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Non-rocket spacelaunch (Except the space elevator) reevaluated.


Lo.M
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Magrails (StarTram)  

36 members have voted

  1. 1. Magrails (StarTram)

    • Yes.
      26
    • No, complicated for the game.
      6
    • No, not necessary.
      3
    • No, magical.
      1
  2. 2. Skyhook and Rotovator

    • Yes.
      21
    • No, complicated for the game.
      8
    • No, not necessary.
      4
    • No, magical.
      3
  3. 3. Mass dives and RailGun

    • Yes.
      30
    • No, complicated for the game.
      1
    • No, not necessary.
      5
    • No, magical.
      0


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A: Interesting idea. I say "probably not", because maglev stuff definitely seems very futuresque, and perhaps too advanced of an idea for Kerbals. With the addition of C, they'd also become obsolete, so I voted "not necessary".

B: if the physics range is large enough, and parts can become sturdy enough, you literally can't prevent this type of thing from existing. People will build it even without specialized parts. It's a very Kerbal thing anyways, so I'd definitely say yes.

C: Very Kerbal, very useful. Yet again with a high enough physics range and a decent enough automation system, you can build rails out of spacecraft or colony parts, and use motors and servos to roll the ship up to speed and launch it. Ergo similar to B.

Edited by LittleBitMore
forgot a thing
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10 hours ago, LittleBitMore said:

: Interesting idea. I say "probably not", because maglev stuff definitely seems very futuresque, and perhaps too advanced of an idea for Kerbals. With the addition of C, they'd also become obsolete, so I voted "not necessary".

I don't think the StarTram concept is more futuristic than a space elevator or an orbital ring.

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14 hours ago, LittleBitMore said:

A: Interesting idea. I say "probably not", because maglev stuff definitely seems very futuresque, and perhaps too advanced of an idea for Kerbals. With the addition of C, they'd also become obsolete, so I voted "not necessary".

B: if the physics range is large enough, and parts can become sturdy enough, you literally can't prevent this type of thing from existing. People will build it even without specialized parts. It's a very Kerbal thing anyways, so I'd definitely say yes.

C: Very Kerbal, very useful. Yet again with a high enough physics range and a decent enough automation system, you can build rails out of spacecraft or colony parts, and use motors and servos to roll the ship up to speed and launch it. Ergo similar to B.

A: this technology already has been proven in RL. It can be used as a catapult or as basic light rail transportation. (Whether it's on the ground or on an orbital platform is irrelevant.) I can't see why the Kerbals wouldn't use it.

B: even though it is technically possible to do this, the level of timing and precision required would make carrier landings look like child's play. If you mess up, you don't just go around for another pass, you would end up destroying the craft and the hook itself.

C: you're basically saying the same reasons why mag rails are useful for this one. 

So I have to ask, why do you think mag rail isn't thesible but a mass driver is? The only difference between the two is where the object sits when it's propelled forward.

 

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I dunno. I feel mass drivers are more realistic because KSP1 already has rover wheels and robotic servos, which can be used in that kind of stuff, and maglev... just feels off. There's no real easy way to out it but mass drivers have more appeal, and I'd assume only one would really be needed

Edit: forgot to ping who I was replying to. @shdwlrd now they can reply if they like

Edited by LittleBitMore
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If I can't stack a probe core and gunpowder bags into a naval cannon and make holes on the Mün all the way from Duna, I'm not playing. I'd love to have official, non-rocket forms of launching stuff into the inky black without glitches. Sure, I could use a bunch of thrusters to make a railgun, but it didn't really work. I'd love to be able to fire things out of the atmosphere at mach 6! Yes to all 3. Skyhooks aren't really to complicated for the game when we can already really do them, albeit on a really small scale. Maglev sounds super fun late-game and I could probably use them to make a railgun. Mass Drivers are an overwhelming yes from me. All of it sounds super fun to play with.

Edited by Kernel Kraken
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I think that mass drivers are the only thing on this list that would be good for the game, but only if they are used in a vacuum so they don't have to be enormous and possibly break the game.  Skyhooks are just to complex in both gameplay and cpu wise. trying to catch a hook moving through the stratosphere at orbital velocities sounds a bit too hard for most gamers to achieve.

Oh and tensile structures don't work in KSP so keep that in mind.

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2 hours ago, Zacho said:

Honestly  A and C are the same thing. 

No, the StarTram is basically a maglev train, a space vehicle is placed above it, when it reaches enough speed, the vehicle is decoupled. A Mass drive is basically a tube where projectiles are accelerated by magnetism, are different concepts.

Edited by Lo.M
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4 hours ago, LittleBitMore said:

I dunno. I feel mass drivers are more realistic because KSP1 already has rover wheels and robotic servos, which can be used in that kind of stuff, and maglev... just feels off. There's no real easy way to out it but mass drivers have more appeal, and I'd assume only one would really be needed

Edit: forgot to ping who I was replying to. @shdwlrd now they can reply if they like

Why does it feel off?

29 minutes ago, SpaceFace545 said:

I think that mass drivers are the only thing on this list that would be good for the game, but only if they are used in a vacuum so they don't have to be enormous and possibly break the game.  Skyhooks are just to complex in both gameplay and cpu wise. trying to catch a hook moving through the stratosphere at orbital velocities sounds a bit too hard for most gamers to achieve.

Oh and tensile structures don't work in KSP so keep that in mind.

