing on launch, even when I decreased the pressure to detach them at to 100.

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