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Old 06-03-2011, 01:30 PM   #31
markp
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UMmu version is on Orbit Hanger Mods. Also added a ladder to the MAV and coloured beacons to the lander aeroshells. Fixed some old and new bugs along the way.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:03 AM   #32
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So just a quick report on activities / direction of the DRM landers. Been a bit sidetracked at the moment.

I have been focusing on developing a Mars dual thermal / gas balloon which is partly working now. This is a tool to test out and explore adding winds to Mars in Orbiter (with storms etc calculated from a given pressure map, I think this can be done). Also plan / hope to improve the landers powered descent autopilot to compensate for wonky releases from the aeroshell.

Then try and add UCGO compatibility and add some other things.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:38 PM   #33
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I'm playing around with a purely solar heated hot air balloon for the time being. The idea is the black envelope absorbs the suns radiation and heats up the Martian atmospheric gas inside. It's quite an old idea studied by space agencies for exploring the planets.

Not entirely sure what all the benefits are over a helium superpressure balloon are yet except I know at least there is the possibility of multiple controlled descents and ascents (to explore the vertical structure of the atmosphere or to land on the surface). I think they also might be good for exploring the poles during the summer.

Here is a pic of the new balloon, it's quite big

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And here is an pic of some HUD text showing useful information for planning a flight and a chart of flight data from a test launch.

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A few more modifications and then it's time to add winds to Mars for some extra fun.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:17 PM   #34
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I have used some basic mathematical functions to reproduce the important circulation patterns in the Martian atmosphere (will document it fully later). No storms or jet streams yet just the basic zonal winds (west-east component). There are not very many calculations so it will be fast (I hope).

Below are plots of the wind speeds with latitude and altitude taken from the model at two times in the Martian year. The first one is at the time of northern hemisphere summer and the second one down is approaching the time of northern hemisphere autumn.

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The next step is to apply the wind forces to the balloon, play a bit with that, then add the wind to the landers and their parachutes and see what happens!
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:06 PM   #35
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Have added winds to the balloon and is working very nicely so far.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:29 PM   #36
Wishbone
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It is said that balloons/weather rockets will be essential for launch safety...
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:18 PM   #37
Interceptor
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Hi MarkP,I am not trying to nitpick whatsoever,I am just letting you know theres some bugs.1. the connecting passage from the cargo lander to the habitat is not textured,and,2.the orginal UMMMU menu still shows the default keys,I know you changed the open-close airlock key to P,but it says in the menu A still.BTW I love this addon,and am looking foward to future versions.Thanks
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:00 AM   #38
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Thanks very much for spotting those bugs!
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:22 AM   #39
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Your very welcome
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:59 PM   #40
markp
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Landers, after release from the aeroshell, will now not be tail sitters. That was causing problems (entry and descent phase orientations will remain as before though). So that's good for a number of things such as autopilots and UCGO.

Some recent screen shots:

Lander engines can be fired independently of aeroshell engines.

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Helium weather balloon for high altitude probing of the atmosphere and the winds

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UCGO cargo part working on the solar hot air balloon! It's just a test.

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Old 07-03-2011, 10:04 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markp View Post
 Landers, after release from the aeroshell, will now not be tail sitters.
Although I've been following the project, I'm not sure what you mean by tail sitters. Could you elaborate? Here or in PM is fine.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:23 AM   #42
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A tail sitter is a term I've seen used to describe an Orbiter vessel that has its +z axis (the default direction of the cockpit camera view) pointing up when it is landed.

I don't know the full ins and outs of Orbiter but I understand that a vessel best suited to landing must have its +z axis pointing towards the horizon and its +y axis pointing up so use can be made of the hold level and hold altitude autopilots. Also the landing seems to be more stable this way. A tail sitter can be a bit fussy when making contact with the surface, not settling down and rotating randomly.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:18 PM   #43
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ok a new powered descent autopilot is working. If you can manage to deploy the crewed lander's parachute within a couple of km of the cargo lander then the new autopilot will fly you to a hover landing within 100 metres of the cargo lander!

Just need to add the winds to the landers. Thinking about the forces involved I don't think they will have much effect except for a small deflection on the trajectory but I will add them anyway. Let's see. Considering adding turbulence (thermal I guess) effects in the future just to see what it would be like.

I'll probably add UCGO cargo to the cargo lander soon as well. Then I expect I'll release a v1.3 of the DRM1 in a week or two.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:39 PM   #44
astrosammy
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Quote:
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 ok a new powered descent autopilot is working. If you can manage to deploy the crewed lander's parachute within a couple of km of the cargo lander then the new autopilot will fly you to a hover landing within 100 metres of the cargo lander!
Wow, that's great! Landing at the right spot was always a problem for me...
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:27 AM   #45
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Yes I'm glad that part is working now! It's a rather important capability for linking up the habitats and for easy access to the cargo lander. Also it's quite satisfying setting down next to another lander!
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