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[0.25]KSP Interstellar (Magnetic Nozzles, ISRU Revamp) Version 0.13

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Would it be possible to have the science lab's output be affected by the "stupidity" attribute of it's inhabitants? i.e a lower stupidity = more science

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Sooo... With the update we will be able to do something like this: Build a monstrosity of space station glistening with dozens of Gigantors. Use the ludicrous amounts of solar power to fabricate metric cr@pton of AM. Feed the AM into anti-matter reactor. Get an insane amount of power practically free. Feed this ocean of free voltage into Microvave transmitter. Build a "HOLYCR@PTHISTHINGISHUGE" mothership propelled by dozen or so Ion engines, able to cross the system with a payload and only a moderate amount of Xenon onboard. Profit?!? MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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Quick question, why can I not get the warp speed drive working? Does it need antimatter or just a lot of electricity? Because I have a nuclear reactor that I thought was powerful enough...

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Warp Drive needs to be fully charged before you can use it. Maybe simple nuclear reactor takes too long to fill the capacitor?

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Quick question, why can I not get the warp speed drive working? Does it need antimatter or just a lot of electricity? Because I have a nuclear reactor that I thought was powerful enough...

It's really hard to charge the warp drive with nuclear reactors. You don't technically need antimatter to charge it but its designed to be extremely slow without it, an antimatter reactor is definitely recommended if you want to make good use of the warp drive.

Sooo... With the update we will be able to do something like this: Build a monstrosity of space station glistening with dozens of Gigantors. Use the ludicrous amounts of solar power to fabricate metric cr@pton of AM. Feed the AM into anti-matter reactor. Get an insane amount of power practically free. Feed this ocean of free voltage into Microvave transmitter. Build a "HOLYCR@PTHISTHINGISHUGE" mothership propelled by dozen or so Ion engines, able to cross the system with a payload and only a moderate amount of Xenon onboard. Profit?!? MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Not exactly, in the next update, in absolute terms it's still more efficient to produce antimatter with collectors, the advantage of using the science lab to produce antimatter is that thats something you can just do in LKO. You could build a large station with several science labs to constantly generate antimatter, provided that you can keep them supplied with power! At 5GW, those power requirements are pretty immense. It's possible to fulfil with solar power assuming a large network of Kerbol solar satellites but you'd probably have to put the labs around Moho in order to beam power back efficiently enough.

3.75m nuclear reactors are probably the best bet for powering antimatter factories, since the upgraded version will produce 15GW.

To help you out generating power, I'm making the Brayton turbines upgradeable as well:

kjLsWyR.jpg

CeXsEA8.jpg

The Brayton turbines upgrades to a KTEC solid state thermoelectric heat engine that produces power at 60% of (the theoretical maximum) Carnot cycle efficiency.

I also added some options for In-Situ Resource Utilisation using the science lab. The electrolysis option becomes available when the science lab is part of a vessel that is splashed down in an ocean. It will produce liquid fuel and oxidiser in exchange for 25MW of power. Note that it doesn't produce Liquid Fuel and Oxidiser in helpful ratios, water is mostly oxygen by mass so it's significantly harder to restock on liquid fuel supplies via this method than it is Oxidiser supplies.

eMrxcer.png

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There are a few things that are unclear to me after going through this thread, here are my questions/observations.

1. If we are supposed to use antimatter to get thermal then to get megajoules, how are we supposed to get enough megajoules to generate antimatter? You mention nuclear reactors are not powerful enough, so what is the point of being able to generate antimatter if we have to go collect it anyways?

2. What is the point of the nuclear reactors if they are nearly useless to power a warp drive? Are they only for powering your unique engines? You said those engines are for performing high dV maneuvers after using the warp drive, but if you are using the warp drive you probably have antimatter, so why carry a nuclear reactor? On top of that, there is only one large warp drive. Small ships suffer greatly because it is so large and require so many other components to power that warp drive, yet you created small medium and large supporting components for one sized warp drive. If I am building a ship large enough to fit that warp drive, I certainly am not going to use the small generator, antimatter tank, and reactor.

