Help with LoLa MFD

jedidia

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LoLa MFD comes without much documentation. After wondering about how it is supposed to work and futile tries to figure it out in the last two hours, I decided to ask someone else.

Is there a tutorial, or could anyone explain me how to e.g. set up a landing at a base with LoLa?

I did set one up a few times, with basicaly three possible results, all of them quite unsatisfying:

1. the MFD told me "Autopilot engaged", and "waiting for ignition. I did not touch anything, with the result of nothing ever happening.

2. while waiting for ignition, I touched the hover thrusters. The Autopilot kicked in and kicked my as somewhere to the other end of the solar system (at least it would have if there was enough fuel), spinning like a raving centrifuge.

3. again touching hover thrusters, the autopilot kicked in, breaking my ship down to zero, and accelerating further into directiom I just came from. This only happened once, usually it's the happy carusel from point 2.

I'm trying it with the Deepstar landers on Rhea. Can anyone tell me how to use this thing properly??
 

Weirdo Earthtorch

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Hi. You're probably too far off plane/apoapsis too high in the Rhea scenario, which you should fix with a orbit normal burn, and a retrograde burn at periapsis. Check the map MFD to make sure your orbital plane passes through the base. Just tried this myself - seemed to work OK.

Maybe try the Lander to Tohil Mons scenario (Jupiter). This is set up fine already and should work straight off.

Also, I don't think Lola MFD is (unfortunately) completely finished. Still seems to do a fine job, though.

Cheers WE.
 

jedidia

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well, I tried all that allready. I was only about 200 km away from the landing site, orbit was aligned, height 24k above surface, speed somewhere around 200 m/s... I could have flown her in pretty easily with level horizon and hold altitude autopilots from that set-up.

If I understand the concept of LoLa, it should fly me in all by itself, right? or are there some parameters I have to tweak?
 

Andy44

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Well, there are probably some parameters you must meet beore handing the controls over to LOLA. I have only done Apollo-style approaches, which involve lowering your periapsis to about 15 km just beyond the landing site, and that seems to keep LOLA's algorithm happy, so I can't say where it starts to fail.

LOLA's creator, LazyD, unfortunately passed away before really finishing the program, and he never got to write an instruction manual for it, or to fix bugs and add features. Until somebody smart enough to decipher the source code and finish it does so, we'll have to make do.

One other word of advice: if your spacecraft has weak main engines or none at all, don't use LOLA to take off, as it will "pop up" using the hovers and then pitch up and try to ascend using the mains. If your mains aren't designed for this you will crash on the lunar surface. (This is the experience I had with my own Lunar Space Shuttle addon, whose "main" engines are low thrust and used only for secondary propulsion.)
 

pattersoncr

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I second what Andy said. I've had great success with Lola using this technique:
once your orbit is aligned with your landing site, monitor your distance from the base on Map MFD (it displays in km and degrees). The degree display will count up almost to 180 then start to count down. Whe it does, bur retrograde until your PeA is 5 to 15 km.

Following the above, the only problems I've had with Lola were my own fault (hover doors closed or similar).
 

jedidia

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ok, I'll try that, thanks. LoLa also has an autopilot for aligning the Orbit, which wouldn't work correct either. Is that one of the uninished features?

@pattersoncr: say, you're not accidentaly identical with chuck starchaser from the VegaStrike board?
 

NukeET

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ok, I'll try that, thanks. LoLa also has an autopilot for aligning the Orbit, which wouldn't work correct either. Is that one of the uninished features?

IMO, yes. I've experimented with LOLA quite a bit...the orbit align feature seems to be a 1st or 2nd draft. LazyD was just too precise in his add-ons for this to be a finished product.
 

tgep

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There was an effort under way to to obtain ( if at all possible ) LazyD's developement notes for this MFD. As you all know, it was a W.I.P. and still only in beta testing when he passed away.
I have also found that LOLA does not always work and play well with other MFDs all the time.
For any new LOLA user I would suggest running it with only "stock" Orbiter MFDs until you get the hang of it. Then add in 1 MFD at a time to see if your system can handle it.
Between the LOLA and Int5.3 MFDs, we have a very sophisticated auto program option availible to us.
 

Phogyaxe

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I'm tryng to bring the Altair lander to rendezvous but as soon as ascent stage is done and I acheive orbit I start a very vicious tumble and my pitch thrusters are stuck on.
 
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