JMBuilder

Stability Assist for Hovering Vehicles

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I'll try to explain this in a non-confusing way...

Basically, it would be nice to have a special type of SAS mode for a vehicle dedicated to hovering (using fixed vertical jets and the like; think helicarrier or other airship-type vehicle). The assist would use things like engine gimbal, individual engine thrust, or rotor torque in such a way as to keep the craft level and/or at a specific altitude while maneuvering.

I have no idea if this is a realistic suggestion. The autopilot mechanics would be pretty complicated.

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Posted (edited)

So basically a stock version Smart A.S.S. from mechjeb (we rarely need all of mechjeb but it has some very useful tools) so we can input a numeric heading and pitch/roll/yaw angles to try and hold. Stock SAS just tries to hold "this heading" but any motion beyond a certain range makes it forget what "this heading" is and just settle for whatever, meaning it'll never hold perfectly level and can't compensate for horizon drift. Being able to just order it to hold the horizon or a specific "default" angle it can't lose track of is all we should need. I would like it, since SmASS is one of few things I always want mechjeb for.

I mean we could go full fly-by-wire (many such mods exist so it's doable) but that should be the bare minimum to accomplish the task.

Edited by Loskene

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Just add a probe core or a docking port to the top of the vehicle.  

Then you can right click the part -> control from here.  Then turn SAS on and set it to radial out. 

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23 hours ago, AVaughan said:

Just add a probe core or a docking port to the top of the vehicle.  

Then you can right click the part -> control from here.  Then turn SAS on and set it to radial out. 

This helps, but it would still be nice to have an engine thrust autopilot to keep the craft at a specific altitude.

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Yes, the thrust to weight ratio increases all the time the engines are on, or Valentina deploys something.

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Frankly, a simple  'hold level'  option* for SAS when in surface mode  (equivalent to controlling from a top-mounted probecore and setting SAS to radial out) would probably already help a LOT, both for VTOL/helicopter applications and even spaceplanes/shuttles.

 

*bonus Kudos if we can set an angle above/below Horizon to point the nose at, for Shuttle/spaceplane reentries.

 

Yes, most of this is already quite possible with MechJeb.  But I'm a firm believer in "if it makes the game better, why not make it stock??"

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It's probably worth looking at TCA for both the upsides and the downsides of this.  It's got several features doing exactly this...  And a *lot* of dense UI to control them.

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