3. The microwave transmission is neat, but it seems completely independent (and useless) from the perspective of the warp drive since it transfers electriccharge, not megajoules.

An infographic/flowchart would be enormously helpful in understanding this mod. If I am mistaken on any of my observations, please let me know. I really like this mod, but it is burdened by its own scope.

Edited by Blaylock1988

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There are a few things that are unclear to me after going through this thread, here are my questions/observations.

1. If we are supposed to use antimatter to get thermal then to get megajoules, how are we supposed to get enough megajoules to generate antimatter? You mention nuclear reactors are not powerful enough, so what is the point of being able to generate antimatter if we have to go collect it anyways?

The large nuclear reactors will be capable of powering antimatter factories, especially once you've done the upgrades for those components. The upgraded nuclear reactors in the next version also have improved power output, meaning that by doing some science, you can get something that's a bit more suited to powering a warp drive.

2. What is the point of the nuclear reactors if they are nearly useless to power a warp drive? Are they only for powering your unique engines? You said those engines are for performing high dV maneuvers after using the warp drive, but if you are using the warp drive you probably have antimatter, so why carry a nuclear reactor? On top of that, there is only one large warp drive. Small ships suffer greatly because it is so large and require so many other components to power that warp drive, yet you created small medium and large supporting components for one sized warp drive. If I am building a ship large enough to fit that warp drive, I certainly am not going to use the small generator, antimatter tank, and reactor.

Basically, the point of the nuclear reactors is that you can use them to both perform maneouvres and provide large scale power generation capacity over a period of several years. Antimatter will go pretty quickly, meaning you have to be fairly careful with power management but the nuclear reactors will keep putting out their power output for years on end. In the next version, nuclear thermal rockets will also be able to use just about anything as propellant rather than purely the standard mix of Liquid Fuel/Oxidiser.

I'm increasingly adding more and more functionality that requires megajoules of power in order to function as well. For this kind of power output, you need a nuclear/antimatter reactor and again the nuclear reactors will let you keep those things running for years.

Antimatter is a bit of luxury so I'd focus on just having a few special ships powered by it, while having a fleet of nuclear or solar powered space stations/ships.

As for the smaller antimatter reactors, you don't need to power a warp drive with them. There are all sorts of things you can do with the small antimatter reactors, they're great for building aircraft using the thermal jet and you can build some pretty efficient little rockets, if not warp rockets.

3. The microwave transmission is neat, but it seems completely independent (and useless) from the perspective of the warp drive since it transfers electriccharge, not megajoules.

An infographic/flowchart would be enormously helpful in understanding this mod. If I am mistaken on any of my observations, please let me know. I really like this mod, but it is burdened by its own scope.

Microwave transmission converts excess power into megajoules, i.e. if you generate more than 1000 electric charge from your microwave network, you will receive any amount greater than 1000 in megajoules. You need Low Kerbol Orbit satellites to generate power on this scale but it does work. With a sufficient quantity of Low Kerbol Orbit satellites you can probably charge up a warp drive very effectively if your ship is at Moho's orbit or closer.

I hope that helps!

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just wanted to add that a lot of combinations work. for example this ssto, it uses the smallest reactor/turbine/warpdrive combination possible and also had only 1000 units of antimatter on board. it takes a few minutes to charge the warpdrive to 0.1C but its a question of scale! even at "only" 0.1C a jump to eve takes about 5 minutes, depending on your starting location. and thats without timewarp! i needed 3 jumps to reach eves orbit as i used its gravity to alter my real momentum. for the return to kerbin it took only 2 jumps (i needed the first just to escape eve, i was dramatically low on fuel), as i had blind luck and needed very little momentum change. after the landing i checked the antimatter storage and i still had 886 units of antimatter left!

kbfDLg0.jpg

Edited by Ratata

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Active upgrading. That is the first I've ever seen that idea in KSP. Seen it in other games, but never here. wow. Somebody send HarvesteR a PM with a link to here. If they are doing Tech Tree for .22, they need to see this.

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Got some new parts:

cvqgQxE.jpg

A set of 4 reactors, the same settings as the stock reactors.

With exciting flavor text!

