Sharpy

[1.2][WIP] Solid Electric (0.1)

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I'm working on a part pack based around the concept of Electric Solid Propellant.

A new corporation, Solid Electric, introduces a set of parts based around the propellant. All parts run on the solid propellant and electric charge.

Current release is 0.1. Aesthetic and functionality is complete, but gameplay balance is all over the place. The parts definitely require rebalancing, to be useful, but not overpowered. Treat this as a preview, and a cry for feedback. The mod will definitely undergo rebalancing - fuel per part, thrust, ISp, price, mass, etc.

Also, I did away with the disposable battery. The benefits were not worth the headaches - external dependencies, like the Community Resource Pack, ModuleManager etc. Without it, this is a pure parts mod and will likely work with KSP without maintenance long past 1.2. But in exchange, you're getting the RCS nanothruster.

CurseForge download

Currently the part list is:

zJN3I3l.png

- a Size 0 SRB, fully throttleable and restartable. Especially nice for these "Test part X at altitude Y, speed Z" missions, can also be used for giving the airplanes that extra kick to climb over 18km ceiling, delivering satellites to specific orbit, and whatever else you can think of.

- A disposable, self-contained RCS thruster block, equipped with a self-destruct mechanism (that destroys only the thruster). Meant for docking space station modules; no need for monoprop, and you can get rid of the thruster blocks when they are no longer needed. It's also good for upkeep of small satellites - again, no need for monopropellant.

- Landing SRB, for Soyuz-like powered landing when the parachute is not enough. Can't be fully extinguished but can be throttled to 20%; also, quite sturdy, so it can be used as fixed landing leg.

- Pulsed Plasma ion engine. The thruster would be available considerably earlier than Dawn; is lighter than Dawn with a small xenon tank, requires less electricity, provides somewhat less thrust - generally, better than Dawn except... you can't add more fuel! When solid fuel runs out, it's a brick. A tiny probe gets about 2000m/s on one; spamming them may buy you some 6000m/s if you fly with a gigantor around Dres.

- An RCS nanothruster, meant for tiniest, lightest satellites.


e9apM0g.png

The ion engine features both node and radial attachment.

The SRB and RCS got custom flame effects. The ion engine's stock one is tweaked enough that it doesn't look stock either :) All parts except the ion engine utilize bump-mapped texture.

 

Comments? Suggestions? Ideas? Criticism?

Edited by Sharpy

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Just now, BigFatStupidHead said:

This sounds pretty interesting. The link suggests that ISP is on par with SRBs, so I'm not following how it can be used as an ion thruster. 

The whole idea of solid propellant is derived from Pulsed Plasma thrusters - they were first, on Zond 2 and 3.

In case of PPT, the propellant is an inert stick of plastic, hit by electric discharge. The puff of excited, ionized plasma created from minuscule amount of plastic is then subjected to acceleration using the ion engine principles. Simply, instead of unwieldy xenon, it carries a stick of propellant which it evaporates into ion engine propellant as needed.

The ESP does away with the 'ion engine' part, and re-engineers the mechanism of electric pulse delivery, but primarily makes chemical advances replacing the inert plastic with material that, while being unable to sustain own combustion, when shocked releases enough energy to provide decent thrust on its own. ESP is not merely 'electrically activated' - electricity delivers a significant portion of energy, pushing the propellant above the sustained ignition level. Remove the current - the combustion can't sustain itself, or in case of some propellants (like the one in the 'landing legs' in my mod) is still sustained but its rate is massively reduced.

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ill definitely download this when i get my new gaming pc... hopefully it will be available by friday.... 

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Spiffy! Now that other post makes sense... :)

Im tempted to combine your landing thruster(s) with the landertron module for maximum entertainment. 

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There. A 0.1 Preview Release is linked in the main thread. Gameplay balance is all over the place, so don't include this into 'serious careers', but have fun on more relaxed saves.

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So, I've integrated it into my new 1.2 career to playtest...

Both RCS-es are awesome. You must use the small one very sparingly if you want it to last, but it's really great for docking tiny craft. The large one perfectly fits the bill for intended use. And looks cool too. I had to fix the FX file on the small one though.

The landing leg is so gimmicky I really can't find a good application for it. It kinda works, but... meh.

The SRB, on the other hand, is totally great. I tripled the EC consumption, so that batteries are no longer a formality, but flying a Flea- or Spider-based probe on it, and on top of BACC, to orbit is a pure pleasure. By the end of the circularization burn the G-meter runs out of scale, the flame effect is sweet, and currently it needs about 250 EC for the complete run, so there is some extra fiddling with batteries.

The ion drive sucked so bad it was totally useless. I buffed it, doubling the amount of fuel; it sucks less but still can't compete with Flea+2xOscarB.

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So, I decided to give the gimmicky landing boosters some actual usability.

They are now extendable landing legs. No springs, suspension or such crap. Just good, sturdy static legs.

Also, multiple microthrusters firing together look sweet now that the FX is fixed.

 

 

Edited by Sharpy

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