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Ionic propulsion is useful for making precise movements in space, and can be used to travel to other worlds through techniques that involve periapsis (I do not remember the name of these techniques very well).

Ionic propulsion has a very high isp, but a low thrust (just like in real life). In general, the average life of a deposit of xenon is much higher than that of any other fuel for space exploration.

However, there comes ionic propulsion becomes useless in many goals. It's just very slow, and the game does not allow you to speed up time  (over x4) while the ship is propelling itself. Nor is it possible to program complex and automated orbital motions that would be very useful for ion propulsion drives.

This mean that ionic propulsion is finally used for very few things due to its slowness and need the constant attention of the player.

KSP should implement warp under acceleration (in space and over x4 speed) and programmed automated orbital movements, at least when using ionic engines.

Edited by Angeltxilon

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Have you seen what can happen if you set too much physwarp on a complex vessel under acceleration?

Bad things, If your cpu can't handle that.

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6 hours ago, The Aziz said:

Have you seen what can happen if you set too much physwarp on a complex vessel under acceleration?

Bad things, If your cpu can't handle that.

That's the downside to using physics warp, sometimes the computer forgets to carry a 2.  

If you know you are going to have a long burn time, consider using aa autopilot mod that will do the burn for you.    That way you can tab over, or go eat dinner, do something else while the burn is happening.   You don't have to use any of the other features that come with an AP mod, just let it do the actual burn. 

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14 hours ago, Angeltxilon said:

This mean that ionic propulsion is finally used for very few things due to its slowness and need the constant attention of the player.

I can imagine that the developers wanted to give ion engines a narrow niche, to keep the game interesting, and they did give the ion engines much more thrust than real ion engines.  But the resulting situation does tend to leave players waiting for an ion burn to complete and that makes the game less fun.
If I were a game designer I would be tempted to depart further from reality with the ion-engines' thrust, but return somewhat to reality with conservation of energy from 'electric charge', so that solar panels cannot support the higher thrust, and battery capacity becomes the limit rather than player patience.

I see you are asking for the 1-body simulation, of a rigid craft under constant thrust plus gravity, to be done in time warp.  This would be much less work for the CPU than simulating the multiple interacting parts, which is done only up to 4× speed.  

I hoped for a moment that there might be closed form solutions to that 1-body problem, but a look at the course-notes for MIT 16-522 quickly dashed those hopes.  Squad would need to integrate the equations of motion, maybe with a simplified-physics time-warp that can go faster than 4×, unless someone has a better idea.

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@Angeltxilon You can use the bettertimewarpmod...

You can use a custom physics timewarp up to 100x

If your vessel is properly autostrutted, not to long, wide or tall and not overly complex I find I can use 100x often without kraken.

That means a TWR 0.05 vessel travelling at 100x is as if you were accelerating at 5 TWR in real seconds. I once did a continuous burn from kerbin orbit to Duna orbit without ever stopping the engine from kerbin orbit to duna capture.
If you got more complex vessels which are properly autostrutted 20x should be possible in most cases. What allows up to 100x timewarp depends on how parts are strutted so use hyperedit to test various autostrut option, that often works.

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We need an on-rails timewarp propulsion method. IIRC, there was some mod that did this for a solar sail... I don't know how.

It would be great if they made a class of engines (with Ion engines being the only ones so far) that operate while in "on rails" time warp. I guess the assumption is that the thrust is so low that structural strain and torque can be discarded. With such a change, the ion engine thrust should be heavily nerfed, so that they can't be used as minmus landers and such anymore.

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