Jetski

Real Mission - Dragonfly Mission to Titan (Stock or Modded)

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Dragonfly mission to the ocean moon Titan

Your mission is to create as realistically as possible the upcoming proposed Dragonfly mission to Titan, the ocean moon of Saturn.  You can read about it here, its really cool. Basically, you have to fly to Titan (Laythe if playing stock), and set up a self sustaining base with explorer quadcopters that can go out and take samples and readings, then return to the main base.

1280px-NASA_Dragonfly_mission_to_Titan.j

Categories are full Stock (visual and info mods only, nothing that modifies parts or physics in any way) or Modded ( I recommend Firespitter for excellent rotors, although your quadcopters will be large) as much as you like.  Basically your job is to recreate the mission as close to real life as possible, either in Stock or Modded.  I'll accept pretty much any entry, but if you need rules, then the rules are as follows:

  1. You must fly the mission, no cheats of any kind, although quicksave/quickload may be used as needed.  Be careful loading/saving too much in atmo, parts can do strange things especially offsets
  2. You must leave Earth/Kerbin, fly to Saturn/Jool. Next you must make an entry with a heat shield and parachutes to Titan/Laythe, land and set up your base. Your base must be self-sustaining - if playing stock this will require an ISRU to allow multiple quadcopter missions.
  3. Your exploration vehicles must be VTOL, preferably as close to a quadcopter as you can make it. You may use jets or rockets since there aren't working electrical props in stock.  They must be powered by RTG (like in real life).  They must be able to fly 10-100km, take a sample, and return with it.  There should be at least a conceptual way to refuel them, although I won't require a demo if the piloting is insane (landing on a docking port, etc).
  4. Lots of pictures!  We are recreating a real mission, make it look cool!!!

Scoring may evolve as new entries come in, since I likely haven't thought of everything, but for now it's as follows:

  • Quadcopter points:
  • Real Weight: 100 points if close to 450kg, subtract points for anything over (10 points/ton)
  • Honest Quad: 25 points if 4 engines VTOL
  • Real Science: 25 points if you recreate sample collection and analysis, seismological studies, meteorological monitoring, and local microscopic imaging using LED illuminators
  • Reusable: 50 points if you show a full round trip copter sampling mission, and are prepped for another
  • More Copters!: 25 points for each additional quadcopter up to total of 4
  • Mission points:
  • Low Mass: 100 points if launch mass is under 100 tons, subtract 10 points for each 50 tons over weight.
  • Orbital Genius: 25 points for each clever maneuver - aerobraking, gravity slingshots, anything that lowers dV and looks cool.
  • Phone Home: 10 points per relay set up in system for a max of 30 points, it's nice to be able to call home.

I will also award an arbitrary number of points for general realism, including but not limited to:

  • Using Real Solar System
  • Accurate models of rockets
  • Making the spacecraft look and function as realistically as possible
  • Finding something cool about the mission that I don't know about, and including it.

Have fun!

  If you are ready to get technical, Here is more detail in a pdf

Here are some teaser images of Stock and Modded copters
Here's a completed mission, only mod used was Firespitter for the electric propellers similar to the ones proposed for the mission.  Messed up a bit and was left with no relays, so final landing and exploration had to be done with comms disabled.  Some careful dV budgeting and gravicapture at Jool/Laythe was one of my best, only 135 dV to capture at Laythe.
Progress so far:
@Jasonden, a member of the actual Dragonfly team posted the mission he put together 2 years ago when it was in early planning stages. Very cool!
@FuzzyHead very well done mission to Laythe, mostly stock Spider-powered quad copter with infinite refueling capabilities
@foobar nice quadcopter very close to actual weight using Tweakscale and Firespitter, well executed mission with cool use of fairings
@zeta function completed our first RSS entry! I haven't got scoring set up properly (imgur was down) yet for this, but looks like a carefully planned and well executed mission.
@sevenperforce Planning a liquid fueled Tweakscale quadcopter design
@Jetski very rough demo mission, modded but to Laythe instead of RSS Titan
 
UyLUJAC.jpg
0T2XY5f.jpg
Edited by Jetski

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Cool Idea. I'll do it. Already finished construction of my (almost) stock flyer. As you see it's done with Ven Stock Revamp, which is pratically stock :rolleyes:

t1orsID.png

 

Despite the Copter part, it's as close to the proposed vehicle as possible. Nuclear Battery in the back, rectractable antenna, surface sample experiments on the front legs. :o

 

 

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Looking good! Clever use of the antennas as landing skids, I may try that.  Can't wait to see the mission.  I'm playing now with a 4-blade copter using Firespitter, but the copter is going to be BIG.

