Jump to content


KSP Team
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Nertea

  1. Damn, this is awesome. I'd be willing to donate time to model/texture parts if you'd like!

    Because I'm a remote sensing analyst by trade, I think it'd be super cool if you could split this into a few parts - perhaps a multispectral scanner that would detect biomes, a visible-band scanner for doing pretty pictures, maybe a SAR scanner for elevation? Again, willing to provide models and textures :P.

  2. I believe I have now finished my list of basic engines. I've covered all the main categories of fancy electrical propulsion. There are a few other edge cases, but their performance characteristics aren't different enough for me to want to make right now.

    Here's the two PITs ingame with cool engine effects. They turned out quite well and have a distinct look. They're running on xenon now, but I'll get them switched to argon eventually.




    And here's the DS4G, which has a different coloured glow.


    Tank roster to model is looking as follows (bold are the ones shown earlier in this thread):

    - Argon: 0.625 inline, 1.25 inline, 2.5m inline, small radial, large radial

    - Hydrogen: 0.635 inline, 1.25m inline, 2.5m inline, large radial

    - Xenon: 2.5m inline

  3. I like this direction, as currently it's a bit unclear how the current three engines relate in terms of performance.

    Yeah. Stock ion, the DS4G would remain xenon, VASIMR and the PIT would be argon, and the two MPDTs hydrogen for a start. Two engines for each fuel sounds fine, I don't like it when there's a single engine per fuel, waste of effort making tanks :P

    Would this mean the removal of the current Xenon tanks? It would be a real shame to get rid of that awesome spherical side-mounted one just because it's not capsule shaped. Due to the properties of the RL shapes, putting Xenon in a sphere (and Argon in a capsule for example) offers no negative effects in terms of pressure distribution. If the tank types are clearly marked to indicate their type, I don't think people will have issue with fuels not being in the correct shape. Btw, what are the current thoughts on colours and marking?

    I'd keep my current tanks, I worked way too hard on the textures. This would just be for any future stuff. It's just for looks too.

    For colours, I'd evidently keep xenon as yellow, and all H2 tanks would probably get a orange foil look as seen on a lot of those near-future concept ships. Argon, well, I generally think green when I think of argon, but I don't want to conflict with Kethane. Potentially red decorations on a light grey shell, kinda like xenon's yellow bits in distribution.

  4. So a bunch of

    Double post, but I have more new toys!

    The Dual-State Four Grid (DS4G) xenon thruster has a ridiculous RL Isp of 19300s. Translated to KSP values, this is an Isp of 24900, with a thrust of 1.4kN. That's not a huge amount of thrust, only 3x the stock ion but it's quite impressive for fuel economy. It's also tiny, so the low mass is good for stacking lots of engines. It requires about 200kW of power. 0.625 size class.


    The pulsed inductive thruster is going to come in 2 flavours, 0.625 and 1.25m . The small model will require 100kW and produce 2kN of thrust at 8000 Isp, the larger 5kN at 3000 Isp (500 kW). Technically, the PIT can be geared between these two values by varying the pulse rate, so I'm taking both ends of the spectrum for the two units. It can be used with a variety of fuels, I'll probably use argon so that I have at least 2 engines with each fuel type.


    This is my first go at a pulsed plasma thruster. It's actually 4 units driven by a set of 4 capacitors, and would be an electric RCS unit with about 1500 Isp and 25% the thrust of the stock unit. It would also be unique as the fuel is solid and contained inside the unit - no refuelling. Of course it would also require some Ec to run (0.7/s in theory). This is a problem because the stock ModuleRCS module doesn't allow multiple propellants. I'll find a way though.

    I'm also playing around with adding argon and hydrogen as fuels for the engines. Here's some ideas for 2.5 m tanks (and a radial hydrogen). I'm thinking that argon will be cylindrical, xenon will be capsule-shaped, and hydrogen will be spherical... for continuity.


    I'll probably need a bunch more tanks, argon and hydrogen in 1.25 and 0.65m sizes. Going to be annoying :P.

  5. So where do you plan to put these on the tech tree come 0.22?

    I'll figure that out after I play the hell out of it :P. I suppose that depends where the stock ion and such is.

    Fantastic! This should be stock parts - I won't be surprised if Squad offers you job just like they did with ClairaLyrae (KSPX mod).

    Aww, thanks. That would be super cool :P.

    Woow! Can't wait for the update!

    But for me, the HD textures use too much RAM and the low ones just look ugly. Is there any middle ground possible?

