Kerbolitto

Kerbal Space Planification - Ground Operations

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Posted (edited)

What if launching a rocket would be the last thing on your checklist ?

This challenge is a bit special, I propose you to build an infrastructure around the rocket, with vehicles, buildings and stuff to prepare launches!

 

Facilities :

Fuel services :

Mine your own fuel (you can combine multiple fuel tanks to one ISRU using home-made pipelines) +100

Use 3 types of storage for each propellant (each tank is specialized, liquid fuel and oxidizer must be transported separately for safety reasons) +50

Transfer and load fuel in the rocket, once it is ready to launch (payload installed and sitting in vertical position). +150

Build (a) dedicated rover(s) to refuel the launch vehicle (directly or through the launchpad assembly). +50

Launchpad :

Bring a launch tower, or a clamp system (similar to Soyouz). +150

Sound suppression system (could be fuel tanks and jet engines aimed at the launchpad to produce smoke during launch). +50

Kerbal's buildings :

All Kerbals on site are living in a dedicated building, must have 2 seats per Kerbal and a place to chill after work. +150

Bring an emergency building for Kerbonauts only, must have a lab 2 scientists and 3 seats per Kerbonauts. +50

Drive Kerbonauts to the hospital with a specialized vehicle. +50

Allow tourists to come by and watch launches, must have seats for 5, could be a bus with seats on top, some kind of stands or something else. +50

Launch Vehicle :

Rocket :

Must be transported empty from KSC, by a fake train, a plane, some kind of trailer, what ever suits you! +200

Provide a screen that it has reached orbit and deployed its payload +100

Launch vehicle is piloted by Kerbonaut(s) +150

Payload :

Build a dedicated area to store the payload +50

Mate the payload on / in / below the launch vehicle +200

Bonus Points !

Each building has ladders if needed,  com and radiators. +50

Each type of facilities share the same power source through pipelines or connections (could be a solarplant, fuel cells or RTG). +100

Each module / building is launched separately and assembled on site (ISRU, then fuel tanks and so on). +100

Launch vehicle is loaded separately from its transport system. +100

Each vehicle is Kerballed by a well trained driver, crane operator or whatever. +150

Kerbonauts are installed in the rocket using a Kerbonaut vehicle and some kind of ladders / elevator +100

Launch vehicle can be deorbited on the base and refit to be launched again. (optionnal because it's mostly limited to SSTO-type, or you'd have to assemble each stage separately)

No rocket engine is used on site to power vehicles or put the launch vehicle vertically. +50

Put a few pics visible to everyone to present your creations and the rest in spoilers. (or imgur whatever!) +50

Modded game has a separate leaderboard.

 

 

72r0di.jpg

Brown : ISRU, Blue : Fuel tanks, Red arrow : Fuel transport, Green : Clamps and launch vehicle installation, Yellow : Launch vehicle, Orange : Fairing / payload and its installation-system, Purple : Emergency module and Workers office.

Not pictured : Fuel rover, ambulance, Kerbonauts vehicle, tourists bus.

 

Launchsite could be shores around KSC, grasslands, desert, what ever suits you! Top score would be 2250. The way you bring modules on site is not very important as long as it is practical enough and doesn't deter you to build beautifull modules! This is my first challenge proposal, all ideas / critics are welcome :)

Edited by Kerbolitto

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Posted (edited)

Here is the first part of my entry

 

Fuel systems :

 

n1pop0.jpg

Spoiler

Launchpad :

ua5s7u.jpg

Safety third !

zzgx5b.jpg

Base is ready to be deployed :

6chrcd.jpg

 

This outpost consists of 1 ISRU, 2 drills, 2 giant fuel tanks (one for Ox the other for Lf and Monoprop on the side), solarpannels with radiators, a control tower and docks everywhere !

Each outpost will be spaced by 4-5km so I can overload the part counts ! :D

Edited by Kerbolitto

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@Kerbolitto

I think I’m going to do this, and take it one step further: I’m going to recover part of the rocket, and reintegrate it into the rocket to be used again. And I’m going to do it in a completely stock game.

