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Hooligan Labs

[0.21] Hooligan Labs - Airship, Submarines and More

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Once deployed, it unravels to be twice as wide and three times as tall.

Reminds me of a candle flame. :)

More on my SSTO experiments...

Going straight up does not work. :) It results in a circularization burn that cannot be completed in reasonable delta v. But to be more precise...

After twenty hours of experimentation I finally produced a contraption that a) floats, B) has rocket engines, c) can get to Kerbin orbit with some delta V left over to dock and refuel. Then I removed the envelopes, stuck some girders into the sides so it wouldn't tip over, and launched it vertically.

It had just about the same amount of delta V remaining when it was done.

The problem is not so much about drag, as it is about the fact that airship envelopes become dead weight -- and if they can lift the fuel required to go the rest of the way, that's lots of dead weight -- past the point where they would even their natural weight against buoyancy. On Kerbin, that's right above the bottom 25% of the atmosphere bar, or about 13km. Below that altitude, there's a point where buoyancy evens out against the weight of everything else that's strapped onto the envelope, i.e. the ship. Within this range of altitudes, envelopes can compensate for engine TWR being too low, but if I understand it correctly, they do not actually contribute to delta V.

Beyond the higher of these two altitudes, it's straightforward lifting with extra weight, since we get no lift from envelopes anymore. (So the optimal ascent trajectory would actually be a straight rocket's ascent trajectory...) Apparently, the heavier the actual payload, the less helpful it is to continue ascending with envelopes.

I.e. a cloud airport can be practical, a straight SSTO airship, only up to a certain point. :)

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Depending on your design, yes, you may not see any savings. You could leave the "balloon dead weight" behind if you are going deep in space and don't want to be SSTO.

Also, theoretically possible is a design like this...

dark_sky_station_cr.jpg

http://rimstar.org/space/jp_aerospace_balloon_airship_to_orbit.htm

This uses very efficient ion engines, which only work in near-vacuum, to enter orbit. However, all attempts I have made to keep my designs stable at higher velocities have failed. I imagine that any attempt to do this in real life would have the same issue.

However, as RoboRay and others have oft demonstrated, there are many benefits to taking an airship to other planets... We could even explore our Mars with one much faster than a ground-based rover.

15-9179b.jpg

http://www.swri.org/3pubs/ird2001/15-9179.htm

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You know... as many times as I've seen that graphic, the "Deploy Internal Solar Array" bit never caught my eye before. Hmmmm..... :)

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You know... as many times as I've seen that graphic, the "Deploy Internal Solar Array" bit never caught my eye before. Hmmmm..... :)

Good point. They don't explain it at all. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

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I'm guessing it's a fold-out solar array inside the envelope. You'd get enough light through the envelope material to generate power, especially if it was designed to pass as much light as possible. And you wouldn't have to worry about airflow from flight or wind damaging the array. Very interesting.

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I'm guessing it's a fold-out solar array inside the envelope. You'd get enough light through the envelope material to generate power, especially if it was designed to pass as much light as possible. And you wouldn't have to worry about airflow from flight or wind damaging the array. Very interesting.

When it comes to exploring Mars, the developers of Curiosity discussed at length how difficult it can be to find a good landing place on Mars. Not an issue if your vessel never lands. :cool:

Also don't have to worry so much about those planet-side sand storms if you are above the clouds.

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Depending on your design, yes, you may not see any savings. You could leave the "balloon dead weight" behind if you are going deep in space and don't want to be SSTO.

Right now I'm thinking of a design like this:

1. A ring-like structure made with the largest envelopes, mobile on electric propellers.

2. A regular parachuting lander suspended in the middle of this ring structure on KAS cables.

They would land separately. When the lander is ready to go back, the ring winches it up on cables and floats as high up as it will go, which is hopefully somewhere close to the 25% atmosphere level. Then the lander pushes up on rocket engines, disconnects the cables and goes up and the rest of the way to orbit, leaving the ring behind. When it comes back, the ring can be reused.

The challenge is getting all that to Eve. :)

However, as RoboRay and others have oft demonstrated, there are many benefits to taking an airship to other planets... We could even explore our Mars with one much faster than a ground-based rover.

I'm up to 1000km ground distance covered on Duna in an airship by now, which is why I'm thinking of a SSTO airship at all. :)

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Oh, and by the way. I'm sure you noticed already that 0.20 breaks most of the airship models and the textures on the deployable ones, but I wanted to ask something:

The config files for the parts include commented out solar panel functionality. Which would save me from having to spam solar panels all across their uneven surface if it worked. :) Was it commented out because you couldn't get it to function correctly, or for some other reason?