    It shouldn't be too hard for you to open up the high res ones and resize them to 50% size if you want to try that (the low res version is 25%). I may try to improve the low-res ones a bit for the next release, as I rushed them somewhat.

  6. I might try my hand at some super-large panels actually eventually...

    I didn't have time to unwrap the solar panels today, but I did model some new batteries. I figure that I can't be the only one who dislikes stacking the stock inline ones. So here are some taller versions of the Z-200, Z-1k and Z-4k. The first one is based on the "hey let's put 28 AAAA batteries in a stack" style of thought. Probably 2800 Ec then, with the same Ec:mass ratio as the stock units. The second one is more of the thinking Kerbal's battery - those are the tops of E-batteries from the Z-400 sticking out there. Maybe they're replaceable - 6400 Ec.The last one is just like 3 Z-4ks stacked on each other (12k Ec), but with more panels and blinky lights. And, functional ladders on the side? Maybe!


    I was also thinking about making some capacitor-type things. They wouldn't contribute to your energy supply directly, until you dumped the charge instantly via a UI button into your battery banks. They would then recharge very slowly. So kinda a battery panic button. Note: it's not really like a real-world capacitor at all.

  7. I think I'll keep this thread for WIPs, in order not to clutter the NF pack release thread. Anyways, here are some solar panels, because they're simple!

    The flat one is based off the panels on Deep Space 1 (and tons of probes since then), the slightly bent one is based off an early Dragon concept image I found lying around and liked. They're both fully animated as of now, just need textures.


    I think they will not have stowage shells... but what do you think?

    There's also a significant lack of cool futuristic looking panel styles on the internet. I guess there's only so many ways to design a flat plane...

  8. Yeah, I'm not sure about it honestly :P. The scaling is certainly not linear or even... logical in any way.

    My balance base does say that 1 Ec/s = 0.1 kW yeah. That's because it's based off of the PB-ION engine, not the RTG, which needs 15 Ec/s at full power. If 15 Ec/s is an average Hall Effect thruster(which it looks like), which are average of 1.5-2 kW, then my ratio is fine. If you say 1kW = 1 Ec makes sense based on the RTG, and something else for the lights, then... well, haha, yeah it's not very easy to reconcile.

    I don't mind changing the power ratings though. If I modify my conversion to be closer to yours (0.75kW = 1 Ec), I am still fine with those numbers (respectively, 266, 2000 and 5000 Ec/s for the engines). They're still hard enough to achieve for the thrust you get. My main concern is trying to provide an engine that isn't easy to power considering its potential thrust ratings.

  9. Ah, so I figured it out, due to a very poor understanding of how the LiquidEngine module works. I've got some new formulae for sense-making values and behaviour now, so that's good.


    Here are the 3 engines I'll be releasing so far (left to right), with their KSP specs. They all have power curves that cause them to be useless in atmosphere of any type. They all run off xenon tanks, which is ok for the first iteration of this pack, but next version I'll switch the VASIMR to argon and the MPDTs to hydrogen or lithium, with their own tanks and densities.

    • VASIMR 200kW: 9700 Isp, 31.5 kN of thrust, needing about 2,000 Ec/s to run
    • MPDT 3500kW: 4700 Isp, 553.125 kN of thrust, needing about 35,000 Ec/s to run (even more yikes)
    • MPDT 1500kW: 10500 Isp, 164.3 kN of thrust, needing about 15,000 Ec/s to run (yikes)

    The two MPDT engines are so ridiculous as to be scary, the larger engine is almost as much power as a Skipper! I hope the tech actually gets off the ground and approaches those lab tests in real life, it would be nice.

    I would also love to see a KSP ship built to generate 35k Ec/s :D.

    I will release this once I texture the 2.5m reactor, so maybe by the end of the week. I also plan on making some fairings for the engines.

    Does anyone know how to hide meshes in the editor? I know you can hide them in part preview with the Icon_Hidden tag, but I can't find anything about that either. I could do it with a custom engine module I expect, I just don't want to rewrite LiquidEngine yet (maybe next version).

