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JtPB

kind of method to determine where the location in surveys contracts?

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planting flags aroud the approx. location and dropping parts with high crash speed for surveys on water and then find it according to them...

do you have a better way? (of course, all these are when you dont have rover parts yet)

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If you click the waypoint in the map it gives you the option to add a marker to your navball, making them easy to find :)

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If you click the waypoint in the map it gives you the option to add a marker to your navball, making them easy to find :)

wow, thanks.

but what about the EVAs? they have no navball :(

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My own experience with EVA surveys is admittedly limited, but as far as I can tell, if you're not already in the region when you EVA, walking to the region will be extremely tedious anyway.

Depending on what technologies you have unlocked (and your piloting ability as a player versus the piloting level of your Kerbals), I would recommend developing a plane so you can fly to the region in question - depending on the terrain, you may have to land and then taxi until you reach your region. This is also tedious but easier than having to walk there from where you've landed. Plus, you'd still have the navball and waypoint to guide you to the region. Once you enter the region, you can brake and THEN go on EVA.

Using rockets and capsules for EVA surface survey missions is possible, but extremely difficult. If you can't plant your capsule right into the region in question, it may be better to recover or revert and try again.

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Depending on what technologies you have unlocked (and your piloting ability as a player versus the piloting level of your Kerbals), I would recommend developing a plane so you can fly to the region in question - depending on the terrain, you may have to land and then taxi until you reach your region.

Psst. you get EVA survey missions on the Mun(and elsewhere).

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My own experience with EVA surveys is admittedly limited, but as far as I can tell, if you're not already in the region when you EVA, walking to the region will be extremely tedious anyway.

Depending on what technologies you have unlocked (and your piloting ability as a player versus the piloting level of your Kerbals), I would recommend developing a plane so you can fly to the region in question - depending on the terrain, you may have to land and then taxi until you reach your region. This is also tedious but easier than having to walk there from where you've landed. Plus, you'd still have the navball and waypoint to guide you to the region. Once you enter the region, you can brake and THEN go on EVA.

Using rockets and capsules for EVA surface survey missions is possible, but extremely difficult. If you can't plant your capsule right into the region in question, it may be better to recover or revert and try again.

i've already unlocked basic aerodynamics and landing gears...

Psst. you get EVA survey missions on the Mun(and elsewhere).

psst. you could get rover tech until then. and even without this you can navigate pretty nice with your jumping rocket and EVA RCS, which is impossible on kerbin...

Edited by JtPB

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Psst. you get EVA survey missions on the Mun(and elsewhere).

I figured as much - however, since the OP mentioned they hadn't unlocked rover parts yet, I suspected they had yet to reach the Mun. Consider this advice for early career.

Certainly, for any otherworldly surface surveys, different short-range vehicles (suborbital hoppers, rovers, etc) can be developed, but those would work best with permanent bases set up on the worlds in question. However, I would surmise that is more advanced / end-game career strategy.

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i've already unlocked basic aerodynamics and landing gears...

It sounds like you have all you need to get started, then. Is there anything else about surface surveys you need to know? Or have I misunderstood your initial questions?

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psst. you could get rover tech until then. and even without this you can navigate pretty nice with your jumping rocket and EVA RCS, which is impossible on kerbin...

While technically yes you could use a rover, landing one on Mun at the same time as a Mun lander - otherwise you've got to either land very near by (tricky) or walk over there (boring) - is a fair bit more complicated to do. Plus rover parts come pretty late in the tech tree, assuming of course you use the electric wheels. I suppose you could use the basic landing gear and rockets, but then you have fuel and such to worry about.

