Jump to content

KSP Visual Calculator


Blaarkies
 Share

Recommended Posts

KSP Visual Calculator

Online tool that assists in playing Kerbal Space Program

 

I have released a new tool for Kerbal Space Program to help players visualize and plan missions in-game. This calculates the delta-v requirements for a mission, and also CommNet constellations.

For delta-v calculations, players can select multiple planets/moons as checkpoints and have the dv requirements automatically calculated for them.

For CommNet constellations, players can add spacecraft with specific configurations of antennae, and then drag the spacecraft and planets around to mimic an in-game situation they would like to analyze. All spacecraft are linked with colored lines when a connection is established between them, showing their signal strength.

Online tool: https://ksp-visual-calculator.blaarkies.com/

 

uc?id=1NxyczncI5O3-yhSPcbDv80Mz2pJIPLsj&


uc?id=1saWi5OISvJ23YxsqJwJAgF-2oViEhM8-&

 

Checkout the github repo issues tracker 

Some details about the usage:

  • Delta-v requirements are measured as best case scenarios. If you are not an Ace pilot yet, use the "margin of error" preferences control to add some safety to the final results.
  • The trip details are a good way to learn optimal orbital mechanics
    • When using the "Efficient" route mode in preferences, you might see extra visits in your journey because in total they will require less delta-v
  • On the Delta-v Planner page, the location of planets on screen has no effect on the calculations. Feel free to move them around to better visualize your mission
  • Antenna calculations have been tested against 30 in-game test scenarios with full accuracy
  • Orbits in the app are not elliptical, and not in 3 dimensions
    • Most orbits in-game are nearly circular anyway; inaccuracies are minor
    • For CommNets, it does not account for any inclination in orbits. Most in-game orbits are flat enough (relative to each other) so that straight line distances do not differ too much due to this, but in certain situations like Pol <-> Bob this can be more obvious

 

 

Edited by Blaarkies
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
11 hours ago, Josh Harris said:

So much more intuitive than a bunch of numbers and trial and error flights. Great job!

Thanks, im glad it worked (that was literally my main goal making this :D)
- I wanted to like drag craft around in the Tracking Station screen, to see the effects of different comm dishes

So for a first pass, i focused on making it fulfill questions like: "If I had an HG-5 antenna between Mun and Minmus, can I get signal inside most of Kerbin SOI?"
No numbers or exact measurements, just vague things like "between" :blush:

There is a bunch of improvements/features on the Github repo for this tool that I still want to add later, but free time has been quite a bit rare for me lately.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Just getting a feel for what KSP players would find useful, I'm thinking about adding this to the tool:

DV Planner

  • just a second page on the same website
  • displays the Kerbol system
  • user clicks on planets in a sequence to setup a mission "path"
    • this populates mission nodes (looks like KSP rocket staging icons)
    • user can edit these nodes to set them as surface landing, or low orbit, or elliptical orbit, etc.
  • this displays stats about the mission profile
    • how much dv is needed
    • minimum recommended TWR
      • going from Kerbin elliptical to Eeloo intercept still requires 1140m/s dv
      • a low 0.1 TWR ion engine craft won't be able to accelerate that much in the last Kerbin pass


What do you think, would you use it regularly, is it a great way to visualize this?

Edited by Blaarkies
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Blaarkies Loving the tool, mate. Big Remote Tech fan back on KSP ~1.1 on my Career #1. but finally wanted to test out the stock CommNet. Was always scared off, seemed too hard to model / test things (/couldn't be bothered doing maths) so had it switched off for my Career #2 save. Now giving it a go with your tool's help.
Thanks for developing it. Enjoy a coffee and keep up the good work.

Yep, I would probably use the dV addition to your planner. Good idea.

A qn. if you please: What does clicking Signal Check do? I don't detect anything.