  10. Can you post the vasmir code? that problem you are describing sounds familiar somehow...

    The engine is just a basic cfg edit with this module section:

    name = ModuleEngines
    thrustVectorTransformName = thrustTransform
    exhaustDamage = False
    ignitionThreshold = 0.1
    minThrust = 0
    maxThrust = 31.5
    heatProduction = 0
    name = ElectricCharge
    ratio = 10000.0
    name = XenonGas

    ratio = 0.5
    key = 0 9700


    This is the part of the reactor that does the Ec generation for the reactor:

      public override void OnFixedUpdate()
    if (Enabled)

    // if radiators are not open
    if (animator.CurrentState != RadiatorState.Deployed)
    currentGeneration = Mathf.MoveTowards(currentGeneration, PowerGenerationRetracted, TimeWarp.fixedDeltaTime * PowerGenerationResponseRate);
    this.part.RequestResource("ElectricCharge", -currentGeneration);
    currentGeneration = Mathf.MoveTowards(currentGeneration, PowerGenerationDeployed, TimeWarp.fixedDeltaTime * PowerGenerationResponseRate);
    this.part.RequestResource("ElectricCharge", -currentGeneration);

    else {

    currentGeneration = Mathf.MoveTowards(currentGeneration, 0f, TimeWarp.fixedDeltaTime * PowerGenerationResponseRate);
    this.part.RequestResource("ElectricCharge", -currentGeneration);


    This may make me want to send a probe to Eeloo, I've never done that before.

    I know! I'm excited to play with this myself, even. I love sticking dozens of solar panels on everything I build, I figure some of my toys should be able to run this at 1/4 power. Can anyone tell me how powerful the panels in the Kosmos pack are?

  11. Thanks everyone :) Good response certainly encourages me to continue the project!

    Anyways, learned to write basic plugins today, so I wrote a script to handle what I want to do with reactors. Since all the reactors I'm using will be based on Stirling heat engines, they'll still function with radiators closed, just at a far lower capacity. The 50kW reactor produces up to 250Ec of power (25 kW by my conversion) when opened, and only 15Ec when closed. You can therefore run it closed if you like for fun. They also have slow response times, so it takes a little while for the reactor to ramp up to full capacity or to shut down. I'm not 100% happy with the texture right now, so I'll be tweaking it somewhat. I also want to have the heatpipes glow a reddish tone when it's on, so that'll be cool.

    Here's a shot of some stuff in the VAB. As you can see I finished the radial xenon tank too.


    The VASIMR *should* be using 2000 Ec right now, but it doesn't seem to. It's quite strange, but I'm sure I'll figure it out. It seems to consume power when I change the throttle setting, and when the total ship power output drops below a certain amount. Odd. Now for some beauty shots!



    I'm currently unwrapping the two MPD thrusters, so we're getting there...

  12. I thought also, is this realy enough such a tiny radiators to cool down reactors, especially the big one?

    You got me, probably not. Well, the small one is likely ok, if that mini-reactor I based it on is workable. The large one... well, probably not. I don't know much about these things, but I like the area I have. There's a point at which it would become unworkable for KSP though.

    Good ideas for the parts though. The decouplable tank and the radial reactor would be easy enough I expect. As to reinforcing the inline one, I'm going to be trying to make fairings for both reactors, so they would be taking the stress loads during liftoff and high acceleration.

    This is great but some adapter and/or radiation shield in the same aesthethic would be a good idea

    Tentatively planned too, along with the solar panels. No point to them, but they would make nice structural parts.

    Anyways, I got some parts ingame this afternoon, and fiddled with engine effects. I've also been doing specular/detailing to match the stock parts, and it's going quite well. I won't say they're indistinguishable, but at least they seem to share the same visual lineage now.


    Would anyone know why the part won't load in KSP if I use the KSP/Particles/Additive shader? I'd really rather use it for the glow (Translucent unlit seems to still get some shadow and specular effects even when off). I also am not sure how I can change the scale of the engine particles, but I'm sure I can work it out. Eventually.

    So far the small and large inline tank and the engine are looking good. Next up is the small reactor, then the radial tank, then those others.

  13. It just takes practice :)

    Slow day today, so more stuff:


    Unwrapped/textured the reactor and the two xenon tanks. They're really asking for a specular pass and some weathering, but I still intend on waiting for ingame tests first.

    ksp_ largernuke.png

    I also decided that, when I went to unwrap it, I didn't like the 2.5m reactor anymore, so I remodeled it to be... cooler.

    And finally, here's a picture of a stack of bits as Sapphire requested.


    So now to complete that earlier list, I just need to unwrap and texture the two MPDT engines and the large nuke. Wohoo!

  14. The glowing engine ports should be easily done.

    There's no way to do a pretty engine effect like that using particles but I think playing around with a transparent mesh and the animation modules might work out. I've tried it myself, but it doesn't work so well for conventional exhausts as they need some actual volume.

