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Videos Video Tutorial: DG4 to ISS
by Tex 05-29-2008, 08:23 AM

UPDATED - May 18, 2009

Hi Folks,

I remade my popular DG4 to ISS video tutorial which covers an entire flight from launch to docking at the ISS using the scenario:

DeltaGliderIV --> Earth Scenery --> Landed KSC departure to ISS




This tutorial is focused for beginners, however advanced Orbinauts should also enjoy this one. You should have both Orbiter Sound 3.5 and Delta Glider IV installed to fully benefit from this tutorial! You will learn how to:
  • Establish a launch window to ISS
  • Program the DG4 computer for take-off
  • Align orbital plane to ISS
  • Set a rendezvous point
  • Syncronize orbits
  • Dock with ISS


WATCH on Vimeo
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:01 PM   #2
DanP
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Excellent tutorial! Very detailed and easy to understand.

Video tutorials are a great idea.

Some thoughts:

1) The AP is Anti-Normal So the mnemonic for remembering which AP mode to use (+ or -) could be "AN" for "Ascending Node" and for "Anti-Normal". Read this bright idea somewhere (Go Play in Space maybe?).

2) I don't know about orbiter, but I think IRL a 115km orbit wouldn't be stable enough to use even for a couple of orbits? I tend to ascend to ~200km at least.

3) Might be hard for beginners so perhaps it isn't too important for a tutorial, but you can use Align MFD during ascent to accurately align your orbit with the orbit of the ISS. Just watch the RInc value and use yaw to try and keep it bellow 1 deg. Usually, a very small alignment burn will be required afterwards. Waiting for the ISS orbit to intersect KSC on the Map MFD and ascending heading 42 degrees will get you in the ballpark (and actually helps visualize the concept better for a tutorial), but requires a longer plane alignment burn afterwards so it's less efficient.

Again, brilliant work!
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanP View Post
 Excellent tutorial! Very detailed and easy to understand.

Video tutorials are a great idea.

Some thoughts:

1) The AP is Anti-Normal So the mnemonic for remembering which AP mode to use (+ or -) could be "AN" for "Ascending Node" and for "Anti-Normal". Read this bright idea somewhere (Go Play in Space maybe?).

2) I don't know about orbiter, but I think IRL a 115km orbit wouldn't be stable enough to use even for a couple of orbits? I tend to ascend to ~200km at least.

3) Might be hard for beginners so perhaps it isn't too important for a tutorial, but you can use Align MFD during ascent to accurately align your orbit with the orbit of the ISS. Just watch the RInc value and use yaw to try and keep it bellow 1 deg. Usually, a very small alignment burn will be required afterwards. Waiting for the ISS orbit to intersect KSC on the Map MFD and ascending heading 42 degrees will get you in the ballpark (and actually helps visualize the concept better for a tutorial), but requires a longer plane alignment burn afterwards so it's less efficient.


Again, brilliant work!

Thanks for the feedback!

Yea, I was laughing at my lack of techincal terms for the autopilot, thanks for the correction. If I remake the video I'll use the right term for that autopilot.

I stopped my orbit burn at 115km on that side of the planet, but the other side was at 300 something, so it was fine really, though I should have raised my PeA to about 150km once I reached ApA, I simply forgot and now I know why DTmin got so far off during the Sync Orbit phase of the flight as I was experiencing atmospheric drag at 115km. It makes it a bit tougher to do these flights correctly I found when you're having to film it and narrate it all at the sametime..

Yep, I know about using the align plane MFD during launch, but for a beginner I think its a bit confusing. One step at a time will be most successful I think. If they at least understand to wait to launch until ISS's orbit crosses the Cape then their plane will be close enough that a small plane change is all that will be needed to fix it.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:20 PM   #4
V8Li
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Great work Tex! I wish I had those back when I was learning...

Note: It's not uncommon to reach the target at high speeds and miss it. At the sync step explained in Part II, minute (roughly) 5, use 4 orbits to sync, and when you're in -let's say- orbit 2 to sync point, do another sync burn (just like explained) and add another 2 orbits. That way the orbits will match and you will get to the target with so little enegry to manage, that you can just use the RCS of the Shuttle to slow down or align with the dock.
Tex, I'm sure you know that and didn't include it in the video in order to not overload it; I think it's a great thread to add some comments on how to improve flights and make them more efficient.
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Old 05-31-2008, 03:26 AM   #5
James.Denholm
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Awesome Tex, just watched the first half minute, but I noticed something that probably should be in there: How to calculate when to launch. Surely there's an MFD, or a formula for those more calculator inclined, that we can use to get the time that a given orbit will cross our location?
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Old 05-31-2008, 03:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James.Denholm View Post
 Awesome Tex, just watched the first half minute, but I noticed something that probably should be in there: How to calculate when to launch. Surely there's an MFD, or a formula for those more calculator inclined, that we can use to get the time that a given orbit will cross our location?

