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Old 03-21-2017, 12:37 AM   #1
Default TransX or IMFD

I'm new to Orbiter, and have flown a mission from Earth to Moon only using the stock MFDs in 2016. Landed at Brighton manually. Very fun figuring things out.

I'm wanting to learn one of the flight planing MFDs. I'm guessing TransX and IMFD are the best for this?

Which one does the job better and would be better to start out learning? I've skimmed the manual to both and have been messing with them for a while, but there is much I don't understand. The manuals seem vague on some subjects.

Is one overall better than the other? Do they both have strengths and weaknesses? If so, what are the differences?

I should also mention that I do like automation on my flights. Especially auto-burns and bonus if it orients the space craft automatically throughout the burn. I like to do manual maneuvers sometimes, but using the automation makes me feel more like a futuristic astronaut (who would do things manually unless their computers were broke or their new captain made them dock the Enterprise manually on the first day?).

So which of these MFDs provide more automation? I'm aware of the LaunchMFD and TransX integration, and I do like it a lot. Does IMFD offer anything like that?

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Old 03-21-2017, 06:43 AM   #2

IMFD has a very useful map on which you can see your planned and current flight path and automated burn assistant. TransX is better suited for (multiple) fly-by maneuvers.

There a good tutorials for TransX on http://flytandem.com/orbiter/index.htm

I've been using both MFD's simultaneously. TransX to setup the flight plan and IMFD for detailed tracking on its map and assisting with arrival burns at your destination.

Both are very powerful and you should get familiar with both. I personally started with TransX first and got familiar with IMFD afterwards. The tutorials linked above were very useful to me. Also have a look at youtube it has lots of tutorials as well (for TransX at least).
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:54 AM   #3
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IMFD has always been having a lot of automation, including orientation and auto burns. It is also capable of executing complex plans, such as free return trajectory. The planning is performed by specifying start and end date (date of encounter). Based on this, velocity vectors are solved.

TransX has a poorer design and UI, and has the same automation since some time - namely auto burn and auto orientation, but also automatic solution finding (tried AutoMin already?). The planning consists of specifying the velocity vectors, based on which the encounter date is solved.

Although IMFD does support slingshots, TransX is much more flexible in this regard. You can create very complex plans in it, including resonant orbits.
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:32 AM   #4
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A very good video series tutorial on IMFD, by blixel and dgatsoulis:
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Old 03-21-2017, 02:14 PM   #5

I always recommend TransX for beginners. IMFD has a lot of automation, however, it doesn't tell you why it works. TransX is more simple and easier to understand (especially if you already have played KSP).

I learned how to use TransX with blixel's absolute beginner guide videos.

IMFD full manual
is very helpful if you want to use IMFD.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:41 PM   #6

Thanks for the responses! Exactly what I was looking for.
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Old 03-23-2017, 03:00 PM   #7
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HarvestR said on this forum at one point that TransX was the inspiration for the KSP node system, so you may find it more familiar- a sort of guess and check system by iterating on individual velocity components.

I prefer IMFD. I feel it's a bit more sophisticated since it can actually solve (albeit preliminarily) the Lambert problem, rather than guess and check. Also, the map is very powerful since it accounts for perturbations.

Some people here are really good at using TransX to plan multi-planet slingshot trajectories ahead of time. But, since Orbiter models real-life, you can use the actual NASA database as well:


I find that this database does everything I would have done in TransX.
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nikogori View Post
 IMFD full manual is very helpful if you want to use IMFD.
Note that the IMFD Full Manual is also available in the Rocket Science For Amateurs section of OrbiterWiki: http://www.orbiterwiki.org/wiki/IMFD_Manual
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:43 AM   #9
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Learn TransX first as it comes with Orbiter, it is standard.

I've never needed to use IMFD, I did learn to use it for about a week then I didn't use Orbiter for awhile and when I came back, I couldn't understand it again.

Personal bias here sorry however I will admit LunarTransferMFD is really neat and easy, if you are familiar with Apollo/AMSO, it has the 3 different programs built in, TLI, TEI & LOI and will allow you to select a base rather than just the body and you having to adjust after. It is based on IMFD anyway. So if you are new to Orbiter, you probably will be staying around the Earth & Moon for awhile anyway.
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