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7 hours ago, RealKerbal3x said:

@Kerbolitto

I think I’m going to do this, and take it one step further: I’m going to recover part of the rocket, and reintegrate it into the rocket to be used again. And I’m going to do it in a completely stock game.

Would be great to see that!

I thought about adding stage recovery / landing -> transport the orbiter back to the launchpad but the rocket itself has no constraint except getting into orbit. Could be a 3t. rocket with jet engines or a 10 stage monster, it's up to you :p

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Posted (edited)

Here are the Lf/Monoprop and Oxi rovers, I'll show them around the base later!

These are the same chassis with few cosmetic changes between them, the arm has 2 type of docks and is comically wobbly! The rovers are powered by 16 wheels with large electric capacity, and a small tank with fuel cells in case of emergency or solar eclipse maybe!

i5pwvm.jpg

 

iu27gr.jpg

 

Spoiler

Bill is watching the robotic arm deployement from the Lf-Rover :

njju7f.jpg

Oxi-Rover is also docked, waiting to be filled up :

8x80u2.jpg

 

Edited by Kerbolitto

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Posted (edited)

I've deployed the habitation module, it's probably bigger than needed but at least it looks good :p

 

This building has too much room, a 2 lab hospital, a chess game on the lower terrace, a barbecue and a radio on the middle terrace (with seats for sunbathing), a cool place on the higher terrace which includes a tea table ! The Habitations also features a very large solar field, an elevator and many dishes to watch Ketfliks!

7eqvhv.jpg

 

apm0hl.jpg

 

Spoiler

High-speed deployement !

bml5hx.jpg

Malrod and Majing having a cool time :

oy30z2.jpg

Arbles is watching the barbecue while the others are sunbathing :

w4crhg.jpg

Janlong Mitop and Samemone are sharing a tea behind the sun screen on the higher terrace :

3tr92i.jpg

Olivia listen K-pop during sunset, the people at the airfield in the distance are still working !

u8g7fh.jpg

Jooly Jenly and Debred have a discussion in front of the hospital module :

o3w301.jpg

Jorlan & Olivia enjoy the sunrise above the mountains :

86p6li.jpg

 

Edited by Kerbolitto

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So...

UKPS overshot the delivery by more than a few kilometers (yes this is an excuse to put everything on the mountains).

Fuel mining and storage:

Spoiler

uchMUCH.jpg

It has both mining and fuel storage capabilities, and is controlled with a probe core. It's on a plateau only partly up the mountain.

FFcLcl2.jpg

 

Launchpad:

Spoiler

The pad uses landing gear as clamps, and can support 2.5m and 3.75m parts.

R6qw8Vs.jpg

VLxZdUd.jpg

6wdYD6w.jpg

It's also perched at the top of the mountain. Finding out how to get rockets up there should be fun.

CsMOGyR.jpg

 

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@Alienwall Very cool location :D

You edited the stuff there ? I like the look of radiators, and the double grip on the launchpad :D

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4 hours ago, Alienwall said:

@Kerbolitto Thanks! Yes, they were edited there.

You chose the easy path......! :p

Personnaly I had a hard time to find a -large- flat spot in the desert to set the launchpad, I think I'll just use some kind of ramp pointing to the east.

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1 hour ago, Kerbolitto said:

You chose the easy path......! :p

Personnaly I had a hard time to find a -large- flat spot in the desert to set the launchpad, I think I'll just use some kind of ramp pointing to the east.

The area around the Dessert airfield works nicely as a flat launching area.

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10 hours ago, RealKerbal3x said:

The area around the Dessert airfield works nicely as a flat launching area.

Yeah it's very flat, but I wanted to install all the stuff far from the airfield so my framerate doesn't drop too low if I land a large plane.. I think I should create a new sandbox and throw everything around this area..!

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Just now, Kerbolitto said:

Yeah it's very flat, but I wanted to install all the stuff far from the airfield so my framerate doesn't drop too low if I land a large plane.. I think I should create a new sandbox and throw everything around this area..!

