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[WIP] Jade's Dev Thread - Sterling Systems


JadeOfMaar
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After messing around a bit, I think I finally have pretty solid design. Atm it has space for 3 kerbals but I may reduce that to 2. Here is a overview of how it may look:

Left: Deployed with shutter open.                                                   Middle: Internal/pressure hull view.                                                       Right: Folded wheels and closed shutter.
DAeCeL3.png
Keep in mind that I am only working on the general layout, mesh are temporary and will be completely redone once I figure out all the details. Cylinder at the bottom is 2.5m and with 1.875/1.25/0.625 circle.


@JadeOfMaar At this point I should probably create a topic of my own. Its seems that your two design are pretty much set and what I am posting is totally different. I do not want to derail your development tread.

Edited by RedParadize
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1 hour ago, RedParadize said:

@JadeOfMaar At this point I should probably create a topic of my own. Its seems that your two design are pretty much set and what I am posting is totally different. I do not want to derail your development tread.

That's fine by me. Yeah my rover body profiles are pretty much set now, and I've gotten some great 3rd party ideas for some goodies to sneak in. Feel free to link me to that thread. I'm really enjoying your art.

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11 minutes ago, JadeOfMaar said:

That's fine by me. Yeah my rover body profiles are pretty much set now, and I've gotten some great 3rd party ideas for some goodies to sneak in. Feel free to link me to that thread. I'm really enjoying your art.

Thanks.

Modeling, texturing and rigging are things I know I can do. As for the unity/ksp integration I am clueless. If its something that interest you I will definitively need help to finalize it. In fact, before going further I have a bunch of question that really need to be answered. Such as can wheels be folded using the same joints as the suspension? If not I may have to alter my design.

Edited by RedParadize
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@RedParadize You're safe with animating everything except the sphere that serves as the wheel collider. If you use Discord you can find me in the server of th planet mod "Galaxies Unbound" and we could possibly voice chat and I can help you get rolling with Unity and Part Tools.

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32 minutes ago, JadeOfMaar said:

@RedParadize You're safe with animating everything except the sphere that serves as the wheel collider. If you use Discord you can find me in the server of th planet mod "Galaxies Unbound" and we could possibly voice chat and I can help you get rolling with Unity and Part Tools.

Thank you very much! Can you pm me the link of that discord?

Nevermind, I found it. KOTTABOS Games? Whats your name over there?

Edited by RedParadize
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Last set of parts (I hope) for Sea Quest Science: 2.5m probe core, 1.875m probe core (both 0.6m tall, with generous battery and reaction wheel) and a 2.5m tank (1.2m tall, complements the equivalent 1.875m tank). The probe cores will have a computer screen vibe in their little black screen panels like in the box racks.

unknown.png

I've slowed because I'm developing other parts packs in parallel:

  • GU Parts (overhaul in progress, and due to be renamed and absorbed under Sterling Systems).
  • Rational Resources Parts (overhaul in progress: phasing out all the borrowed harvester and refinery models).
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Posted (edited)

I might as well go the full 9 yards with probe cores. Every profile, taller than normal, lots of battery and reaction wheel, and CLS passable when large enough.

These will go into my Deep Sky Core mod which will also be made a hard requirement for Sea Quest, and will be purged of every part and config that's in there right now (except for the agency stuff) because honestly, it's full of old junk and I no longer want any of that to persist. This means that Airline Kuisine and Thor Tech break...If anyone still uses those, just roll back the Deep Sky Core version.

jYrIwfg.png

Edited by JadeOfMaar
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On 4/7/2022 at 5:31 PM, SkyFall2489 said:

Which mod exactly?

(Bringing this over from Angel-125's thread to not possibly derail it)

Regarding a deployable ground-attached foundation for base-building, the project of mine that contains it is "World Power." The aim therein is to provide rarely touched, and large scale ways to harvest energy. Some of these parts can easily pass as base parts, therefore my desire for a deployable foundation. Until I get through Sterling Systems, I don't want to draw attention to that project out here.