Edited by Jetski

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Updated main page, completed my mission :)

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Posted (edited)

Yes, that's only for realism and will only work with mods like Firespitter electric rotors. Feel free to make an LF powered quadcopter like I did for my Stock attempt. The only reason I mention RTGs is because the real ones will use them instead of solar due to the thick atmosphere on Titan.  So better to just say no solar panels :)

Edited by Jetski

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Posted (edited)

Dragonfly is a technology associated with SpaceX's Dragon v2 capsule. SpaceX canceled the Dragon mission to mars and i'ts unclear how Dragonfly will be used int he future. They are focusing their efforts on their new concept, the BFR. The technology also never used propellers.

Edited by macktruck6666

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1 hour ago, macktruck6666 said:

Dragonfly is a technology associated with SpaceX's Dragon v2 capsule. SpaceX canceled the Dragon mission to mars and i'ts unclear how Dragonfly will be used int he future. They are focusing their efforts on their new concept, the BFR. The technology also never used propellers.

Think you're mistaken.

http://dragonfly.jhuapl.edu/

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Posted (edited)

Thanks @sevenperforce, as you mentioned this has nothing to do with the SpaceX program or actual dragons. Please read the OP and/or check out the wiki I linked before going after technical details. I WANT you to go after me on technical details, as this is a real mission and we should try to get as close as possible within the game limitations.

As i read it NASA is running a series of programs called New Frontiers that includes the OSIRIS-Rex mission  (which was also super fun Challenge by @IonStorm).  They just accepted 2 new proposals as finalists for further development and study, one of which is Dragonfly. Let's show how well we can do it with Kerbals :)

 

On a related note, I've reached out to the Dragonfly website contact and see if they can share tech details or anything that we can use to make this challenge more realistic. Maybe an info kit or more specs! Wish me luck :)

Edited by Jetski

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25 minutes ago, Jetski said:

Thanks @sevenperforce, as you mentioned this has nothing to do with the SpaceX program or actual dragons. Please read the OP and/or check out the wiki I linked before going after technical details. I WANT you to go after me on technical details, as this is a real mission and we should try to get as close as possible within the game limitations.

Note: the Juno engine comes in at 250 kg, so it's not possible to get under 450 kg and still have four engines.

If we can use Tweakscale, though, we might be able to get a little closer.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

Note: the Juno engine comes in at 250 kg, so it's not possible to get under 450 kg and still have four engines.

If we can use Tweakscale, though, we might be able to get a little closer.

I'm going to look into Firespitter and see if there's a way to make their resizable electric rotors close to actual weight. Maybe Firespitter+Tweakscale could work. As the actual craft is RTG powered, it would be closer

Edited by Jetski

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10 minutes ago, Jetski said:

I'm going to look into Firespitter and see if there's a way to make their resizable electric rotors close to actual weight. Maybe Firespitter+Tweakscale could work. As the actual craft is RTG powered, it would be closer

Is Tweakscale permitted, then? I'd like to try to make it.

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Yes absolutely. Any mods are permitted, just note which you used. 

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Posted (edited)

Previously at KSP: "Thank Kod we launched that Kassini Probe to Laythe the other year, we have a follow-up Mission that depends on its Survey and Relay Capabilities!"

See the whole Mission on: https://imgur.com/a/JhI9F

Copter weight is a heavy 882 kg...

Edited by FuzzyHead
I have problems embedding imgut atm, whats the best way to do that actually?

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, FuzzyHead said:

Previously at KSP: "Thank Kod we launched that Kassini Probe to Laythe the other year, we have a follow-up Mission that depends on its Survey and Relay Capabilities!"

See the whole Mission on: https://imgur.com/a/JhI9F

Copter weight is a heavy 882 kg...