Kerbin's ice caps are another choice (they're perfectly smooth) but from there you can't really get into any kind of useful orbit.

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1 minute ago, RealKerbal3x said:

Kerbin's ice caps are another choice (they're perfectly smooth) but from there you can't really get into any kind of useful orbit.

Oh yeah that would be cool, I could launch more stuff from Woomerang.. Maybe fly the fuel from the desert to the ice caps .. Very inefficient, so I'll probably do that :D

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GY8vX6L.jpg

The Base has a rover.

Spoiler

USl2sBP.jpg

U4To19r.jpg

It has tanks for both LFO and monoprop. It has jet engines to help get up to the mountain and control the descent (in reverse thrust). Also, it turns out that mashing A/D  builds up much more speed than pressing W. Still needs those jets when fully fueled though.

Also, I just realized that I forgot to install ladders to get Jeb out... oh well, he looks happy up there anyway.

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Nice ! He can still fall so that's okay :D

Would be cool to put satellite dish or some type of antennas on the ridge of that mountain :p !

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This challenge has a lot like the classic Affordable Space Program Challenge:

That challenge (before funds and recovery were added) was to assemble a space station from at least four launches, reusing the same launch vehicle for all launches. This required building refueling vehicles, payload gantries, or entire launch gantries. (if launching vertically and landing horizontally)

My entry for that one included ridiculous pre-aero concepts like a vertically launched SSTO rocket that was unable to land safely or accurately at KSC, so a spaceplane rendezvoused with it in orbit. That spaceplane (the "Hot Dog Bun") split down the middle and attached to either side of the rocket, and the entire 3-part assembly landed on the runway. Separate the entire mess, tow the rocket away to get a new payload, push the two halves of the spaceplane back together, fuel them all back up, regret your life choices, and repeat!

Highly Technical Mission Profile by Bill:

Spoiler

RFD3OvC.jpg

https://imgur.com/a/6nqre

It's cool to see this now that the mechanical pieces are now stock!

 

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@gchristopher

Very nice ! Never heard of this challenge :)

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Posted (edited)

Launchpad is finished, I've also created 2 loaders to dock a rocket on it. The rocket itself a 3.75m vehicle but it is possible to go much larger. Those new grip pads are really handy for stabilisation !

 

ll12t8.jpg

 

Spoiler

Launchpad is ready to be moved to its location :

d0codq.jpg

 

The 2 loaders are docked together :

gnxxqp.jpg

1 loader in front, one at the back, the rocket requires extensions to hold the large docks :

v0ksku.jpg

Lifting is realively easy with an empty rocket :

8sk1ww.jpg

 

Spoiler

Rocket is ready to be picked up : the front extension is held up by a fairing above 2nd stage using interstage nodes.

y58f8s.jpg

First loader is in place :

2o4l66.jpg

Second :

z6k3dm.jpg

A little wobbly !

sjwfbt.jpg

 

With all the robotic parts around the assembly, it is possible to counter the wobbliness of the craft and point it precisely at zenith :

3p8eh1.jpg

 

Edited by Kerbolitto

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I've been wondering how to adapt this challenge to making an airfield for a reusable spaceplane? It'd be fun and not too crazy to assemble an equatorial desert airstrip by driving the parts north from the built-in desert launch site.

In the spirit of the list you've made above, I think you'd probably also need additional things like:

  • An air control tower
  • One or more weather stations for wind forecasting. (Maybe a weather radar?)
  • Pushback tractor
  • Runway beacons/lights (probably critical for practical
  • Mobile crew ladder
  • Fire/emergency service vehicles and fire station
  • If not a full hangar, then some kind of designated aircraft service area for loading a new payload
  • Crew and snack supply vehicles. (For transport to/from support facilities or a designated "civilian/commercial transport hub")
  • The actual infrastructure to bring a payload to the airstrip and mount it to the spaceplane. (Using clamp-o-trons and autostruts for stability)

What's missing there?

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12 hours ago, gchristopher said:

I've been wondering how to adapt this challenge to making an airfield for a reusable spaceplane? It'd be fun and not too crazy to assemble an equatorial desert airstrip by driving the parts north from the built-in desert launch site.

