Project Mars Design Reference Mission 1

markp

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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.
 

markp

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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.
 

astrosammy

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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...
 

markp

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Yes I'm glad that part is working now! :thumbup: 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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Mostly been doing landing tests recently.

Here are some pictures of a landing test at Vallis Dao, dropping in on the old Mars for Less (MFL) base from 2006. The parachutes were deployed at 3.5 km from the base. I had to do a magic fuel tank refill to reach the base because the hover range of the lander is less than 2 km.

I had MFL's Earth Return Vehicle as my target and the DRM1 habitat landed right next to it! It's my second go at it so I'm hoping to get the parachute deployment a bit closer with some more practice.

Note the lander is a bit dusty after landing.

LandingTest01.jpg

LandingTest02.jpg

LandingTest03.jpg

LandingTest04.jpg

LandingTest05.jpg

LandingTest06.jpg
 

markp

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Running a bit behind my own rather loose schedule but progressing.

1. I have improved on my previous attempts and landed at the Vallis Dao base next to my intended target using less than one tank of fuel during the powered descent! That's good that it can be done.

2. The powered descent autopilot has been made as user friendly as possible. For example the descent rate can be controlled by the pilot while the autopilot controls everything else.

3. The habitat is basically finished and operational. Cargo lander following closely behind.

Need to get UCGO working on the cargo lander now and then update the documentation plus a bit of testing to check everything is working ok.

Cheers,
Mark
 
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tomthenose

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been really enjoying parachuting serenely to the surface of mars with this, thanks for the ace mod! looking forward to the updates
 

markp

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Made progress over the weekend with UCGO and the cargo lander. The cargo boxes (1.3 m x 1.3 m) fit nicely onto the cargo lander with a maximum of eight boxes being allowed at the moment. I've abandoned my attempts to convert the rovers/habitat into UCGO cars as I will lose some functionality and it's not really necessary.

One thing I've discovered during the process of making the add-on UCGO compatible is that cargo boxes also fit nicely into the frame of the habitat lander wheels! Great!

Following this up I've made the wheels detachable from the habitat so they can be used to distribute cargo around the base before the crew arrive. I figure that only one habitat (the crewed one) needs its wheels to link the two habitats on the surface.

Here are a few pictures of what to expect with regard to the cargo:

1. Habitat lander with wheels.jpg

2. Habitat lander without wheels.jpg

3. Cargo lander with cargo.jpg

4. Cargo lander unloads.jpg

5. Cargo wheels arrive.jpg

6. Cargo loaded up.jpg
 

markp

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Everything is pretty much working. Been doing some practice landings to iron out the remaining bugs in the powered descent programs. I've added the possibility of navigating high terrain and landing in narrow valleys like with the Nanedi Valles mesh. You just have to tell the autopilot how high you think (or know) the terrain is.
 

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Here are some images from a recent full test run of the DRM landers and base operations. It was quite thrilling to have everything working and to play around on the surface of Mars!

In the first picture is an image of the landing site, the touchdown of the cargo landers, an image captured from the crewed habitat during entry and an image of the habits linked together.

imgs1.jpg

The second picture shows a crew member standing outside a habitat, a couple of images assembling the UCGO inflatable habitats and an image of Wishbone's fission reactor being placed a safe distance from the base.

imgs2.jpg

The next image is from the solar balloon, in cockpit view, with weather information displayed on the HUD.

imgs3.jpg

The next image is the solar balloon being launched. The surface winds are quite strong at the base (due to latitude and the season).

imgs4.jpg

The next series of images show the balloon has recovered from the launch and is on its way to explore some of Mars

imgs5.jpg
 
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astrosammy

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Something seems to be wrong with the links. But it's always great to see this thread in the latest posts section!
 

markp

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Just reporting in. Not much to report except have been preparing a tutorial for the new version. Hope to update the documentation this weekend.
 

markp

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Well I'm pleased to say that a new tutorial and the bulk of the documentation has been updated. Just putting together some scenarios to illustrate the mission so far and doing some final testing.

Powered descent landing program is working well!

Landing.jpg
 

markp

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I've uploaded the new version to Orbit Hanger Mods. Took a while but am pleased that it is basically working.

[ame="http://www.orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=5208"]http://www.orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=5208[/ame]

Let me know if there any problems with it. :)

Enjoy!
 

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Hey MarkP,I was wondering did you get those pics of MFL from orbiter2010,or2006?and if you have them working in 2010P1, tell me how please,I love the close up surface textures,and would like to use them for this fine addon.Thanks
 
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