steedcrugeon

[WIP]Escape Pod Mod - REKT development thread

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Development of REKT has been slowed slightly, although I have had discussion with @JPLRepo about DeepFreeze. There is sufficient interest and I believe a good place for a Cryo-stasis verion of the REKT pod; the mk1C.

The concept is begun and I the background work (configs and stuff) started but the plan is to have a model that is fully compatible with the animation aspects of DeepFreeze, so as not to lose the IVA (this pod gets it's own bespoke one). These bits take modelling time, I have been distracted of late with modelling some parts for another mod (plus I really should be studying).

I am being a bit lazy too and since the Inline Triple Adapter I haven't really developed any more adapters, I'm hopin the R-ITA is enough to tide people for now. That said @njmksr may furnish us in that department in the future.

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Looking forward to it.  I'll admit I think the IVA for the DeepFreeze pod should be fairly basic: They really only need two buttons and a light.  Hit the big button to detach the escape pod from the ship/station, wait for the light to turn green, hit the small button to freeze everything in the interior of the pod.  :wink:

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So I have been a little sidetracked one getting some models ready for @Fendrin's SpaceDock mode (its going to be a corker!) however I have had time to do a few here and their jobs. Here is one of the parts that will be in the next release:

eVgEilt.png

wzE0FSg.png

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Is caution supposed to be misspelled as some sort of kerbal thing?

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8 hours ago, tater said:

Is caution supposed to be misspelled as some sort of kerbal thing?

Erm, yes? On and entirely unrelated note I will revise the internal IVA texture on the next test release...

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Just a typo, you type too fast. :)

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4 hours ago, tater said:

Just a typo, you type too fast. :)

I've just been looking back through my parts, where did you find this typo, I have been unable to spot it.

6 hours ago, DStaal said:

Monoprop Fuelcell, yesss...  :wink:

Would you care to test this part for me (pre-release)? it may need fine tuning as i have not tested it in anger yet so i don't know how it will affect the REKT pods.

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If you don't mind waiting until Monday when I have some time, sure. Also note that I am playing 1.1.3 as 1.2 onward doesn't run on my machine. (I have some scripts for downgrading parts if needed.)

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I'll probably have a more detailed review of the fuel cells up later today (I took pictures and everything!), but I had a couple of issues that I want to make sure are issues with my install, not with your parts, which prevented about half my tests.

From the rest: It looks good. I find it a bit odd that it doesn't actually *charge* the batteries - it just maintains their current level of charge.  But that's just an oddity to keep in mind, it even makes some sense.

My only other comment is a bit of a general comment on mod-making, from what I've seen overall: I believe it's best practice to put an abbreviation (or something) of your mod name into the part names in your part files.  Part names are globals, and this prevents collisions.  (And makes it easier to figure out what part is acting up if something starts spamming the log or gets deleted at game load.)  Not a big deal, and most of your parts are fairly uniquely named anyway, but it's something to think about going forward.  (Especially since changing the part names is a breaking change.)

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Ok, longer breakdown.  With pics.  :wink:  This was moderately eventful - though not through any fault of this mod.

We'll start with the initial launch of the testing craft: Designed to test the monoprop fuel cell in action during both atmospheric and non-atmospheric landings:

screenshot_2016-11-14--13-31-47.png

You can see the two carriers arranged for separation and deployment.  (And eventual de-orbiting of the test carriers.)  As an indication of how smoothly this round of testing went, soon after the above picture was taken it was realized that no antennas had been installed on the above craft - leaving the expected mission profile impossible to preform.  A secondary rocket was quickly sent up with the smallest, cheapest antennas we could find.  Here it is immediately after separation of the two test racks:

screenshot_2016-11-14--14-07-45.png

And here we have the results of the first set of tests:

screenshot_2016-11-14--14-23-17.png

You may notice that while the fuel cell (and custom monoprop tank) are present, the escape pod has self-destructed.  :wink:  This is believed to have been an issue with the monoprop tank - a redesign (to copy the fuel cell instead of the parachute...) has appeared to solve the issue.

