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Old 06-26-2008, 08:57 PM   #16
Ursus
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I'm still working on it, or rather, trying to get back to working on it. Just trying to put together some documentation for the alpha, right now.

Also, I just added mesh and a config file for a 40ft self-propelled docking tunnel to the UPDock section the repository. It requires the UPDock Alpha 0.1 package to work, of course. Future releases of UPDock will include the SPDT.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:33 PM   #17
Woo482
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whats the spdt?
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:29 AM   #18
Ursus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woo482 View Post
 whats the spdt?
It's a Self-Propelled Docking Tunnel (extension). It's a docking tunnel with its own RCS thrusters, so a person can deploy it from the cargo bay of an XR5 (or from its own carrier on a Windmill Class vessel, once such a carrier is built, or from just about any carrier that'll hold a forty-foot equivalent intermodal transport unit, or FEU), switch focus to the SPDT, and dock to one of the vessels the tunnel is preparing to connect.

A docking tunnel extension is neccesary when docking an XR5 to the Windmill, unless a person really wants to watch the bracing beams for the habitat wheel slice through the XR5's nose.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:28 AM   #19
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ok
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:14 AM   #20
Ursus
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I finally got around to putting together and uploading a distribution file for testers. I'm calling this a semi-private Alpha (maybe even Pre-Alpha) release. It's certainly nowhere near feature-complete, so I'm not publishing a link to it, but I won't (and actually, putting it on SourceForge, I couldn't if I wanted to) stop anyone who can find it from downloading it.

By "not feature-complete", I mean:

- No reactor simulation.

- No "navmodes" (attitude autopilots) whatsoever (except for KillRot, if you count that). I tried re-enabling the Orbiter native navmodes, and decided they where worse than nothing for this vessel.

- No attachment code, even though attachment points are in place on the truss.

...et cetera...

What we do have is what I think is a pretty nice (if I may say so myself) Bussard collection system, a magnetic sail and a fairly decent autothrottle modes to help with fuel management.

Next, I think I'm going to put a digital accelerometer, with vector and/or degree displays, on the... well, I was going to put it on the engineering panel, but it'd make more sense to have it on the helm panel. Yeah... I'll put it on the engineering panel. Eventually, I think I'm going to have to do a bit of re-arranging of the helm panel, and will add the digital directional accelerometer at that time, among other things. Right now, the engineering panel is turning into a nice place from which to navigate, even if it does have only one MFD.

The accelerometer shouldn't take long. Then...

Anyone know how a futuristic fusion reactor should behave?

Let's see... just off the cuff... the following probably isn't very accurate/complete.

First you add some reaction fuel to the reaction chamber. (How much? Would it need some sort of pre-treating?)

You compress the fuel down with a magnetic field, maybe adding some more as you go along.

You shoot a whole bunch of electricity through the fuel to excite it into fusing together.

In the hypothetical future reactor, enough electricity can be generated from the reaction to maintain the compression field (and the stimulus charge? or is that just necessary to jump start the reaction?) and other ship systems, such as those powerful magnetic field generators at either end of the vessel. I guess we could add a fission power plant if that seems too unrealistic.

To produce thrust, (lots) more fuel is added to the system, and the fused fuel is directed out through the big exhaust port.

When the reactor is not being used for propulsion, the spent fuel is vented through two or more symetrically placed exhaust ports, so that the thrust produced by said venting cancels itself out.

To stop the reaction, one simply stops replacing the spent fuel.

Of course, what I really need are key phases of operation, so I can put something more interesting on the reactor moitoring display than "Startup Sequence: Phase 1... Phase 2... Phase 3..." Though I guess that'd work I can't find anything better.
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:06 PM   #21
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I am finally getting back to the autopilot system after dealing with a backed up sewer, a flood and the most seriously underbid development project I have ever been involved with.

The first cut of the control law seems to be working as well as the reference calculation. I need to connect it to the buttons on the helm panel. Then I need to add robustness for high time acceleration.

BTW, since this is a true space ship, does anybody care that it has no "up"? There is no "wings level" mode planned for the autopilot. The only thing that the autopilot does with the roll axis is drive the roll rate to zero.

So, there should be an autopilot available "real soon now".
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:45 PM   #22
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I've got no problem with no roll alignment. For the most part, it seems kind of silly to waste fuel trying to keep the X axis aligned with the orbital plane. Perhaps in the future, a separate roll mode could be implemented for the rare occasion when a helmsman does want to have the X and Y attitude thrusters aligned with the orbital plane and the plane normals.
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:51 AM   #23
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Ok... we've got an acceleration vector/heading readout... at least on the engineering panel.



In the above illustration, the vessel has reached the velocity of the solar wind, and has used the fuel in its tanks to blast through the "dead in the water..." umm... the "dead in the interplanetary medium" stage. Now it's collecting enough fuel to keep accelerating, but the drag caused by accelerating the solar medium to the vessel's speed isn't aligned with the Z axis, so the direction of acceleration is being thrown off a bit.

The pilot has compensated for the by steering into the headwind. Not only does this move the acceleration vector to the right direction (straight towards the target seems to work pretty well for a "direct flight" course), but it also increases the intake cross-section of the magnetic scoop, allowing the vessel to collect fuel faster.

Right now, I've got the acceleration along the Z-axis as the third readout in heading mode (as it is in vector mode). I'm thinking that maybe the total offset from the Z-axis would be a more useful bit of information to display.