From experience, using an EVA pack is a terrible idea - first you've got to find out which bloody direction the marker is, then you discover it's 5km away so you use at least half your fuel getting there, then probably run out on the way back and have to walk the last km or so in Mun's gravity, at Kerbal walking pace, with physical timewarp at 3x (because 4x makes him glitch out) :sticktongue:

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It sounds like you have all you need to get started, then. Is there anything else about surface surveys you need to know? Or have I misunderstood your initial questions?

i asked your opinion about my way to find the exact(more or less) survey's place. it's like dropping navaid marks around when you receive the messege that says you pass the place while flying above. the marks helps you to navigate when dark and you dont see any recognizable .... around with all them pesky same hills or the flat planes, by vice versa.

or its only me and my crappy machine which cant deal with high surface detail settings... :(

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i asked your opinion about my way to find the exact(more or less) survey's place. it's like dropping navaid marks around when you receive the messege that says you pass the place while flying above.

As sal_vager said, you can add the target markers to your navball, which will lead you straight to them. The only complication really is that sometimes they're on the other side of the world, which puts them very near "down" on the navball. Obviously you can just use the map to guestimate until you get closer :).

To add the markers to your navball, click them in the map view, then click "activate navigation", and you should see a matching symbol in the same colour appear on your navball. It'll flash when you're within the required range to do the experiment.

For EVAs there is of course the In-Flight Waypoints mod robopilot99 suggested as a workaround until(if?) squad sorts that out in stock :)

(It seemed as though you felt your question had not been adequately answered...)

Edited by armagheddonsgw

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I've been flying a jet around Kerbin to complete a survey and it's far, far more difficult than completing surveys on the Mun and even Duna. I could easily have a small lander with 47-8S's and reusable parachutes hop from one area to another until all required landings were hit, but hopping from one part of Kerbin to another, in its atmosphere, it just not feasible, particularly when you play with FAR and can't just turn around mid-flight.

It's one thing to get target direction markers, but without a distance showing up in your view like when you actually target something they are terrible to hit. Which basically means either long rover drives, or trying to land a jet. Which is fun, but it's also somewhat end-game level difficulty.

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I've been flying a jet around Kerbin to complete a survey and it's far, far more difficult than completing surveys on the Mun and even Duna. [...] but hopping from one part of Kerbin to another, in its atmosphere, it just not feasible, particularly when you play with FAR and can't just turn around mid-flight.

I think it might be best if you posted your jet design - it sounds like you're probably doing something quite badly wrong if it's really much harder on Kerbin than Mun and Duna for you. Granted the atmospheric ones are time-consuming but they're not harder in stock, and although I don't currently use it, from what I gather FAR makes many aspects of the game easier not harder - I even saw someone post a plane design that could turn sharply at mach 5 with FAR - that's certainly not possible in stock.

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Ah. Okay, I think I understand more clearly.

Unfortunately, there are no clear markings or borders of regions. Fortunately, the regions are not exactly pin-point: I'm fuzzy on the exact dimensions, but they seem to cover circular areas about 5-10 km in diameter (EDIT: technion points out and I've confirmed that the surface regions are a lot smaller than mentioned - more like a few hundred meters across). So long as you're inside that area, you're good.

I don't have any screenshots handy but I'll give you a basic rundown of how I handle a EVA surface survey, step-by-step.

1. The first step I do comes before I accept a survey contract. The Tracking Station displays all waypoints for any available or active survey contracts. This lets me judge if a certain contract may or may not be beyond my abilities (for example, a contract requesting a surface survey in a heavily mountainous region is beyond my current capabilities as I don't have the ability to just "drop in" with a plane with guaranteed accuracy... or safety).

2. For simplicity's sake, I generally aim for areas that will be experiencing local morning or local day, so I will have plenty of light to see by. Lamps can add to part-counts for planes, plus, landing at night even with them is a pain, I've found.

3. Once I select a contract and have my plane on the runway, I go into Map View and look for the EVA waypoint I'm aiming for this flight. Clicking on the waypoint brings up an "Activate Navigation" button, and clicking on that brings up a little icon on my Navball.

4. Navigation set, I take off, ascend to a good altitude (usually 2-3,000 m) then turn until I'm pointed in the direction of the icon. Away we go!

