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Orion aka "Ol' Boom-boom"


nyrath
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OK, the Nyrath edition is now updated with a working version.  It seems it cannot live in a folder called Nyrath.  But if I simply rename the GameData entry to USAFOrion, everything works fine.  I've been through the code searching for references, but I can't find why this is.  It may be baked into the models or old style mbm texture maps, or something.  But, the short version is, if the mod installs to USAFOrin, it works.  If it installs to Nyrath, it doesn't.

I'll need to get the entry in netkan fixed up before CKAN will install this.

All the checking references did make me notice that all the parts have a manufacturer "Chung Atomics, INC.", and a copied set of agencies from the TD edition with no sign of Chung Atomics.  I've added Chung Atomics to the agencies, removed the unused agencies and cleaned up that a bit (left the logos there because, dunno, to be honest.

Anyways, off to github and netkan for me.

 

Pull request submitted for change to netkan.  Now sleep!  Or back to re-doing models and textures for the bits.

Edited by TiktaalikDreaming
pull req
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16 minutes ago, Ranchoth said:

I can confirm it's working A-OK on my end. And in fact, I decided to take the opportunity to try building one of those Saturn V/Orion complexes I've heard so much about!

qVsQTLh.png

...I might have gotten the plans upside down, or something.

The upper stages are clearly for landing. :)

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I've been popping part adjustments as teasers over on the TD Orion bits forum topic.  Basically part revamps I'm trying to have ready before 1.3 hits.  But certain aspects of that depended on me being able to sort the max number of bomb types before the USAFOrion.dll module caps out and provides lovely nullReference errors.

I'd previously found both an array size value (would have been soooo nice if that's all there was to it) and then a set of enable and disable procedures enumerated out for each value of the array.  But that still didn't work.  Today I found (right above the other one, where people with eyeballs and braincells should have been able to spot it) another set of enumerated functions.  I've done something horrible in LibreOffice Calc to autogenerate the code for me, and it actually works.  I *think* I need 18 (6 nuke sizes for each of stackable magazines, 10m loader floor, and 80foot loader floor)  at the moment, but I'm considering raising that to the 18 for TD Orion plus the 9 needed for Nyrath Orions, so the way they break if loaded together on one game doesn't occur.

 

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Back on the user end, I've been doing some more fiddling with steam jets—using figures mostly consistent with what I'm seeing online (I think I might be consuming too much electricity), they seem to be working quite well.
 

So, I decided on a test run on an operational mission. Now I, like a lot of people, have never actually been to Dres. And I've also mused over the idea of robotically deploying an ISRU mining/fuel depot out in the outer solar system, to better serve long-range exploratory missions. (It might make my next series of Sundiver probes a bigger success, for one.) This seemed like a perfect opportunity to check three boxes at once!

wUvjBFB.png

hchrjVg.png

To make the most of the considerable spacelift capability of the Orion, and my continuing commitment to nuclear propulsion technology, I decided it would be most effective to bulk ship solid fuel, in the form of raw, unrefined Uraninites—about, oh, ten thousand metric tons worth, in 5 meter shipping kontainers.

bmbAQaj.png

Now, to make an effective demonstration of the fully loaded and operational Rapid Energy Repositioning System, I also decided to make a direct ascent to rendezvous with Dres. Well, almost direct...I had to "lead" the target a little. A troublesome matter, not helped by Dres being slightly out of plane, and the launch clamps tending to buckle and collapse if the spacecraft was left on the pad too long, but it basically worked out in the end.

ZNwOOm3.png

Above: a common graphical glitch (although a hard-to-screenshot one), seen here during a plane-change maneuver, that I've found with several types of craft lighting, but that actually works perfectly well with an Orion drive.

mY4JyK5.png

pTjFx49.png


AS5NVbK.png


Success! After a mere 9 days travel time, and quite a bit of navigational tinkering, I've touched down on the surface of Dres. At 733 kilometers per second. At the ship's tonnage, that would have the kinetic energy at impact of about...1000 petawatthours by my numbers. Or 921 megatons. Truly a huge success in the field of rapid energy transport!*

This, of course, had the the unfortunate side effect...of being less efficient than it could have been. Navigational tinkering and course corrections ate up some of the potential energy, and worse still, I still had quite a few 80 MN pulse units left in the fuel magazines (even when pulsing up to the moment of landing), and the even lower-yield devices were practically untouched (the .88 MN pulse units could only be used for course fine-tuning, as they produced about .3 m/s change in velocity in flight).

