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birrhan

Ion drive efficiency--how have you used them?

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Yes, I am. It tore apart my orbital death satellite... A Sunbeam Lazor on top of it, two magentas on the side, a single ion engine with 8 1x6 panels on two struts. It was *supposed* to clear Kerbin's 200km altitude area, and it did so very coolly until the Panel Kraken killed it. One time, I flew by a empty tank at 60 m/s... with the Lift setting engaged. After the lazors finished spazzing both ships around, I had thrown it down into a suborbital, and simltaneously kicked myself up to 400km x 200km orbit. O.o Be careful, kids.

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I'll have to upload some pictures once I've rebuilt it, but I created a long chain of hundreds of these drives stacked fuel can-drive-fuel can-drive directly on top of each other. They don't generate heat, and still provide propulsion even when one of the fuel cans is attached directly to it, so long streamers of drives can work in unison. The ship took some work to get into space. But once the trip was made, and the front facing solar panels fully extended, it looked like a giant flower with a long stem floating in space. I called it the Sun Lotus, since the massive number of drives required that the ship be always be facing towards the sun while under full thrust. But it did move at a decent pace (for ion). I lost that computer and the game with it, but once I get the ship rebuilt I'll put up some pics. The only major drawback to this design is that you can't turn much away from a sun-ward course, and reversing course would take way too long, even at full fast-forward. But it is good for attaching and carrying payloads of Kerbal landers towards the sun without burning up more precious fuels on the way. Plus it was awesome. They're also useful in smaller numbers to make hover crafts, if you place them right, these are fun to float around with in low to no gravity.

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Anything more than a tiny probe, and you can forget about ion drives.

I typically use them to put satellites in orbit around other planets.

However for tiny probes they are awesome.

Jool in less than an year, then land on Bop and Pol, you might be able to land on Val then low on fuel.

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That's awsome how did you build that!!!

Lots of TweakScale :) Down-sized the wheels, the Ion drive, some structural pieces... the Xenon container and the Battery rejected tweakscale (they'd keep going back to normal size) so I left them alone.

Just make sure you don't Tweakscale the root part, or bad things can happen. Other than that, go nuts xD

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Used ion drives to propel my airborne planetary rovers (who needs wheels), with lift provided by Hooligan Labs.

rZWA1E2.png

baoEiVx.png

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The biggest thing I used ion engines were for my "everything in one" satelites, ended up weight about 10t each.

Each had 6 ion engines, and an inline tank of xenon each. Unfortunatly, never got chance for them to arrive at Jool.. :(

I tested one in Kerbin orbit, i think it had about 1m/s acceleration or something (less) from memory, i cant recall how much m/s D/v total but i was confident i could get them all in decent orbits given long enough burn time lol

I'd only use them for small sats,

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I'll have to upload some pictures once I've rebuilt it, but I created a long chain of hundreds of these drives stacked fuel can-drive-fuel can-drive directly on top of each other. They don't generate heat, and still provide propulsion even when one of the fuel cans is attached directly to it, so long streamers of drives can work in unison. The ship took some work to get into space. But once the trip was made, and the front facing solar panels fully extended, it looked like a giant flower with a long stem floating in space. I called it the Sun Lotus, since the massive number of drives required that the ship be always be facing towards the sun while under full thrust. But it did move at a decent pace (for ion). I lost that computer and the game with it, but once I get the ship rebuilt I'll put up some pics. The only major drawback to this design is that you can't turn much away from a sun-ward course, and reversing course would take way too long, even at full fast-forward. But it is good for attaching and carrying payloads of Kerbal landers towards the sun without burning up more precious fuels on the way. Plus it was awesome. They're also useful in smaller numbers to make hover crafts, if you place them right, these are fun to float around with in low to no gravity.

Holy Necro!!!!!!!

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Lots of TweakScale :) Down-sized the wheels, the Ion drive, some structural pieces... the Xenon container and the Battery rejected tweakscale (they'd keep going back to normal size) so I left them alone.