Download

If you want to include these in your releases, Fractal, go ahead.

In the NuclearReactor1Sphere folder there is a .psd if you want to make a better texture to share.

Edited by SpaceK531

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The large nuclear reactors will be capable of powering antimatter factories, especially once you've done the upgrades for those components. The upgraded nuclear reactors in the next version also have improved power output, meaning that by doing some science, you can get something that's a bit more suited to powering a warp drive.

Basically, the point of the nuclear reactors is that you can use them to both perform maneouvres and provide large scale power generation capacity over a period of several years. Antimatter will go pretty quickly, meaning you have to be fairly careful with power management but the nuclear reactors will keep putting out their power output for years on end. In the next version, nuclear thermal rockets will also be able to use just about anything as propellant rather than purely the standard mix of Liquid Fuel/Oxidiser.

I'm increasingly adding more and more functionality that requires megajoules of power in order to function as well. For this kind of power output, you need a nuclear/antimatter reactor and again the nuclear reactors will let you keep those things running for years.

Antimatter is a bit of luxury so I'd focus on just having a few special ships powered by it, while having a fleet of nuclear or solar powered space stations/ships.

As for the smaller antimatter reactors, you don't need to power a warp drive with them. There are all sorts of things you can do with the small antimatter reactors, they're great for building aircraft using the thermal jet and you can build some pretty efficient little rockets, if not warp rockets.

Microwave transmission converts excess power into megajoules, i.e. if you generate more than 1000 electric charge from your microwave network, you will receive any amount greater than 1000 in megajoules. You need Low Kerbol Orbit satellites to generate power on this scale but it does work. With a sufficient quantity of Low Kerbol Orbit satellites you can probably charge up a warp drive very effectively if your ship is at Moho's orbit or closer.

I hope that helps!

Thanks for the detailed reply! I'll focus on using the warp drive on larger ships. Your updates are certainly cleaning it up and making it easier to use this mod. I wasn't aware that the microwave transmission can convert extra power into megajoules.

I do have a question about how to relay microwave power to my ships. I have 2 satellites in Low Kerbol Orbit with transmitters. Say I have a ship on the dark side of Kerbin. If I have a 2nd relay satellite in view of the 2 LKO satellites and in view of my dark side ship, will it transmit the power from the LKO satellites down or will it only transmit the little bit it gets at from Kerbin orbit?

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One thing that I noticed while looking at the hierarchy: parts with the same models are not in the same folder. This means that for each object, say, the Brayton turbine, there are 4 copies of the same .mu and 4 copies of the same .mbm file. You can cut that down to one of each by simply re-naming "Part.cfg" to something else, and moving then into the same folder, like this:

vmyrvPp.png

Also, next I'm planning to make a model for the brayton turbine. Is there a way you want it to look, like a sketch or something, or should I make it how I envision it? plz be sketch

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"I do have a question about how to relay microwave power to my ships. I have 2 satellites in Low Kerbol Orbit with transmitters. Say I have a ship on the dark side of Kerbin. If I have a 2nd relay satellite in view of the 2 LKO satellites and in view of my dark side ship, will it transmit the power from the LKO satellites down or will it only transmit the little bit it gets at from Kerbin orbit? "

As far as i understand Microvave Transmitters need line of sight to each other to transmit power. And they are unable to retransmit power through intermediate installation.. So your ship with Receiver must "see" satellite with solar panels and Transmitter. For that reason i'm going for a constellation of three keostationary power sats covering close to 90% of planet's surface at all times.

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I noticed in my chain of satellites around the sun, each has a transmitter, receiver, and three panels produce about 30k; That I'm sending off that power. I just wonder where is it going.

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As far as i understand Microvave Transmitters need line of sight to each other to transmit power. And they are unable to retransmit power through intermediate installation.. So your ship with Receiver must "see" satellite with solar panels and Transmitter. For that reason i'm going for a constellation of three keostationary power sats covering close to 90% of planet's surface at all times.

I did this as well, and found they don't relay the high powered stuff down to the dark side. So If I want to get max power from my KLO power sats, i need to pretty much be in the sunlight at Kerbin, which is unfortunate.