Part preview: Sterling Systems

1.25m Thermal Nozzles

These little monsters accept ThermalPower from compatible nuclear reactors and use this, rather than combustion, to energize their propellant. I don't know exactly what the rockets' Isp's should be, but they're likely no doubt as good as NERVA, as fundamentally, that's how they behave. Their peak thrusts can far exceed that of the stock engines they resemble but they will be crippled if the reactors overheat and underperform, and they will produce concerning levels of heat themselves, so be prepared to pack even more radiators.

Each engine has a specific advantage (and disadvantage) so expect to use more than one type on your trans-astmospheric vehicle or high speed nuclear aircraft. The rockets are not bi-propellant so you can drop all your Oxidizer and pack more LiquidFuel instead.

  • Turbojet: (Note, not Turboramjet) Amazing low speed performance but its top speed and overall performance compare to the Panther, not the Whiplash.
  • Ramjet: Low speed performance is pretty weak since it lacks the turbine phase, but once you're supersonic, it's adequately self-powering and can bring you past Mach 6.
  • Aerospike: Sustainer/Cross-range rocket. The power you need when in thick atmo, but don't expect a great efficiency buff when in vacuum.
  • Bell: Vacuum optimized. Don't go very deep into atmosphere with this, but look forward to the power of an army of atomic Wolfhounds!

Ycy3e65.png

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On 4/9/2022 at 8:53 PM, JadeOfMaar said:

and they will produce concerning levels of heat themselves

Actually, since you've decoupled this part from the reactor, it will be an enormously powerful cooling element.  Think about it - there's no combustion, since it's a thermal engine, and you've explicitly moved the heat source *out* of the part, so all it does here is take heat and put that into propellant, which it then gets rid of.  And if you want a whole ton of info on thermal rockets, and probably more than can be reasonably fit into mod mechanics but hey it's good to know where you're deviating from reality at least:

To quantify, you can use its thrust power, which is is basically the kinetic energy of the exhaust, over time to get power, and so can be found by one half of mass flow times exhaust velocity squared - if you use kg/sand m/s, you'll get watts. This must be supplied (and is consumed) by the engine, and in this case, that takes the form of heat taken from reactors and such. You'll notice that the thrust power is actually gargantuan - the reason thermal engines need cooling is not because you generate more heat in the engine part of it, but because the reactors it takes to run them are so massively powerful that even just the tiny bit lost to inefficiency adds up. An engine of 10km/s exhaust velocity (corresponding to about 1000s of Isp after converting units) and 10 kg/s of  mass flow (multiply by exhaust velocity to get idealized thrust  of 10 kn) is eating a half-gigawatt of heat, meaning it needs a reactor outputting a half-gigawatt to run. Generally, what you'll do is run slightly too much fuel through, to ensure that absolutely every bit of heat you can is put into it, cutting the efficiency losses as small as absolutely possible. But of course, this does mean if you run your engine at a lower throttle without first throttling back the reactor, you'll suddenly find yourself with a huge heat excess your ship probably isn't built for.

The exhaust velocity will directly determine your Isp - the theoretically ideal nozzle will have them equal, but nozzle design and atmosphere will reduce that (and with it true thrust from ideal). The exhaust velocity, in turn, will be determined by the temperature of the propellant, which ideally will match the temperature of the reactor (but it may not heat up all the way, this is where those aforementioned losses come from). If you pump more fuel through, you'll increase thrust, but with it you also increase thrust power and thus the amount of heat the engine consumes. If you pump too much fuel through and the engine starts to cool more than the reactor can heat, the temperature of the reactor and thus of the propellant will drop, causing the exhaust velocity to decrease until the thrust power matches the reactor power (after thermodynamic inefficiencies of course). And of course with that loss comes lower Isp, as well as thrust, but if you do the math you might notice that Isp drops less than flow rate increases, which means pumping more fuel through than the reactor can handle does still net you a thrust increase, it just comes at the cost of efficiency. Its a square root relation, so if you double the mass flow rate of an engine operating at peak power, you only increase thrust 41%, which equates to Isp dropping to 71% of what it started with.