Wow! fantastic job @FuzzyHead, I really like the use of the Spiders as lifting engines, and the refuel ability of the base station. Also great use of a folding antenna similar to the one in the mission profile. It's an excellent simulation working within the limits of the game.  I'll post you on the board, and I'll try to have a badge up in the next few days.

 

2 hours ago, zeta function said:

I might try this in RO.

@zeta function I'm really looking forward to the first attempt that actually lands on Titan instead of Laythe.  Go for it! Feel free to post in progress and testing pics, even if you aren't finished, to provide us all with inspiration and ideas.

Edited by Jetski

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Posted (edited)
 

My plan is to use gravity assist to get to Saturn, aerobrake in Titans atmosphere to get captured, and then drop the lander into the atmosphere.  Deploy the drouge, then main. Right after main deployment drop the heat shield. When it gets close to the ground, seperate the top part that also has the parachutes and flip over. Then land. This is pretty close to the real mission.

https://imgur.com/a/wkiR0

 

Edited by zeta function

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Posted (edited)

Interesting mission, thanks!

I used TweakScale + FireSpitter to create an RTG-powered quad-copter weighing 504kg. Each copter has 4 science experiments and a surface scanning module and can fly indefinitely at ~90% throttle.

ZF4cDqQ.png

I took 4 of them to Laythe with a total launch mass of 97T. Interesting maneuvers include a gravity brake around Tylo directly into an aerocapture at Laythe.

I didn't set up any relays or even use CommNet. :D

Full album: https://imgur.com/a/sh89o

 

Edited by foobar
typo

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19 hours ago, foobar said:

Interesting mission, thanks!

I used TweakScale + FireSpitter to create an RTG-powered quad-copter weighing 504kg. Each copter has 4 science experiments and a surface scanning module and can fly indefinitely at ~90% throttle.

ZF4cDqQ.png

I took 4 of them to Laythe with a total launch mass of 97T. Interesting maneuvers include a gravity brake around Tylo directly into an aerocapture at Laythe.

I didn't set up any relays or even use CommNet. :D

Full album: https://imgur.com/a/sh89o

 

Great job @foobar, well done bringing 4 dragonflies for less than 100 tons launch mass. I think the Tweakscaled thrust of those engines might be a little overpowered, as the real ones are supposed to stop and recharge between hops, but great mission. I'm on mobile now, but I'll put you on the board are have a badge later today

On 1/8/2018 at 4:48 PM, zeta function said:
 

My plan is to use gravity assist to get to Saturn, aerobrake in Titans atmosphere to get captured, and then drop the lander into the atmosphere.  Deploy the drouge, then main. Right after main deployment drop the heat shield. When it gets close to the ground, seperate the top part that also has the parachutes and flip over. Then land. This is pretty close to the real mission.

https://imgur.com/a/wkiR0

 

Can't wait to see it. For what it's worth, Titans atmosphere is very thick, and gravity very light, so you may not need too much parachute

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I am trying to get it as real as I can, also,  the gravity assist are taking awhile to figure out, and there is school, so I will probably do it at the weekend.

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On 9.1.2018 at 10:00 PM, foobar said:

Interesting mission, thanks!

I used TweakScale + FireSpitter to create an RTG-powered quad-copter weighing 504kg. Each copter has 4 science experiments and a surface scanning module and can fly indefinitely at ~90% throttle.

ZF4cDqQ.png

I took 4 of them to Laythe with a total launch mass of 97T. Interesting maneuvers include a gravity brake around Tylo directly into an aerocapture at Laythe.

I didn't set up any relays or even use CommNet. :D

Full album: https://imgur.com/a/sh89o

 

Nice! How did you do the keeping-the-upper-part-of the-fairing? Its a procedural fairing, right?

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7 hours ago, FuzzyHead said:

Nice! How did you do the keeping-the-upper-part-of the-fairing? Its a procedural fairing, right?

Yep, procedural fairings. I just used an upside down interstage fairing on top with another interstage fairing attached to the interstage node of the top fairing. If you customize the fairing shape you can get them to meet halfway.

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Great job so far everyone, some nice missions up on the board.  I've caught up with postings, and we now have Badges! Get yours when you finish the mission, I made a separate one for Laythe vs. Titan using my terrible Paintshop skills.  Enjoy!

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