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It works kinda after you add Part

} Time to dig out my ballooncase model and fix it up and make an makeshift seat hehe

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Oh, and by the way. I'm sure you noticed already that 0.20 breaks most of the airship models and the textures on the deployable ones, but I wanted to ask something:

The config files for the parts include commented out solar panel functionality. Which would save me from having to spam solar panels all across their uneven surface if it worked. :) Was it commented out because you couldn't get it to function correctly, or for some other reason?

Could not get the solar panel stuff to work, sorry.

Working on fixing all the parts now. First, though, getting the new Cirrus supersized part to work. I have it loading into the game now, need to get the plugin and textures working.

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new design looks awesome, looking forward to your 0.20 release...I honestly don't know how people get by without these envelopes...my entire kerbin and duna planetside logistics chain is dirigible based lol

Awesome Mod, as is such with all HL stuff, you guys rock

(kinda off-topic, just wondering if Hooligan Labs has any connection with Hooligan Motorsports based in texas?)

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I dont suppose anyone could give me a quick fix for the blast shield texture as to not be that grey/white?

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I would test this mod...if KAS was working on 0.20.

Back to 0.19, I think.

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Got the mods up and running again. Modifying my code to support animating multiple armatures for the new envelope design.

I'm going to guess that something is wrong the the way Part Tools exported the textures compared to how things work now. Maybe there is an update...

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cheers for that getting it to work:) Got an idea for an glasshouse im going to try later. And btw, i made an test asteroid, and added the squid module. It was like an fake gravity pull haha

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This looks great, but I have some questions:

Would these airships be able to work on planets/moons with no atmosphere? Like Mun and such?

Would I be able to use a airship to lift up a rocket high enough to be launched from the edge of space to conserve on fuel? (A lot of precious fuel is wasted trying to get into orbit so if I can lift a rocket into orbit that will make things much easier)

And the most important questions of all

What mods are required to make this work/to be used properly?

And does weight affect the balloons in any meaningful way?

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Would these airships be able to work on planets/moons with no atmosphere? Like Mun and such?

Definitely no.

Would I be able to use a airship to lift up a rocket high enough to be launched from the edge of space to conserve on fuel? (A lot of precious fuel is wasted trying to get into orbit so if I can lift a rocket into orbit that will make things much easier)

According to my numerous attempts to do that -- yes, if you don't attempt to lift the envelope past the point it can get you to.

What mods are required to make this work/to be used properly?

Everything that currently works is packaged into the single mod that is linked from the thread OP post. :)

You will find Kerbal Attachment System indispensable if you plan to explore anything with airships though, and that has yet to be patched.

And does weight affect the balloons in any meaningful way?

Oh boy, does it ever... :)

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This looks great, but I have some questions:

Would these airships be able to work on planets/moons with no atmosphere? Like Mun and such?

Would I be able to use a airship to lift up a rocket high enough to be launched from the edge of space to conserve on fuel? (A lot of precious fuel is wasted trying to get into orbit so if I can lift a rocket into orbit that will make things much easier)

And the most important questions of all

What mods are required to make this work/to be used properly?

And does weight affect the balloons in any meaningful way?

Airships are impossible without an atmosphere.

Yes to all other questions, and it requires no other mods to my knowledge. Though KAS is pretty good to use with it. However I don't think it's updated yet.

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Thanks so much guys. I read somewhere that if you "filled" a rigid airframe with a vacuum it will do very well on a planet with a atmosphere but the amount of reinforcing required will weigh the airship down to much I'd think. Too bad you couldn't do the same the other way round

Excellent, as soon as this mods Textures have been fixed and KAS has been updated I shall begin the experimenting

Edited by F1refly

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Thanks so much guys. I read somewhere that if you "filled" a rigid airframe with a vacuum it will do very well on a planet with a atmosphere but the amount of reinforcing required will weigh the airship down to much I'd think.

Well, the deployable envelopes are comparatively light - the bigger one is just 0.8t - and can actually be superior to parachutes when coming back to Kerbin, so just having them on your ship makes no obstacle to vacuum landings. What I found them most suitable for, though, is replacing exploration rovers on Duna (and Kerbin itself) -- using a deployable envelope with an electric propeller from Firespitter mod makes the best means of transport for an atmospheric planet. You don't waste fuel, you don't run the risk of destroying your rover on a random bump in the ground, and you're still flying at aircraft speeds.

I seriously clocked in well over 1000km over Duna with one airship, and once I can continue the save from 0.19 I have 800km more waiting for me. :)

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Firespitters plane plugin and parts by snjo, dukes seasickness cure is good playing with this to ;)

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