But, I'm highly confident that such problems can be remedied before the next launch, with improved payload densities (such as using enriched uranium as the payload), improved course plotting and terminal navigation techniques, nothing but faster and more accurate interplanetary energy transfers await in the future!

*So-called "usable" energy, as well as so called "safe landings" were not my department.

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On 3/28/2017 at 2:56 AM, Ranchoth said:

I can confirm it's working A-OK on my end. And in fact, I decided to take the opportunity to try building one of those Saturn V/Orion complexes I've heard so much about!

qVsQTLh.png

...I might have gotten the plans upside down, or something.

Isn't that backwards?

The idea, albeit misguided, was to use a chemical booster the throw the Orion clear of the atmosphere, where the NPP would take over as the transfer stage.

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2 hours ago, Nothalogh said:

Isn't that backwards?

The idea, albeit misguided, was to use a chemical booster the throw the Orion clear of the atmosphere, where the NPP would take over as the transfer stage.

Not sure if that's continued sarcasm, so I'll assume it's not. 

@Ranchoth knows that. Twas a joke. Or I misread sarcasm into his post where it was not intended. 

On a related note I should make some decouplers for the beast. 

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Just now, TiktaalikDreaming said:

Not sure if that's continued sarcasm, so I'll assume it's not. 

@Ranchoth knows that. Twas a joke. Or I misread sarcasm into his post where it was not intended. 

On a related note I should make some decouplers for the beast. 

I was just remarking on the strangeness of Orion boosting a chemical upper stage

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Well, sad news to report: after repeated testing, and multiple attempts at reengineering...I have to conclude that, at this moment, it is impractical to sea launch a 65 meter long, 14,000 ton Orion.

I mean, sea SURFACE launch is entirely possible, but I had a devil of a time trying to sink a ship intact some 900 meters down to the sea FLOOR, and launch it from there. With a minimum of cheating.

This was hindered by a bug that seemed to develop in KSP when, as attempting to slow underwater descent via parachutes (which has worked well on smaller craft) or low-level engine pulsing*, at about the 2-300 depth mark, the vessel would suddenly "bounce," accelerating surfaceward again for no apparent reason. Considering the behavior, and the aquatic locale, I can only presume I was truly being flung out of the briny domain of an angry Kraken.

Using the "Hangar" mod and (regrettably) the aid of the cheat menu, I WAS able to land a (grossly) oversized "fairing" object to the bottom, which could be "jettisoned" to spawn an Orion on the bottom...which worked, with a bit of tinkering, allowing a successful launch and orbital insertion**; but alas, due to a shortcoming in the mod software (or possibly just it being driven insane from being pushed way beyond it's intended design limits), it seemed to think the fairing base plate was attached permanently to the bottom of the pusher plate, even after "release," skewing both buoyancy, AND confusing KSP enough that it thought the orbiting Orion was still "moving over terrain" (possibly the remains of the dive platform were being dragged across the abyssal plane at orbital speeds, but it was hard to see) and thus unsavable.

Ah well. Editing the savefile might still work. Or, my favored solution, using EL or MKS to build the Orion on the ocean floor, probably will. Sinking and/or mining thousands of tons of materials and their storage spaces will be a bit tedious, though. Eh, a project for the future, perhaps.

*(The latter worked surprisingly well, not only when lowering the vessel gently into the water, but when running completely submerged. Falling backwards into a column of radioactive, superheated steam might present some contamination hazards, however. Plus would be a bit noisy on sonar.)

**(The vessel was sufficiently buoyant that engaging the drive on ascent was completely unnecessary. But it was fun to do, anyway. Mobilis in Mobili!)

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Just to be clear, there's a significant effect from atmospheric denisity that's significantly more dramatic than the specific impulse loss chemical rockets experience.  Launching a "nuclear pulse device" under water, where "atmospheric density" is roughly 830 times sea level (at ~20C) would result in god knows what effects.  You may be (with any luck) saved the fireball effects, but succumb to some serious impulse.