Edited by Maverick_aus
extra qn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah I agree, the CommNet number under each antenna's description in the VAB is hard to visualize and actually use without trial and error. I got this idea while doing the Caveman Challenge (career mode, but you win by unlocking everything you can, without doing any building upgrades). There I was sending shoestring budget craft to Minmus, and wanted a better idea of the antenna range that far out. 
 

Thanks, it's great to hear you are having a great time with it :D

 

5 hours ago, Maverick_aus said:

A qn. if you please: What does clicking Signal Check do? I don't detect anything.

That menu just links to pages. The Signal Check page is also the default page in the app (the one you use when setting up some relay craft between planets to see the green comms lines)
So clicking it just takes you to where you already are :blush:

In the future, I might add the "DV planner" in that list, which will take you to the dv planner page (where the tools and info are better setup to help with mission planning instead of CommNet signal-checks)

Edited by Blaarkies
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I just released a minor update to the tool!

Version 1.0.3

  • SOIs to planets and moons for craft to stick onto; dragging Kerbin around will keep nearby craft moving with Kerbin, dragging the craft will show SOI bubbles as it gets dragged by planets
  • Focus the camera onto different planets by pressing TAB just like in-game; there is also a simple list to click the planet you want to focus
  • More test cases to confirm the accuracy of multi-antenna craft
  • Statistics panel when selecting antennae on craft; it displays the total mass, cost, power, etc. of the antennae selected
  • Dashed lines between craft indicate that they support a relay signal; you can tell which craft won't have a valid connection in-game, even though there are solid green lines on the tool...it's the dashed lines that matter
  • Measurements on the craft altitude, signal length, and signal strength
  • Advanced placement of craft; select the body to orbit, at a specific altitude, at a specific angle to put the craft exactly where you want it
  • Icons in dropdown menus; in the list of antennae it is now easy to differentiate relay from direct types or tracking station types
  • Tooltips to help explain some of the less obvious inputs
  • A quick-help FAQ page to explain details; it is a helpful mini-wiki with search functionality to be your guru

Thanks to everyone who helped by providing valuable feedback, I couldn't think of half of these improvements mentioned here by myself:blush2:

                                                                                                                                                                                        

Edited by Blaarkies
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/12/2021 at 12:36 AM, Blaarkies said:

I just released a minor update to the tool!

Version 1.0.3

  • SOIs to planets and moons for craft to stick onto; dragging Kerbin around will keep nearby craft moving with Kerbin, dragging the craft will show SOI bubbles as it gets dragged by planets
  • Focus the camera onto different planets by pressing TAB just like in-game; there is also a simple list to click the planet you want to focus
  • More test cases to confirm the accuracy of multi-antenna craft
  • Statistics panel when selecting antennae on craft; it display the total mass, cost, power, etc. of the antennae selected
  • Dashed lines between craft indicate that they support a relay signal; you can tell which craft won't have a valid connection in-game, even though there are solid green lines on the tool...it's the dashed lines that matter
  • Measurements on the craft altitude, signal length, and signal strength
  • Advanced placement of craft; select the body to orbit, at a specific altitude, at a specific angle to put the craft exactly where you want it
  • Icons in dropdown menus; in the list of antennae it is now easy to differentiate relay from direct types or tracking station types
  • Tooltips to help explain some of the less obvious inputs
  • A quick-help FAQ page to explain details; it is a helpful mini-wiki with search functionality to be your guru

Thanks to everyone who helped by providing valuable feedback, I couldn't think of half of these improvements mentioned here by myself:blush2:

                                                                                                                                                                                        

Nice! Thank you @Blaarkies for maintaining this and adding new features :) I've been using it regularly. It's so handy :heart_eyes:
If you want more feedback, I have (a big) one: a way to save a planner state would be immensely handy using the tool through time. For folks like me with a more complex relay network, every time I use it I have to enter the basic set-up universe/save game info before getting down to what I'm trying to test. Eg change Kerbin to Tracking station 3, add standard LKO relay (various antennas), add Outer Kerbal relay sat (various antennas) etc. THEN add the thing I want to test.
Just an idea.
Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, I'm glad it's still useful :blush2:

4 hours ago, Maverick_aus said:

...more feedback, I have (a big) one: a way to save a planner state would be immensely handy using the tool through time. ...