Make sure your have 2 satellites equidistant away from KCS or give a small inclination to the sat over KSC so that it is above/below kerbin during the peak of the day/night. I didn't consider my ground track (position) and now I have 1 satellite being blocked a tiny bit by kerbin's curvature and 2nd one is on the opposite side of kerbin and the last one over KSC has no sun at night.

EDIT:

Are the dV calculations that mechjeb shows for the thermal rocket nozzle correct? After toying with different variation in the VAB, the smallest reactors (of both types) show the highest dV and the larger ones show the lowest dV. If they are correct, the rocket nozzles are vastly inferior in dV and weight savings compared to the Nucleonics Ltd. nuclear engines (which I think are balanced pretty fairly).

Edited by Blaylock1988

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Are the dV calculations that mechjeb shows for the thermal rocket nozzle correct? After toying with different variation in the VAB, the smallest reactors (of both types) show the highest dV and the larger ones show the lowest dV. If they are correct, the rocket nozzles are vastly inferior in dV and weight savings compared to the Nucleonics Ltd. nuclear engines (which I think are balanced pretty fairly).

Delta-v in the VAB is definitely incorrect, the rocket nozzle code doesn't evaluate the thrust and specific impulse until it realises that it's attached to a reactor, that will happen the moment the rocket is spawned into the world. The higher power rectors (the larger ones) have superior power to mass ratios compared to the smaller ones, which means more thrust from the rocket nozzles and consequently more delta-v. MJ delta-v probably calculates correctly from the launchpad onwards.

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Thats good, but it does make it tougher to build ships when the dV isn't calculated till I spawn it.

EDIT:

Ok I just ran a test, The small nuclear reactor with a thermal rocket nozzle had great isp but terrible thrust (like 5kN) and a 2 hour vacuum dV burn time. The same nozzle with the largest reactor had same isp with higher thrust thrust (340kN with a reactor that weighs 45 kerbal tons is actually pretty sad) and a 2 minute burn time. I compared the dV numbers from mech jeb all the way through the test, and they stayed accurate. The dV didn't jump when i launched or put it in space. dV was high with the tiny nuclear reactor but 5 times lower with the largest nuclear reactor. The amount of thrust gained from adding the larger core isn't enough to overcome its incredible mass.

Using the nuclear engine with a thermal rocket nozzle is useless since I can just slap on one of the nucleonics engines and get a little less isp and dV, but have 1/5 the weight and a couple minute burn time.

I haven't been able to test out the antimatter one yet since I don't have an antimatter collector in orbit yet.

Edited by Blaylock1988

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Thats good, but it does make it tougher to build ships when the dV isn't calculated till I spawn it.

EDIT:

Ok I just ran a test, The small nuclear reactor with a thermal rocket nozzle had great isp but terrible thrust (like 5kN) and a 2 hour vacuum dV burn time. The same nozzle with the largest reactor had same isp with higher thrust thrust (340kN with a reactor that weighs 45 kerbal tons is actually pretty sad) and a 2 minute burn time. I compared the dV numbers from mech jeb all the way through the test, and they stayed accurate. The dV didn't jump when i launched or put it in space. dV was high with the tiny nuclear reactor but 5 times lower with the largest nuclear reactor. The amount of thrust gained from adding the larger core isn't enough to overcome its incredible mass.

Using the nuclear engine with a thermal rocket nozzle is useless since I can just slap on one of the nucleonics engines and get a little less isp and dV, but have 1/5 the weight and a couple minute burn time.

I haven't been able to test out the antimatter one yet since I don't have an antimatter collector in orbit yet.

You need to compare ships with the same fuel tank relative to their mass in order to get a meaningful delta-v comparison. If you use a small fuel tank and a huge engine then you're going to get a terrible delta-v figure because you've massively altered the mass ratio (wet mass/dry mass) of your rocket.

Going from a 1.25m rocket to a 2.5m rocket will multiply the volume (and mass) by about 8 times. So, if we use a fuel tank 8x bigger on the 2.5m rocket...