As the above only affected the non-atmospheric tests, the atmospheric tests were run:

screenshot_2016-11-14--14-29-21.png

screenshot_2016-11-14--14-40-33.png

screenshot_2016-11-14--14-40-47.png

Tests fully successful - the escape pod had power all the way until landing, and the parachute was deployed by remote control instead of relying on the internal triggers.  The Fuel Cell did approach thermal destruction on reentry (I believe it went over 80% of the heat threshold), but survived.  Even if it had been destroyed, it is anticipated that landing could have occurred via battery storage from that point.[See note below.]  As a side note: this was the first water landing using the REKT pods in our program.  Rumors had been heard that they did not float - this has been confirmed.  Immediate recovery is recommended.

The above test was preformed with an apoptosis of 1,300km; the fuel cell survived multiple areobraking passes and supplied power throughout.  (Note that the initial orbit was not circular - a deorbit from a circular initial orbit would have been beyond the dv capabilities of the mk1A, from prior testing.)

This brings us to our third try at testing on Minmus:

screenshot_2016-11-14--17-20-17.png

Finally, no external issues came up, and the initial landing was attempted from high orbit: ~530,000km.

This was managed with ease:

screenshot_2016-11-14--17-25-08.png

screenshot_2016-11-14--17-26-34.png

(You may note revised monoprop storage at the bottom of the pod, holding 10 monoprop.  It was locked for this initial test, and never used.)

As the 'extreme' test succeeded without incident, a suggestion was tried, concerning landing more than one pod at once: The test craft was deorbited with the pods still attached, and the pods jettisoned near landing.

screenshot_2016-11-14--17-34-10.png

This was only partly successful.  While both pods fired their landing rockets, only the pod being focused on successfully landed.  It is currently unknown whether this is because it was the focused pod, or if the pod in the background had some excess horizontal velocity that resulted in a crash.  (The Landertron system already having been shown to not handle horizontal velocity.)

Final notes:

  • The monoprop fuel cell appears to solve most of our deployment power issues.  It is currently recommended that they are attached whenever possible - the only likely exception being stations in near-high Kerbin orbit, which are expected to benefit more from the combination of parachute and our current monoprop tank.
  • Our custom monoprop tank obviously needs more testing.
  • The fuel cells do not *charge* the batteries of the escape pod, they only maintain the current level of charge.  It is therefore recommended to *always* start the fuel cell *immediately* upon releasing from the parent craft - this preserves as much EC as possible should the fuel cell fail at some future point.
  • There were notes from the manufacturer on support for the IndicatorLights system being integrated.  While there were some blinkenlights on the fuel cell, no other lights were noted, and the blinkenlights did not appear to have meaning.  It is likely that our old IndicatorLights software was incompatible with the manufacturer's support; unfortunately hardware issues prevent us from upgrading.
  • Another test run at some point in the future for the multiple-landing approach should be interesting, though it is likely to be put off until our current Minmus orbital station reaches end-of-life.

In short: It works.  :wink: 

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@DStaal those are some most excellent images! good to see the parts getting used/abused. I noticed you are still using an early version of the mk1A?

I think the blinkenLights is exactly as you say, they tie into the new ModuleEmissiveArray in the more recent version of indicatorLights, I don't think that was available in the 1.1.3 releases.

That's an interesting point about the Fuel Cell, as in my testing I observe the batteries chare t about 95% capacity (as suggested it would do in the config). I wonder if that's something else that hasn't gone over to 1.1.3 quite right. I may look into that more closely when I have the time.

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9 hours ago, steedcrugeon said:

@DStaal those are some most excellent images! good to see the parts getting used/abused. I noticed you are still using an early version of the mk1A?

Hmm.  I'd actually done a complete copy over from the dev link you gave me, so it should be up to date.

Though looking at my disk, I do note that as a *copy* it left the old versions of the model in place.  The config does reference the new one however, and the ship was new, so I would have thought it would take the new model.

9 hours ago, steedcrugeon said:

That's an interesting point about the Fuel Cell, as in my testing I observe the batteries chare t about 95% capacity (as suggested it would do in the config). I wonder if that's something else that hasn't gone over to 1.1.3 quite right. I may look into that more closely when I have the time.

I'll admit I didn't think of the possibility that they charged to *nearly* full - I noticed on the first I used that it wasn’t charging to full, and made sure to activate immediately on all the rest.  But I hadn't run down the first pod that far, so I wouldn't have noticed if it changed to 95%, as I probably wasn't much below that.

I will note that I had much less trouble with the mk1N than I'd had in previous tests.  Earlier versions tended to wobble even under SAS, while these had no such issues.  If you changed something on that, good work.  :wink:  (If you didn't, it may be because in previous tests I had DERP fuel cells radially attached, which could have thrown the balance off.)

