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Proper handling of docking events Issue Tools
issueid=1204 09-21-2015 04:21 PM
Addon Developer
Proper handling of docking events
Docking sequence is missing several key steps and only the final step, hard-dock, is currently implemented

For a long time now, possibly ever since Orbiter was first created, dockings have not been handled/implemented properly. What I mean with this is that only the very last phase of a docking is implemented, the hard-dock phase when the latches on the the docking ports are closed. This is the cause of the sudden snaps we all recognize when docking in Orbiter.

There are several phases of a docking and first one is the soft-dock or the "contact/capture" phase. This a very critical phase if the docking mechanisms are not properly aligned or there are some kind of undetected mechanical problem, it can cause a so called "bounce off" where you have contact but not capture. A bounce off could cause serious damage to either docking mechanisms.

It would be great if this could be properly implemented. Below is a schematic overview of the shuttle/ISS docking sequence but it applies pretty much to all spacecraft.

Issue Details
Issue Type Feature
Project ORBITER: 2010-P1 and newer
Status Request
Priority 1 - Highest
Suggested Version 100830 (2010-P1)
Implemented Version (none)
Votes for this feature 3
Votes against this feature 0
Assigned Users (none)
Tags Physics, Vessel Related

07-01-2016 02:19 PM
Addon Developer
Just to illustrate the point made above about imperfect contact situations. This is a video of the Progress MS-01 undocking and redocking conducted earlier today (physical separation at 0536 UTC, contact at 0604 UTC). Note the pitching of the Progress just after contact and capture. This is not supposed to happen.

09-13-2016 02:23 AM
Addon Developer
So we have reached something of a roadblock in implementing the Orbiter Docking System (ODS) in SSU and I was wondering how big of a task it would be to have something like this implemented in the Orbiter 2016 patch? For now I think we could live with the ability to manipulate docking ports in real time.
09-13-2016 05:12 PM
Developer of Solar Lander
Here's a concept that I thought of for docking:

1. Having two vessels docked creates a third "master" vessel.
2. The docked vessels are attached (not docked) to the master vessel and not to each other.
3. The master vessel's attachment points are moved relative to the center of mass of the superstructure according to the relative positions of the docking ports of the docked vessels.
4. Translate all forces on the "child" vessels to the master vessel to simulate physics.
01-03-2019 11:42 AM
Addon Developer
Given that more and more requests for this seems to be popping up as of late, is this something that could be considered?

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