Expanding this info to airbreathing engines gets a fair bit more complex,  though, especially once you start really needing to factor in the serious hits to heat transfer efficiency with a propellant starting in the gaseous phase and potentially moving hypersonic. However, while I can't easily provide any full way to determine performance, all the basics will still hold here - it'll dump massive amounts of heat and thus need a massively powerful reactor to keep up with, with all the associated thermal margin concerns, and pumping excess fuel (or intake air) can increase thrust at the cost of efficiency (one important thing to note unique to airbreathing engines is that a reduction in exhaust velocity also corresponds to a reduction in maximum useful speed)

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Part preview: Sterling Systems

Interplanetary Vessel Engines

The Expanse starts here. There is one more engine in this series. More may come but are not promised. There will be no ion engines. All engines provide physical gimbal and adequate thrust for crewed vessels to get around with reduced need for time warp mods.

  • Flow Stabilized Z-Pinch
    Set at 3.75m but will also be available at 2.5m. I'm well aware that this engine should be much longer than I chose to make it, but let's be honest. A few of us really don't like that and want our grand tour ship to not be 50% engine by length. The FSZP pairs low but favorable TWR with 6-digit Isp.
  • Nuclear SaltWater Rocket
    With 2.5m top and 3.75m alternate top. Conceptually it's the same as the one in Far Future Tech. TWR is high, paired with upper 4-digit Isp. Please be a good neighbor and don't fire this at your rendezvous target or a live-able planet.
  • Mini-Mag Orion
    Set at 2.5m. This advanced, Orion-based engine uses Z-Pinch magnetism to implode and ignite simplified but exotic nuclear charges which are not bombs. TWR is low but favorable, along with lower 5-digit Isp.

iBruFRc.png

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@610yesnolovely Thanks. :DActually, any resemblance to OPT is coincidental and not intentional. Sterling Systems is more of a rival to KSP Interstellar than to Far Future Tech (in that it's about much more than just the engines and the power supplies for them). There isn't much desire to go "Far Far" but this may be the case with the insterstellar vehicle class of engines. See my selection of parts as largely the effect of a space race. For example: Atomics in mods typically reference [for power generation] what I presume is the conventional "Light Water Reactor" type which consumes EnrichedUranium and produces DepletedFuel and [for engines] the NERVA. I've chosen to reference, not even Molten Salt but the "Pebble Bed Reactor" for both, and I've planned a different shape for my gas core lightbulb engine.

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On 4/15/2022 at 11:08 PM, JadeOfMaar said:

Nuclear SaltWater Rocket
With 2.5m top and 3.75m alternate top. Conceptually it's the same as the one in Far Future Tech.

I think I can say this engine is now conceptually sufficiently different. This model (entirely different now) goes by the idea of hosting its combustion outside of the vessel and insulating itself primarily with high pressure water, which results in it being low profile and more of a pusher plate and much less of an internal combustion engine.

The added fuselage is a High Flux Isotope Reator (HFIR), a device purely purposed for providing heavy neutron exposure to whatever is passed through it. This is the core feature of a Lithium SaltWater Rocket. Conversely to NSWR: The propellant and exhaust are clean and non-radiaoactive but you're keeping a roaring neutron lion in a cage at the bottom of your ship.

FcgeB90.png

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2 hours ago, JadeOfMaar said:

Conversely to NSWR: The propellant and exhaust are clean and non-radiaoactive

Well, relatively at least - there's still tritium coming out of that (though that's much less of a concern than the alternative), and the actual fusion reaction within the exhaust itself produces massive neutron fluxes that'll turn anything remotely near your engine into radioactive waste itself. Really, the main advantage is that its fuel doesn't want to become a nuclear bomb at the first opportunity. With a NSWR you've gotta fill the tanks with control rods and any leak is catastrophic, while with a LSWR there's no such need. It's also slightly higher Isp due to lower molecular weight exhaust. Downsides are primarily the extra weight of the separate nuclear reactor you already mentioned, but also slightly lower thrust and more expensive duel (lithium-6 deuteride).