5. Depending on some people's computers, flying can take longer than the game clock says it does. I usually go to Map mode for the most of the journey, keeping an eye on my altitude, speed, and heading, jumping out of Map every so often to make sure the ground isn't rising to meet me (a problem when flying over highlands and mountains). I do this until I have covered 3/4 to 4/5 of the way to the waypoint (measured by eye in the Map view).

6. QUICKSAVE!

7. Here is where things get tricky. Sadly, there are no distinctive features beyond that "You are entering X" / "You are leaving X" messages, so once I've reached the distance mentioned above, I switch back to normal view. Keeping my heading aimed for that icon on the navball, I start reducing altitude and thrust, and keeping an eye ahead on whether the ground is flat enough to allow a landing. If it's not and I have plenty of fuel, I will abort the landing, climb up and pass through the region without landing, noting the terrain and trying to decide where would be a good landing "strip". This depends very much on experience so be prepared to suffer a few crashes along the way. That quicksave will prove very handy, trust me.

8. From my experience, it's usually good to touch down at a velocity of 50 m/s or less. I try to touch down before I see the "You are entering X" message - again this will be trial and error, and sometimes I need to use that quicksave to salvage the situation. Once down, I brake until my speed is below 20 m/s. I make sure to throttle my engines to zero once down.

9. Now I just taxi ahead until I see the "You are entering X" message. As I might have landed up to 10 km from the region's "border" this might take a few minutes, and I might have to throttle my engines up a notch to keep from stopping (but not so fast that I take off again). Once the message pops up, I shut my engines off and brake for all I'm worth. In a few seconds, I'm stopped and inside the target region. Time for EVA!

10. As of this writing, I hadn't unlocked ladders, so when my Kerbal leaves for EVA, I generally can't get him back inside. I collect my EVA report and that's all I need to do for the contract - then I recover the Kerbal and plane seperately. Once I get ladders unlocked, I'll be able to fly back to the KSC, thus cutting my losses from recovery operations. But that's in the future.

I hope this helps better than my last response. Sorry for the confusion.

Edited by AndrewBCrisp
Corrected an error.

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If you click the waypoint in the map it gives you the option to add a marker to your navball, making them easy to find :)

Easy to find? There's nothing easy about moving your navball around to find a marker given that it simultaneously directs the thrust of your engines.

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2. For simplicity's sake, I generally aim for areas that will be experiencing local morning or local day, so I will have plenty of light to see by. Lamps can add to part-counts for planes, plus, landing at night even with them is a pain, I've found.

Landing at night is a pain, granted, but you know there are lamps integrated with the landing gears right? :P

Easy to find? There's nothing easy about moving your navball around to find a marker given that it simultaneously directs the thrust of your engines.

If you look at the map you'll know roughly which direction you should go before you launch, which makes that a non-issue in my experience.

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I think it might be best if you posted your jet design - it sounds like you're probably doing something quite badly wrong if it's really much harder on Kerbin than Mun and Duna for you.

I'm happy to do that but I'm interested in how it could be felt a jet could easily take off, fly 5km to a target that doesn't appear visually or give off a "distance" warning, then suddenly land on top of it. Jets take a long time to slow down and land, I try to line it up from 10km away when I'm returning to KSP's airstrip. At a cruising speed of 130m/s, the "You are entering zone xxx" comes up about three seconds before you leave it.

from what I gather FAR makes many aspects of the game easier not harder

On the ease of building spaceplanes that can land on a dime I wouldn't agree with that.

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I'm happy to do that but I'm interested in how it could be felt a jet could easily take off, fly 5km to a target that doesn't appear visually or give off a "distance" warning, then suddenly land on top of it. Jets take a long time to slow down and land, I try to line it up from 10km away when I'm returning to KSP's airstrip. At a cruising speed of 130m/s, the "You are entering zone xxx" comes up about three seconds before you leave it.
Land nearby and taxi the rest of the way. Strap on parachutes, fly below 500m AGL, and pop 'em when the alert comes up. Build a VTOL jet.