 

Oh, and feel free to use the images if you want.  :wink:

Edited by DStaal

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50 minutes ago, DStaal said:

Though looking at my disk, I do note that as a *copy* it left the old versions of the model in place.  The config does reference the new one however, and the ship was new, so I would have thought it would take the new model.

Ah, you see KSP isn't that clever when it comes to .mu files. if they are in the same folder, irrespective of correctly naming it or not, it will most likely grab the first .mu file its sees (which is probably why there is an earlier version of the mk1A in your pictures.

52 minutes ago, DStaal said:

Oh, and feel free to use the images if you want.  :wink:

Thanks you, i think i just might!

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Having seen some comments on the Youtube demo of these parts by @jrolson I have decided the next update to this mod will include the following  additional parts:

  • MonoProp Fuel Cell
  • KIS variant of the Freight Pod
  • Generic 'Supplies' variant of the Freight pod (MM will implement which ever configuration of Life support Mod is detected from Snacks/USI_LS/TAS-LS if none is detected part will not be implemented).
  • Slim-line mini SRB with built in heatsheild/heatcap (designed to add retro-rocket functionality to Freight/KIS/Supply pods)

I feel that these additions are still within the existing scope and spirit of this mod. It was suggested that when performing an 'Evacuation' of the doomed vessel, if it was sufficiently deep in space or, for example, in Duna orbit it is quite conceivable that the designers would have added additional provisions/materials for escaping Kerbals.

Other suggestion were made for a larger pod, the mk2 has ben envisaged but the mk1C will have to be done before that and that will take a bit of working.

Edit:

I forgot to mention I'm thinking of removing the pods internal probe core and making it a separate component. The jury is still out on that one but I don't like that presently you can't have the kerbal take control of the pod when the power runs out. Also the option to add probe control to the freight pods (for planetary drops) would probably be implemented through adding this 'probe core' component.

Edited by steedcrugeon
forgot stuff

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Just been testing out the new Payload Retro Rockets, the video below was achieved after a couple of attempts, you need to be flying the pod closest to the ground even then its hit and miss. I should state that these rockets are meant for the freight pod and the new KIS pod. the video is to show that with Landertron they are quite capable units indeed!

I should re-iterate the PRR is NOT meant for Dropping Kerbals from orbit onto unsuspecting locations, it's meant for decelerating your supply pods when you are forced to ditch on Mun or similar.

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and here's the KIS freight pod and an example of me dumping them on the Mun:

NUh0TZG.pngZtqrGzC.png

The next release will be hopefully out before Monday. Hope to get some feedback from users again too

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Cryo pod, listed my ideas on the release thread.  Really need a deep space emergency pod, and with out cryo, its a death sentence.

Thx for your mod and work bud

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17 hours ago, ArkaelDren said:

Cryo pod, listed my ideas on the release thread.  Really need a deep space emergency pod, and with out cryo, its a death sentence.

Thx for your mod and work bud

It's going to be in the next release, @JPLRepo has given me a tonne of info and model data to work from but it's not as per your normal IVA so the internal for the mk1C needs a bit more work to get right.

Edited by steedcrugeon
typos

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2 hours ago, steedcrugeon said:

It's going to be in the next release, @JPLRepo has given me a tonne of info and model data to work from but it's not as per your normal IVA so the internal for the mk1C needs a bit more work to get right.

Well much appropriated.  Been waiting for a good Escape pod and to be honest, as much as we all know Rover Dude is a fricken machine, a lot of his Models lack quality.  So his being the only escape pod since a modder by SpaceTech, and maybe one other around the .13 area, there hasn't been very many options.  Along yours comes and not only an option, but a great looking model as well as, a well thought out Escape Pod "PACK".  So yeah, thx man, very nice work Indeed.

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Two new parts coming up in the next release. I need help to balance the probe core though as i'm struggling to get it quite right. Anyone willing to test it?

m9M6hax.png

And the long awaited mk1c finally nears production, again testers required, please step forward! (you'll need to be running DeepFreeze for this part to work properly).

FDa40Rx.png

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I'll probably be willing to test.  :wink:  (And I may even be able to test in 1.2 soon...)

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I would be willing to test, but my problem is I tend to be a bit biased and off in my own world so I don't think I would be able to deliver a good Sit Rep with any of your parts bud.

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