Basically, it's still just as liable to lay waste to everything around it but the ship itself will be safer, and it also acts a bit like a hydrolox to the NSWR's kerolox

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  • 2 weeks later...

I lied. Not all of the engines can gimbal.

Say hello to a new default NTR for interplanetary vessels: The Pebble Bed. It is not another classic solid corve NERVA family NTR. This engine features a spinning core (as it were a liquid core, but to hold the fission pebbles in) and a visible counter-spinning wheel (styled like a reaction wheel). This engine is 3.75m but is actually aimed at 2.5m, with switchable mounting ring for each. At half-size, it is 1.875m, aimed at 1.25m.

Why the apple? It's the result of one of the idea guys repeatedly mis-pronouncing "Pebble Bed" in a way which eventually led me to remember the [Despicable Me] minion that says "bapple" at the end of the minions' banana skit.

p8fFgU5.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

The default fusion rocket: Magnetic confinement. Its mounts: 2.5m, 3.75m. It has physical gimbal, is also afterburning, and will accept a 3rd propellant (which can vary and will be selectable via B9 Part Switch).

QAzfcvN.png

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Today: A tiny fix to the Z-Pinch engine model; Drew the heat emissive forthat; And made the remaining textures for this, the Mini-Mag Orion with proper nozzle model (in opposition to the image earlier on this page). I wanted to have more progress today but got royally sidetracked by something to test and learn (when the manual is poorly translated from Chinese to English).

2.5m profile, 9.5m tall, physical gimbal

3xX60hO.png

I had gone through mostly texturing the LSWR in the interim somewhere (somewhen) but learned that the unwrapping failed miserably for the AO so I threw it aside.

Edited by JadeOfMaar
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Posted (edited)

I decided to reach into the old plans and recycle some drafts. The intention here is to include these among the nuclear thermal rockets in the SSTO engines section and fill a very certain gap left wide open in stock:

Circular Scramjet

Stock provides only the RAPIER for its particular role of being an efficient (if only by sparing you the mass and volume of a dedicated sustainer rocket) upper ascent phase engine for your (usually SSTO) spaceplanes. Why a scramjet? Although it's heavy and inefficient in itself, it still offers far better fuel economy vs an LFO engine and better empowers hypersonic cruisers.

Parts:

  • 1.875m hollow scramjet body. Allows mounting your choice 1.25m engine through it. (But there is a bug that arises between symmetry and crossfeed through an engine to another engine.)
  • 1.25m radial-only scramjet nacelle. May include a short pylon.

Circular Shcramjet

Functionally superior form of the scramjet, named by the Chinese as "Sodramjet." This is of the oblique/standing detonation breed of engines and is directly superior to the scramjet. Technically, this engine is quite overpowered on system scales lower than 6.4x as it virtually has no upper airspeed limit, so it is provided primarily for players of real scale and Realism Overhaul, and secondarily because it's (afaik) the apex of chemical ramjet technology.

The orange glow represents my intention for some of the throttle/combustion light to shine through the intake side due to near-zero combustion chamber volume. But this might actually apply to all of these engines.

Parts:

  • 1.25m radial-only shcramjet nacelle. May include a short pylon.

RpfoGjO.png

Edited by JadeOfMaar
added Shcramjet model (right)
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Posted (edited)

Gas Core Chinese Lanterns!

That is all. :D

Spoiler

5m bodies; 3.75m (or 2.5m) mounts.

  • Tall one is closed cycle with optional heatsink tail.
  • Short spherical one is open cycle.

UTm02kn.png

Edited by JadeOfMaar
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Finally fixed the unwrapping and got though to texturing for the SaltWater rocket, and produced most of the missing heat emissive textures. This concludes the interplanetary engines suite. There may be other engines that I did not show and will not show. My sights are set now on the interstellar engines suite (just 4 or 5).

AMdy8bf.png

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