In the spirit of the list you've made above, I think you'd probably also need additional things like:

  • An air control tower
  • One or more weather stations for wind forecasting. (Maybe a weather radar?)
  • Pushback tractor
  • Runway beacons/lights (probably critical for practical
  • Mobile crew ladder
  • Fire/emergency service vehicles and fire station
  • If not a full hangar, then some kind of designated aircraft service area for loading a new payload
  • Crew and snack supply vehicles. (For transport to/from support facilities or a designated "civilian/commercial transport hub")
  • The actual infrastructure to bring a payload to the airstrip and mount it to the spaceplane. (Using clamp-o-trons and autostruts for stability)

What's missing there?

Great idea!

 

I'd say : a fuel system with tanks and "pumps", some beautifull lights for the touchdown zone, a helicopter LZ, maybe a bus service of some sort..

I think it's easier to play with planes and load them via the Mk3 ramp or a hydraulic equipment, than it is to lift a rocket, fuel it and put a payload above with the extreme wobbliness of those operations..!

 

Would you like to participate on a challenge of this kind ?

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On 8/1/2019 at 9:36 AM, Kerbolitto said:

Would you like to participate on a challenge of this kind ?

Those are good ideas! I've been thinking about it, but I think the time commitment and current game bugs/glitches will probably stop me this time around.

I was working on the basic pieces you'd need for a challenge like this. Stock robotic parts are REALLY shaky and unstable right now, wow. Eventually I figured out that if you use pistons as adjustable springs (pull force only), and ensure that there's never any lateral forces, they seem stable. But that was after discarding a dozen attempts at gantries and pushback trucks. Mostly when I connect two ground vehicles, one or both instantly explode. 

Here's the lifter and gantry I got working. The spaceplane is just under 300 tons and can carry just over 200 tons to LKO, for a 40.8% payload fraction, which won't win any efficiency contests, but is pretty respectable for being flexible enough to drag anything with a fairing into orbit.

Spoiler

spaceplane_lifter.jpg

payload_gantry.jpg

I was able to get a pushback truck to work, using a single piston to adjust the docking port height, with VERY careful force vector management and manual struts. Where I gave up was when I made a simple fuel truck, put as many of the giant wheels on it as would fit, launched it, and watched it skitter sideways across the runway, even without any robotic parts. Given how many hours it takes to do a challenge like this, I think I have to wait for the game to recover some stability from the last few rounds of updates.

I think you could include spaceplanes in this challenge just fine, btw. To me, this challenge should count as the third iteration of a Heritage challenge series, where the basic idea is "build ground operations to support repeatedly flying missions using a single lifter without using the VAB/SPH."

The first challenge was: An Affordable Space Program: making the reusable spacecraft pay off.

Spoiler

 

The second was: [REUSEABLE ROCKET] 1 Rocket 1 Station

Spoiler

 

 

I think the only thing this challenge is missing to be a full continuation of the series is some goal, to put a station into orbit in pieces, or to fly service missions to en existing station, or shuttle resupply fuel to orbit, or something. Basically, do all the cool ground stuff, AND prove that it all works by flying a few missions that put it all to use.

I'll keep poking at my heavy lift spaceplane. If I can just get wheels to start sticking to the ground, then the only real technical barrier is that a moderately optimized SSTO spaceplane tends to need a long runway. I played around a bit with docking booster carts to the underside and was able to achieve a pretty short-distance take-off, but again, that's a lot of ground-wheel interaction, which just seems extremely buggy in 1.7.3. 

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That's a lot of interresting ideas!

In my mind this challenge was purely to create infrastructures around a launchpad without having any sort of requirement for the stuff you'd have to launch, just to see what people would create and use their imagination. It would be possible to make a far bigger challenge with intricate and long-term goals but this one for me, is just about buildings, cranes, rovers and stuff on the ground.

I can think on some new stuff to add, like constructing an airport service, a floating base or that type of stuff for a change!

btw: cool SSTO : :p

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