I also added a couple configuration file options, so our mesh guy can change the mesh group index for the habitat animation if he needs to, or add a second mesh group to be animated along with the first one. If he inadvertently changes the group index of the hab ring, he can use MeshWizard to find the correct group index and add "HabRotMeshGroup1 = 5" (or whatever number) to the configuration file. If he adds a second mesh group that rotates along with the first one, he can use "HabRotMeshGroup2" (Group1 overrides the hard-coded group; Group2 adds a second group).

The addition was made with chewing gum and duct tape, for development purposes, but I'm thinking it might be a good feature to have, so I'll probably go ahead and do it up right one of these days.

Just to test the code out, I created a fuel centrifuge :



I haven't put a compiled package with the above changes up, but if Trokkes thinks he'll need it soon, or if someone really wants to ALPHA test the acceleration vector display, I can put one together.

Next: I think I'll add the acceleration display to the Helm, then... I'll work on that dang reactor.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:36 AM   #24
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Hi there,
Quote:
I also added a couple configuration file options, so our mesh guy can change the mesh group index for the habitat animation if he needs to, or add a second mesh group to be animated along with the first one. If he inadvertently changes the group index of the hab ring, he can use MeshWizard to find the correct group index and add "HabRotMeshGroup1 = 5" (or whatever number) to the configuration file. If he adds a second mesh group that rotates along with the first one, he can use "HabRotMeshGroup2" (Group1 overrides the hard-coded group; Group2 adds a second group).
I think this is a nice feature, it will be useful if not now in the future.

I'm redoing the docking ports, fixing the size of the dock and texturing them.
I would like to change many little details of the textures but, right now, I think they are almost ready to release in a first version.

I'll leave on vacations in hours :beach: and until September I won't come back (and no computer, no Internet, no nothing).
So the beta ... Any Tuesday on September?

Well, see you soon
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:19 PM   #25
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just read your entire thread... Impressive work here Ursus... Just a few questions about the ship if u feel like answering

1) you mentioned something about the startup phase of the reactor, what type of 'therotical reactor style are you using... eg tokamak or something else??

2) are you going to be able to dock support ships like the Vespucci? I like the idea of carrying several ships with me, both because I sometimes loose a ship and well, always nice to have multiple support ships so u can rescue the people that I lost...

3) cargo bay?

4) cargo bay?

5) Ummu support? (I think you covered that, but just wanna make sure)

6) if your scoop is collecting X amount of extra fuel, but X is not enough to run those big ole engines at 100%, will the engines know that and give you the appropriate thrust???

7) Can you hurry??? I wanna fly this thing

Very good work from as far as I an see... I can barely wait !!!
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:48 PM   #26
penlu
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bussard_ramjet

Looks really quite similar. Not for surface operations, I'm guessing?
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:08 PM   #27
Ursus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiPotOk1978 View Post
 1) you mentioned something about the startup phase of the reactor, what type of 'therotical reactor style are you using... eg tokamak or something else??
I'm kind of working out right now more-or-less-exactly how the Mobius CNO Tandem Bicycle Fusion Reactor is supposed to work. Right now, I'm thinking along the lines of two torroidal (tokamak) chambers which will operate constantly, providing power for the scoop and other systems, and which will "jump start" a third chamber (some sort of glorified magnetic mirror?) when thrust is needed.

Hmm... "The Mobius Tri-Chamber CNO Tandem Bicycle Hybrid Fusion Reactor?"

(Does that sound plausible, folks?)

Quote:
2) are you going to be able to dock support ships like the Vespucci? I like the idea of carrying several ships with me, both because I sometimes loose a ship and well, always nice to have multiple support ships so u can rescue the people that I lost...

3) cargo bay?

4) cargo bay?
The attachment truss will support cargo pallets and cradles for landers. (And an airlock attachment.)

Quote:
5) Ummu support? (I think you covered that, but just wanna make sure)
Yup. Already implemented.

Quote:
6) if your scoop is collecting X amount of extra fuel, but X is not enough to run those big ole engines at 100%, will the engines know that and give you the appropriate thrust???
Yup. Already implemented.


@penku: Yes, it's a Bussard Ramjet. No, it's definitely not designed to enter an atmosphere.
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:06 PM   #28
trokkes
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Hi there,
I have finished the textures
(actually, I've finished a group of templates that seems to work fine ).
So I'm uploading the last version of the textures. I have redone some parts of the mesh and now I think that size of docking ports is correct and there aren't missing normals

Finally, I've named the ship "WINDMILL"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursus View Post
 
I also added a couple configuration file options, so our mesh guy can change the mesh group index for the habitat animation ...

...

I haven't put a compiled package with the above changes up, but if Trokkes thinks he'll need it soon, or if someone really wants to ALPHA test the acceleration vector display, I can put one together.
Well, I think is a good time to do that, because when I 've tested the mesh it's all OK but the wheel doesn't spin but the truss does.
Now begin to upload some images ...

the ship

More windows

tank view

dock port


Comparison with ISS and DGIV

Last edited by trokkes; 09-24-2008 at 12:44 PM. Reason: adding images
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:25 PM   #29
Belisarius
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Are we going to see it soon?
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Old 09-24-2008, 02:59 PM   #30
Mister Kite
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Very impressive!
Anxious to fire her up.

Last edited by Mister Kite; 09-25-2008 at 01:00 AM.
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