I have had such idea in the back of my mind, but you just described it perfectly!:targetpro:

I will need to setup accounts and stuff like that though, so that users can login and select their "savegame" from their list that they would like to look at or modify.
It would be a big feature with lots of upfront effort, but after that it opens up many doors to all kinds of things, like allowing "mods" to be added for users playing with extra/other planet systems and antennae.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...



Version 1.1.0

  • Save games; you can now save the current configuration of planets and craft in the app, and load it back up next time
  • Sign in account; to access save game storage simply sign in to the app. This allows saving/loading your personal list of save games on many devices (e.g. on a tablet while playing KSP on your computer)
    • Simple email/password accounts are supported, as well as Google accounts
  • Import/Export save games to .json files; share these files with other players to show your ideas, better explain a specific situation in your game, or post it on the forums for others to see
  • Auto-save; keeps your currently selected game up to date as you make changes
  • Manage save games; rename, delete, or reset specific games as you see fit
  • Touch screen support; drag planets around with your finger, or zoom in by pinching the universe between two fingers
    • Mobile (small screen) support is currently in beta, some text panels might not fit properly on screen and some features might not function as intended
  • Double-click planets to focus; double-tap on touch screen devices for the same effect
  • Loading screen at startup; some eye-candy while you wait
     
  • Fixes
    • Relay signal lines had a visual bug when 2 lines on screen appeared perpendicular to each other
    • Some tutorial steps could be skipped accidently without completing the actual task
    • Some tutorial panels would appear offscreen
    • Added help section about camera controls


If you run into any issues, please post feedback about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        

Edited by Blaarkies
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 


Version 1.1.1

  • Mobile-friendly versions of all large visual elements 
    • Create/edit craft window; adding craft with many antennae will now be much easier
    • Edit Celestial Body, FAQ, Manage save games, and Feedback windows, all have better layouts on mobile
    • Rearranged menus into a compact row of buttons; easy to reach on mobile
    • Adjust the Zoom Indicator to the current screen size; it will no longer zoom off beyond Eeloo
       
  • Fixes
    • Auto-saving did not start immediately
    • Tutorial popups appeared off-screen
       
  • App name changing to "KSP Visual Calculator"
    • The old name was too specific, it would constrict the app from going to the Mun
    • The old link won't be disabled yet, it will still point to the app like normal
    • The new link is "https://ksp-visual-calculator.blaarkies.com/"


If you run into any issues, please post feedback about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...


Version 1.1.2

  • Fixes
    • Exporting a savegame with some craft removed, would break imports with that json file
    • Input number sliders would set different values depending if a number was typed in, or selected with the slider
    • Input number sliders now follow an exponential curve, making it easy to select specific numbers (e.g. 6 antennae on a craft) at the cost of having less granularity at large numbers (e.g. 96 antennae on a craft)
  • Tests
    • Added some 380+ unit tests to ensure stable feature functionality during future releases


If you run into any issues, please post feedback about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...


Version 1.1.3

  • Fixes
    • When creating/editing craft, the "advanced placement" section had a limit on the maximum altitude that could be entered/selected. This altitude limit now updates to match the SOI size of the selected "orbit parent"
      • The limit is determined as altitude, not distance from the center of the planet
      • Kerbol defines a limit of approximately twice the radius of Eeloo's orbit


If you run into any issues, please post feedback about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Version 1.2.0