Vacuum delta-v = 1714m/s TWR = 0.06 (total rocket mass = 18.2t, total mass of reactor/brayton turbine/engine components = 12.5)

vMAp1m8.jpg

Vacuum delta-v = 4468m/s TWR = 0.21 (total rocket mass = 66.4t, total mass of reactor/brayton turbine/engine components = 20)

MmJWydI.jpg

68% of the small rocket's mass is made up of the reactor and thermal rocket components and it takes loads of fuel to improve upon this because the tiny reactors are so inefficient.

On the larger rocket, the percentage of reactor components drops to 30% of mass (because of the large weight of the thermal rocket nozzle on the small design) and we see a massive improvement in both thrust and delta-v.

Now, you could choose to stick a really tiny set of reactor parts on a massive rocket and you'll probably see an improvement in delta-v because you've improved the mass ratio and the engines have the same specific impulse but if you want to build a "practical rocket" the larger reactors are simply better in every way.

All of those figures assume you're using Liquid Fuel+Oxidiser mixes. In the new version, you will also be to switch propellant modes so you get more delta-v (by using pure liquid fuel) or you can decide to burn kethane if you have a surplus. This makes the engines a lot more versatile too.

Incidentally, my 3.75m reactor and thermal rocket nozzle is based on the real NERVA engine, which had power output of 1.5GW, mass of 34 tons and Isp of 850s. My 3.75m reactor+thermal nozzle weighs in at 36 tons, has a power output of 1.5GW and provides Isp of 917s.

I could make the thrusts or specific impulses better for some of these engines but that'd mean either lowering the other (i.e. if I double thrust, specific impulse is halved and visa versa) or making the power outputs higher but this second options has all sorts of effects with regard to things like generating power for warp drives as well.


SpaceK531: I do like your nuclear reactor models - I've had to make some alterations to the scaling to maintain persistence, I've also switched some of the models around - I think it's more consistent if the two 1-sphere reactors are the larger ones and the two 3-sphere reactors are the smaller ones. If you're okay with that, I'll include them in the next update.

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Next step on the path to the update is making the electric engines work better. The problem with the electric engine as included in the pack at the moment is its designed for use by the 2.5m antimatter reactor and 2.5m brayton cycle generator but I don't want to make things so specific. Much like how my thermal rocket nozzle detects the parameters of thrust and specific impulse it should use based on the reactor that it is attached to I decided to make the electric engines function in a similar manner. One thing I really wanted to avoid though was forcing you to attach the engine directly to the brayton generator so I couldn't just modify the existing code.

I decided instead to enumerate all the power sources attached to a particular ship in order to calculate the thrust of the electric engine. That means you can stack lots of reactors and brayton turbines to up the thrust of the engine but, at the end of the day, its still a relatively low thrust beast.

The engine is really only practical with the antimatter engines, as you can see with the 3.75m and 2.5m versions, you get this kind of thrust performance:

O6caujq.jpg

sJuZWiJ.jpg

I decided to try it with a 2.5m nuclear reactor just to see... Yeah, we're not going anywhere fast...

9Cx08dw.jpg

Some of you may have noticed the upgrade cost on the engines in the picture, particularly the exorbitant cost relative to the upgrades that I've shown you previously. Unlike the previous upgrades I'm not going to show you what this one upgrades to, I will instead leave the nature of this tantalising upgrade to your imagination until you can produce it for yourself. When you get it, you will realise the value!

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I'm wondering what are you using to 'target' other worlds. I keep warping the opposite way of the way I'm pointing

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I'm wondering what are you using to 'target' other worlds. I keep warping the opposite way of the way I'm pointing

Just select the destination planet as the target and point in the direction of the pink dot. Make sure it's the pink dot with the circle around that you're heading for rather than the dot with the three lines sticking out.

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Warp Cores! Yeehaaww!

fCiqMuz.png

currently the animation is tied to the throttle, but if Fractal adds animation support to the drives, it will glow in response to warping.

Download

also Fractal I sent you a note.

EDIT: All custom parts made by me and posted in this thread/sent by PM are able to be freely included in releases of the WarpPlugin pack.

Edited by SpaceK531

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