Now, I have no idea if KSP models water density, or if my call to this.vessel.atmDensity returns water density if they do.  But I do know that if it does all that, then you'd be getting a hell of a kick from each nuke.  Because the code has been modelling atmospheric effects since just before it stopped working (unrelated, I think, maybe).  The exact details may change on that, as I find more details of how impulse scales with air density.  But at sea level, the impulse expected is about 10-14 times what it is in a vacuum.  The effect in water would be nasty.  Although, as I said, I have no idea just how bad it'd be in KSP at the moment.

 

PS: I wrote this at the beginning of the day, and forgot to send, because I got sidetracked looking up scaling factors.  Seems the impulse would be roughly proportional to Density^(2/3), but adjusted by temperature as well due to speed of sound changes.  Which suggests underwater pulse being ~88 times as strong as atmospheric.  Which is about 10 times what it is in vacuum.  The current plugin uses cube root though (wild guess at the time), so you're "gettin orf easy!".  :-)

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5 hours ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

Just to be clear, there's a significant effect from atmospheric denisity that's significantly more dramatic than the specific impulse loss chemical rockets experience.  Launching a "nuclear pulse device" under water, where "atmospheric density" is roughly 830 times sea level (at ~20C) would result in god knows what effects.  You may be (with any luck) saved the fireball effects, but succumb to some serious impulse.

Oh, certainly, to be sure. And in fact, in an "operational" mission, I'd merely* planned to ascend to the surface using floats, and engage the engine in the air. But, considering the amount of trouble and frustration I'd been having, I figured, well, in for the penny, in for the frothy, irradiated pound.

 




*"?"
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, good news! After a bit of tinkering, I think I may just have licked the problem of providing an Orion Sea-Launch Platform with the appropriate intersection of capacity, durability, affordability, and expendability...

I'm calling it the "Pykeberg."

"... be utterly amazed, for I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told!"



Merely the prototype, of course. The production Pykeberg will be somewhat larger, and have a vent hole in the center. As well as being less tippy.

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13 minutes ago, Ranchoth said:

Well, good news! After a bit of tinkering, I think I may just have licked the problem of providing an Orion Sea-Launch Platform with the appropriate intersection of capacity, durability, affordability, and expendability...

I'm calling it the "Pykeberg."

"... be utterly amazed, for I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told!"



Merely the prototype, of course. The production Pykeberg will be somewhat larger, and have a vent hole in the center. As well as being less tippy.

Was that the right album? Looks like a sea launch of a SaturnV. 

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Right album, but just a proof of concept—the prototype, as it is, is, alas, just a bit too small and narrow to support the 14000 ton Orion I was testing with. (It was 4000 tons too heavy. 10000 tons works, no problem.)

I should have a proper Mk. 2 with an Orion launch up, soonish.

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6 hours ago, Ranchoth said:

Right album, but just a proof of concept—the prototype, as it is, is, alas, just a bit too small and narrow to support the 14000 ton Orion I was testing with. (It was 4000 tons too heavy. 10000 tons works, no problem.)

I should have a proper Mk. 2 with an Orion launch up, soonish.

No worries then. I could do with some decouplers. 

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Good news! With some larger Pykeberg models, and some experimentation with strut attachments, I've gotten reasonably reliable results in depositing a berg-mounted Orion at sea and launching it into orbit without ripping it apart! (This would, admittedly, probably have been a lot easier if I used more than a judicious and well-timed Hyperedit click to get it over the water, but hey...baby steps.)
 



The bad news, however...I keep running into the same bug as the sub-launch Orion experiments did, in which KSP considers even the orbiting Orion "moving over terrain," disabling saving, time warping, switching to other vessels, etc., and not even drawing the trajectory/orbit line, plus an odd "trembling" camera.

I suspect this has to do with the fact that a decoupler was attached to the bottom of the drive plate to attach it to the Pykeberg—which might be peculiarly tricking the sim into thinking the spacecraft is still "attached" to a part still on the surface, or possibly already atomized—this doesn't seem to occur with a conventional spacecraft (like a Saturn V) launched the same way.

Ah, well. As Monty Burns said, "continue the research." And there are still a few things I can think of that I can do on my end to work around the problem. But that'll have to be a project for another night. Time fer dinner, and a good night's sleep.

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I had time for doing a basic untextured fairing for the 10m orion for testing tonight.  I've also modelled up a really basic decoupler, but haven't passed it through unity into ksp just yet.

kvixUvO.png

And I'm going to need some lofting rockets. cos it looks a bit daft on top of a 5m part.

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