    I figured it wouldn't be too hard. A faint transparent cone with a more conventional-type exhaust in the centre would seem to be a good plan

    OMG! This is even more awesome than Fatman series! Thx for your work, Kommitz, I'll definetry grab this asap! ^_^

    This is quite a compliment considering that Kommitz's WIP thread is what inspired me to do these in the first place!

    A lovely design and texture! Perhaps a silly question but what use has the enginecone? Does it still have an effect at an isp of 9000?

    I'm not sure really. It seems to appear on all the conceptual diagrams and the ISS-mounted mockup, so I suspect it has some type of use, even if it's just shielding the engine components.

    So... You are not planning to release a decent 3,75m or 2,5m size version of VASIMR by any chance, are you?

    Not really at the moment. I like each thing I make to be relatively unique-looking, so a 2.5m part would take some redesigning and unwrapping. I hate unwrapping :P. But, the technology is apparently scaleable, so something like that might be a future project!

    I was giving some thought to what I wanted to release last night for a first pack:

    • 1.25m VASIMR engine
    • 1.25m MPDT engine
    • 0.65m MPDT engine
    • 1.25m reactor (tentatively 100kW)
    • 2.5m reactor (tentatively 1MW)
    • 4000 unit 1.25m xenon tank
    • 1000 unit 1.25m xenon tank (FL-T100 size)
    • Large radial spherical xenon tank

    I've got all the models done for these, they just need unwrapping and texturing.

    Other things that I think might fit into this kind of "near-future propulsion" pack for a second pass:

    • Tiny surface-mounted pulsed plasma thruster (with integrated fuel supply) for tiny probes
    • D4G/HiPeP ion engines
    • 1.25 m pulsed inductive thruster
    • 2.5m 1-2 MW VASIMR (as the design is apparently quite scalable)
    • 2.5m large reactor (few MWs)
    • A few different fuel types (argon, lithium) for the various engines
    • Futuristic looking solar arrays

    -edit: I forgot a new picture! Small (1000 units) inline and radial xenon tanks.


  15. I was going to try to learn how to get stuff ingame, but the link to the part tools is currently broken, so I can't at the moment.

    Still, it made me unwrap and do a basic colour pass with these two - I'm reluctant to do more before I can see them beside the stock parts and make sure they fit in alright. I think it should work though, I took the palette from ion engine/xenon tank screencaps ;).


    I figure the blue toned areas on the engine will glow in operation like the stock thruster. I'm not sure whether it's possible, but I'd try to make the engine effect similar to this.

  16. Ok, seems like there's some interest! I'll continue to unwrap and texture then, starting with the VASIMR and the xenon tank.


    First, here's the finished tank. Based on my guess that volumetrically, the tanks in are about 1.5x the PB-X50R tank, the xenon capacity will be about 4000, with a wet mass about 1.1. This puts it as somewhat worse than the small tanks fuel-weight wise, but saves on the part count and complexity.


    After some refinements and poly count reduction, the VASIMR is done too and ready to be unwrapped. Thinking about stats,the KSP Hall effect thruster has 4200 Isp at 15 Ec/s, with a max thrust of 0.5 kN. A real-world Hall thruster might have 2000 Isp at 1.5 kW, thrust 80 mN. The VASIMR is around 5000 Isp at 200 kW with thrust of 5N.

    Based on that conversion, the VASIMR in KSP would have an Isp of 10,000, require 2000 Ec/s and generate 30 kN of thrust (half of an LV-N). That's a pretty crazy Isp-thrust ratio for the game, but might be reasonable, considering that you would need 110 Gigantors to run it all full power :P. Evidently the reactors, bigger batteries and some bigger solar arrays would be needed... I might say an Isp of 9,000, a power requirement of 800 Ec/s and an output of 10 kN might be more reasonable. Thoughts?

  17. Thanks! I have those pipes as copper toned for now as I tend to associate that with heat sinks (looks at GPU), but I'll probably play around with colours later when I texture them.

    I actually have made a new xenon tank, but it's not cool enough yet. It's about the size of the FLT-400, and based on some odd combination of the radial and inline stock xenon tanks. I expect it would look a lot better if textured.


    I am enjoying making these engines though, so I made a magnetoplasmodynamic thruster based on the MIT designs. 0.65m size category.


    Additionally, a larger version, which is more of my own design with a few common features, for the 1.25m size.


    These two use lithium optimally as a fuel, but I think MPDT designs have been tested with xenon, so it would be fine ingame (:P). These have about the same theoretical Isp as the 200kW VASIMR, but about 10x the thrust. The power consumption, however, is expected to be upwards of 5000kW, which is pretty ridiculous without a powerful reactor of some type.

  • Create New...