  • Delta-v Planner
    • Mission Checkpoints
      • A new panel used to plan missions. Tap the green 'add checkpoint' button, then tap the planet where the checkpoint should be placed
      • 2 or more checkpoints define a mission, automatically calculating the delta-v requirements
      • Checkpoints can be removed and modified to fit your mission profile
      • The mission is represented visually on the map screen, and individual travels are broken down into small steps
      • Set preferences for the default flight situation, route type, aerobraking, and expected plane change cost
    • The delta-v planner page has its own tutorial, FAQ, and save games
  • Features
    • Camera control; left-click (or single touch) drag on screen to move the camera
    • Account details; users can now edit their display name, and even delete their account if they wish
  • Fixes
    • Apple Mac users could not right-click drag to move the camera; a new left-click drag method has been added
    • Cleared up notification messages covering important controls on small mobile screens
    • Improved tutorial messages on small mobile screens
    • Added smooth scrolling for desktop mouse wheel scrolling

 

If you run into any issues, please post feedback about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                        

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Version 1.2.1

  • User Features
    • New profile pictures can be uploaded and cropped for the perfect fit
    • No need to log out and log back in again to verify account status; Automated the account upgrades for supporters from https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Blaarkies 
  • Fixes
    • Joolian moons were missing dv numbers for 'Surface' and 'Low Orbit' flight situations

 

If you run into any issues, or have great ideas, please let me know ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                        

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Version 1.2.2

  • Features
    • New "Margin of Error" control in the delta-v panel preferences; Allows players to set a ratio of extra delta-v to be added to the mission for safety margins
    • Added a Privacy Policy; Please read it to keep me out of trouble :blush:
    • Better name generator for save games; Instead of random alpha-numerical text, the names now look reminiscent of astronomical naming schemes
    • ...and a surprise for those that log in on the 23rd and after ;)
  • Fixes
    • Upgrade framework, libraries and dependencies to latest versions
    • Focus jumper panel did not update the camera view when switching focus to other planets

 

If you run into any issues, or have great ideas, please let me know ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                        

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes it's in the plan, but not implemented yet. In the future, I want to bring out a feature where users can share mod configs. This way you would be able to select a config that somebody else already set up, if they shared it.

RemoteTech would be one of the mod config packs, and it would allow you to choose the specific RemoteTech antennae

For the advanced placement, you can always edit the craft to set a new placement. Unfortunately it does not save the last locked planet yet, so you have to redefine it every time. I might add preservation of that in a future update

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just found this tool going to try it later today.

Questions:

Does using the 'Route Type: effecient' effecivly calculate a gravity assist via the intermediaries, or is it more like a full stop and awaiting a favorable transfer to the next leg?

Is there a way to tally up the total Delta-v for a mission. If not, (where) can I request the feature to display the sum of the Delta-v for all the legs of the trip in vacuum and/or in non-zero admospheric pressure?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks! Let me know how it goes ;)

TL;DR, "Route Type: efficient" finds routes that take the least dv to complete, even if it has to visit extra planets on the way (check the details between each leg of the trip), but this only calculates between distinct steps like going from Kerbin elliptical orbit, to Eve elliptical orbit, and from there to Moho elliptical orbit.

This is cheaper for a host of reasons, but does require you to stay in an elliptical Eve orbit, and launch from there at a perfect time to reach Moho (which is quite difficult given that the direction of that elliptical orbit can't be changed without using more dv). Technically, you can skip those elliptical orbits and just do gravity assists (they work better when you "over do" the intercept a little bit) and that should cut out the orbit capture costs, and even cut down on some more dv.

The way I understand it, in an Oberth perspective, these elliptical capture orbit steps do actually gain some of the advantage of gravity assists but not nearly all of it. Thus I also added the defaulted Direct route type which I hope is more useful for practical gameplay reasons.

For the delta-v total, have a look at the bottom of the Mission Checkpoints panel. That counts up the total dv for the entire mission, considering things like aerobraking, margin of error, etc.
Im not sure if the vacuum/atmospheric dv numbers is something I could show, since those differ wildly by the engine type. I aimed to follow the same methodology of the "subway dv maps", where they display the minimum dv required to launch from Kerbin surface to LKO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...