Not like we're working with spaceships several kilometres long and complicated orbital physics. I don't think complexity and difficulty are reasons to leave skyhooks out as the 1st game is already complex and difficult. I mean, why did Squad bother adding the Kerbol system beyond Kerbin and its moons all the way back in 0.17 if it's too difficult for even many of the players here?

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2 hours ago, Spaceman.Spiff said:

So a railgun?

"A railgun is a linear motor device, typically designed as a weapon, that uses electromagnetic force to launch high velocity projectiles. The projectile normally does not contain explosives, instead relying on the projectile's high speed, mass, and kinetic energy to inflict damage. === >The railgun uses a pair of parallel conductors (rails), along which a sliding armature is accelerated by the electromagnetic effects of a current that flows down one rail, into the armature and then back along the other rail. It is based on principles similar to those of the homopolar motor."

"A mass driver or an electromagnetic catapult use linear motors to accelerate and catapult objects to high speeds. A mass driver may also be referred to as a Coil Gun or Gauss gun, but those devices are designed with a ferromagnetic (magnetically reactive) payload in mind.  In other words, what ever is being accelerated has to be affected by a magnetic field.  The payload does not have to generate a magnetic field. If a mass drive needs to accelerate an non-ferromagnetic mass, than a carrier mechanism is typically used.  This carrier could be something like a sabbot casing/round, or an open ended “cage”, but if a carrier is used, then typically it is reused.

Does that clear it up?  Well, you might be asking what a linear motor is.  So let’s step back a step.

A Linear motor, effectively is a motor that has been “unrolled” so that instead of producing rotational force (Torque), it produces forward motion (linear force).

Rail Gun

So, what is different with a rail gun?

A rail gun is a gun that works completely on an electrical basis.  There are two metal rails that are electrically charged, and the “shell” or payload bridges these rails.  So the payload / shell completes the circuit, that current interacts with the magnetic fields generated by the rails, and that accelerates the projectile.

The completed circuit resembles a large inductor, in that it is a large conductive loop with current through it, whose inductance is proportional to the area enclosed by the loop. The magnetic field generates a force upon all the components of the rail gun, but since the projectile is the only part not rigidly fixed, it is moved by the force. The force acts to increase the size of the inductive loop, driving the projectile away.

The key component to note here is that the projectile needs to be conductive, not ferromagnetic, and the rails must be exposed in order to pass current. This limits military applications because the presence of dirt in the rails could break the circuit, causing an electric arc flash, causing the system to act more like an arc welder. Also, the rails wear out due to the heating caused by the lack of superconductivity.

So, a true rail gun may not be practical for Military purposes, but a Mass driver / Coil Gun design would be more practical for Military purposes."

Edited by Lo.M
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7 hours ago, LittleBitMore said:

I dunno. I feel mass drivers are more realistic because KSP1 already has rover wheels and robotic servos, which can be used in that kind of stuff, and maglev... just feels off. There's no real easy way to out it but mass drivers have more appeal, and I'd assume only one would really be needed

Edit: forgot to ping who I was replying to. @shdwlrd now they can reply if they like

Both seem fairly reasonable to me. I'm not thinking of what KSP1 has. I'm thinking of what can come in KSP2. If you look at the little jump ramp attached to the colonies, it would be perfect for an electromagnetic catapult system. Since water is a premium on a colony, you wouldn't want to waste it driving a steam catapult system.

My rational is making a comparison to the catapult systems used by aircraft carriers to fling the planes (or whatever else is attached to it) off the deck. Plus, I do think the Kerbals would enjoy that type of ride.

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I want a laser launch facility... although that does get into rocket territory, the first part of the launch can be done just by heating atmosphere, and would not really be a rocket when used in appropriate atmosphere... Plus the same facility could be used for powering light sails

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4 hours ago, SpaceFace545 said:

 

Oh and tensile structures don't work in KSP so keep that in mind.

Well, we aren't talking about KSP. I feel like a  very small orbital starhook would work in KSP1, but it'd be pretty lame. A real, full sized one could be a late game objective in KSP2, and once built and in orbit could be treated as a stationary moon of Kerbin. 

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4 hours ago, Spaceman.Spiff said:

So a railgun?

More like coilgun, but it's an electromagnetic linear drive of some sort either way, yeah. Same with startram/maglev. Main difference is that magnetic levitation of the later makes it a bit more viable for regenerative landings, not just launches.

In both cases, atmo is a huge problem. There are proposals of building these at high altitudes, using vacuum tubes, etc, but I think that's all a bit too out there for KSP2. On the other hand, on the airless worlds/moons, you literally just need to build a really big electromagnetic accelerator to launch cargo into space. It's pretty straight forward, and given much higher g-tolerances of Kerbals, makes it viable as tech for colonies.

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10 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

laser launch for worlds with significant air

Some sort of beamed power, at any rate, yeah. Again, I don't know if that'd be within scope of KSP2, but that's the sort of thing that I'd like to see in a mod, at least. Plausible with near-future tech. Very useful, as even the most basic implementation is like having a jet engine on your SSTO that requires no fuel while you're in atmosphere. And yet, it comes with significant limitation of requiring either a ground or orbital station to produce required power. It's just a perfect synergy with KSP2's base-building.

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And plus, you could build planetary fortresses and massive dreadnaughts ... without calling them such. It would be the "Kzinti lesson" all over again if some alien came poking its head around and thought your kerbals to be an easy target (Yes this would just be role playing, but I'm sure some intrepid modder could make them functional weapons too).

This sort of dual purpose tech is the only way I'd allow weapons in game... but railguns for launching spacecraft would also be dual purpose installations...

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