Just make sure you don't Tweakscale the root part, or bad things can happen. Other than that, go nuts xD

I'd only tired tweak scale once and thought i shouldn't use it on my normal play through but now it looks like it could be awsome!

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I'd only tired tweak scale once and thought i shouldn't use it on my normal play through but now it looks like it could be awsome!

It all depends on how you use it.

I once had an issue where I put an Ion-powered ship in orbit (with tweaked Ion engines and a few other things) and, after going to KSC screen and back, it somehow gained about 100 extra tons, thus rendering it useless (TWR went from 0.6ish down to 0.006 or so).

Moral of the story: Tweakscale is awesome, but be careful, and don't use it for anything you consider super important.

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It all depends on how you use it.

I once had an issue where I put an Ion-powered ship in orbit (with tweaked Ion engines and a few other things) and, after going to KSC screen and back, it somehow gained about 100 extra tons, thus rendering it useless (TWR went from 0.6ish down to 0.006 or so).

Moral of the story: Tweakscale is awesome, but be careful, and don't use it for anything you consider super important.

XD good story! I always thought it was mod just to mess about with but I'm going to use it normally.

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Er, this is a kinda inappropriate necro - today's ion engine is more like a primary atmospheric lifter compared to it's original version, thus the old posts aren't going to make much sense for the modern drive.

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I am using one right now in my carrier game, for a eve probe. The whole launch cost 50,000 funds and it had the DV to point at eve and thrust until there was an encounter, it will arrive in 50 days to land on gilly and eventually deorbit into eve's atmosphere.

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First I'd like to state that 2 Thrust for them is a little lacking... before when they where at 0,5 I edited the part to make them 5 thrust (Kept same fuel consumption/ratios). I found this was an absolute minimum to keep the game fun and my sanity intact.

That being said, I made a "Solar Cruiser" with only 3 ions. Extremely slow to make burns, but I did manage a Jool-5 (no kerbals, only flybys of high/low over each moon/jool) and brought back that science home. I believe that was something like 2k science, but it's been quite a while.

I had not unlocked nukes nor the orange tanks yet, but had almost all of the science instruments branch unlocked.

I never build anything quite like it afterwards. 5th Horseman tried flying it, but ran out of patience in LKO.

I know I took a picture of it at some point over Kerbin, but I cannot seem to find it anymore. If I find it, I shall edit.

[EDIT] Better late than never, found it ! Here is my Solar Cruiser in it's 0.23.5/0.24.2 beauty :

bXcrZlS.png

D1AEH2q.png

Edited by Francois424

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I built this plane for flying around on Eve. It's a bit wobbly but it flies well enough.

FcZB6OZ.png

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Back when this thread was first made and ion engines were weaker, I only ever tried them out for propelling landing-gear-based rovers (this was prior to the release of rover wheels) around on Minmus. I was not impressed.

Currently I'm using today's more powerful incarnation of the ion engine on my rocket planes for exploring Duna. The planes have LFO engines for takeoff and landing, but they use the ion engines for cruising long distances.

91R0Z6m.jpg

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e7WcT1B.jpg

8 Ion engines powered by 4 large solar panels and a ton of batteries and xenon fuel.

Used it to rendezvous with a smaller asteroid in orbit around the sun and efficiently tug it back to kerbin. It hasn't completed its mission yet but I'm almost certain it will have enough juice to do another run. If worst comes to worst, I can always refuel it and send it out.

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It will be interesting to see if atmo gliders are possible with the new aero update and the rebalance. I think the ion-powered gliders are a good solution for air travel on planets where jet engines don't work.

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http://imgur.com/a/cdy4I

They make great practice landers. Just make sure you only use them during the day.

Actually with stock values, it's not hard to battery them up so they can land in the night too. Especially on Minmus, but also the Mun (keep in mind that radial batteries are #lolmassless, so the only limit is part count). I made some back in .. 0.24 I think? 0.25?..and they were perfectly capable of landing day or night for the large-battery editions. The Mun lander couldn't take off without recharging, but there's no life support in stock so you just timewarp until it's day to charge up. (1-man designs based around the lander can, and I used massful batteries)

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