There's plenty of ways to be precise about reaching a ground destination.

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I'm happy to do that but I'm interested in how it could be felt a jet could easily take off, fly 5km to a target that doesn't appear visually or give off a "distance" warning, then suddenly land on top of it.

What I do is try to keep my prograde vector just below the target marker on the navball, allowing of course for any mountains that may be in front of me. That has the effect of bringing me to the ground before I reach the marker, at which point I land, hit the brakes, and hopefully stop inside the target zone; if not, just taxi like DeMatt suggested.

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I use KER and KAS as mods.

Should I miss the target by a few hundred meters while landing, I read my heading on the surface menu of KER and get there by foot.

If it's a temperature, or barometric, or seismic scan, I detach the related sensor from thr plane and bring it with me for the trip. You can use it even if it's attached to a kerbal instead of a ship.

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Some of the survey contracts have pretty large areas, yeah. But a few are ridiculously specific to the point of frustration, in one of my first survey contracts on Kerbin (surface EVA or something) the survey area was barely a few hundred meters in radius. My rocket-plane would literally fly through it in under three seconds. Eventually I got bored, landed "next" to it and walked for 15 minutes towards it before being able to complete it. It wasn't fun.

Honestly the best in my opinion would just be to make them (at least the surface ones, maybe not the "in flight" ones which tend to have a comfortable radius anyway) have a 3D target icon on the HUD like landed ships and flags so that they can be easily seen (and would also solve the issue of EVA navigation). Put a 2-3km visibility range on the icon if necessary, but add some kind of 3D reference to make it possible to converge on the survey area without spending one's time overshooting. Maybe it could be made an unlockable in the tracking station (say, second upgrade).

Edited by Bacterius

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10. As of this writing, I hadn't unlocked ladders, so when my Kerbal leaves for EVA, I generally can't get him back inside. I collect my EVA report and that's all I need to do for the contract - then I recover the Kerbal and plane seperately. Once I get ladders unlocked, I'll be able to fly back to the KSC, thus cutting my losses from recovery operations. But that's in the future.

You have to do the EVA report anywhere within a region, from ground level all of the way up into space, I believe. You don't have to be stood on the ground. So, you can go EVA, not even let go of the hatch, do the EVA report and then climb back in to the aircraft.

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You have to do the EVA report anywhere within a region, from ground level all of the way up into space, I believe. You don't have to be stood on the ground. So, you can go EVA, not even let go of the hatch, do the EVA report and then climb back in to the aircraft.

Not quite: from my own experience, if you're hanging on to the hatch, the game treats that as "flying over" rather than "standing on". I understand if you can stand on top of the plane that might work. Unfortunately my attempts to do so haven't been successful... due to the fact that game physics seems to treat a Kerbal standing on a moving plane as stationary with respect to the ground, not the plane. The Kerbal soon falls off while the plane rolls merrily along - so I could complete the contract, but still not get back in the plane :mad: (As an aside, is there a "parking brake" control? I haven't found one; and having to chase after your plane, while comedic, does get tiresome...)

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But the EVA contracts don't specify "standing on". Trust me, I've been doing plenty of survey missions with EVA reports required, no ladders, and visiting multiple sites, flying between them.

And for "parking brake", yes, you can select the brakes (bottom of the three small buttons right of the altitude gauge) and they'll stay permanently on (until the button is reselected or you press the brake key again)

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But the EVA contracts don't specify "standing on". Trust me, I've been doing plenty of survey missions with EVA reports required, no ladders, and visiting multiple sites, flying between them.

And for "parking brake", yes, you can select the brakes (bottom of the three small buttons right of the altitude gauge) and they'll stay permanently on (until the button is reselected or you press the brake key again)

They do specify "on the surface" however. I am not 100% sure but I do recall at least one occasion where I took the EVA report on the ladder and nothing happened, then let go and took the report on the surface and completed the survey (it was on Gilly).

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