Thanks James.

I was trying to keep it very simple for beginners. One step at a time and not overly complicated with extra MFDs. A simple glance at the Map MFD for when ISS crosses the Cape should be fine. I explained this in the video. Maybe I should reword it or something, but I thought it was rather straight forward, at least that part. TBH, when I was a beginner, I had the most trouble with matching orbit alitiudes and sync orbit MFD so I wanted to focus on that mostly. Maybe I will re-do the tutorial and make each step a seperate video so that I can go into more depth without passing the 10 min max for You Tube.
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Old 05-31-2008, 03:53 AM   #7
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Fair enough, if it's aimed at beginners, but I just wanted to know if there was a way to calculate when a particular orbit crosses a particular point, not necessarily the ISS. I only ask because I plan to build a station soon, using Burch's Building Blocks, and I want to build the station in a 'realistic' manner, i.e. flying the pieces up there, one after another. If I had a formula or something, I'd be able to work out a schedule or timetable or something for these flights, as I want to do this as quickly as possible, almost touch-and-go style.
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Old 05-31-2008, 05:01 AM   #8
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As this is a video, I believe you should actually try and squeeze as much info into it as possible. You can always say something like "you shouldn't worry about this in the beginning", and user can always skip or rewind - that's the beauty of a video. It never hurts to know there is a better way to do things, instead of not knowing about a better way and keeping trying to perfect an inefficient procedure.

Also, I really don't think you should set the resolution that high for this vid. Its main goal is to inform, not to show off. There are more people than you probably think that might benefit from a file that is faster to donwload, doesn't consume as much traffic, doesn't take up as much space on hard drive, doesn't take high-end CPU to keep decoding at decent rate, and/or doesn't require high-res monitor to watch. And the higher the res is on the original, the harder it is to make anything out on youtube-quality vid. Heck, even if I don't care about those things - in the beginning, when you see instruments panel that's smaller than the actual screen, that's just ugly.

I might have more to say after I actually watch the vid...
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:13 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tomek View Post
 I might have more to say after I actually watch the vid...

Wow, I'm amazed you can come to such opinions if you haven't even watched the video.

As I said before, it's for beginners and Orbiter can be overwhelming at first. Simple, one step at a time is best, even for a video instead of trying to confuse them with too much at once. This is why I considered doing each step as a seperate video. It will make skipping steps easier.

The resolution I agree with. I run 1920x1200 so when I make another I shall try something smaller.
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:18 AM   #10
James.Denholm
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Nooo! Don't change your resolution! We like to drool over the thought of your huge monitor.
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:13 AM   #11
tomek
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My primary box got fried by power spike, so right now I'm browsing from a low-end box normally used as a router/firewall. It can barely play youtube and doesn't have a sound card. So I haven't yet seen the full vid with voice commentary - hence "when I actually watch it" part

Regarding whether it's better to give more info or less, I guess the best judges of that would be newbies themselves. But imho you should at least hint at the fact there are more advanced ways to do certain parts of the procedure.

Orbiter is overwhelming not because there are so many keys and MFDs, but because it's unclear for a beginner what all those concepts and values stand for. So a generic overview vid might be nice... maybe not even on Orbiter engine, just something along the lines of ar81's tutorials that just put concepts into more familiar perspective.
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:00 PM   #12
Master of Blades
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Can't download the video.. get an "unexpected end of archive"

EDIT: Watching the youtube version, great tutorial, but you say "basically" waay to much xD

Great job anyhows

Last edited by Master of Blades; 06-02-2008 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:32 AM   #13
Capt.Winki
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I am a noob, and I found this video most useful and was finally able to sucessfully rendevous and dock.
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:41 PM   #14
by_Rd
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The Link is dead, is there any alternatives to download ? Thanks anyway.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by by_Rd View Post
 The Link is dead, is there any alternatives to download ? Thanks anyway.
Sorry about that.. my old film site is no more. I've updated the link in my original post and you can also download it from HERE.
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