My love hate relationship with Orbiter

GodAtum

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Getting back into Orbiter for obvious reasons. I love seeing how amazing space looks. But I really hate grinding ... spending ages clicking back and forth to try to get a course in TransX or IMFD. There used to be a Matlab project (https://www.orbithangar.com/showAddon.php?id=2ac115e4-20c6-42e3-b618-e5d8c97f4420) but its very buggy and doesn't really work.

It would be nice to have a program like that, that does all the calculations for you so all you need to do is plug the values into TransX or IMFD. Maybe if I offered $100 for someone to develop such an application that might get the ball rolling?
 

Urwumpe

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Getting back into Orbiter for obvious reasons. I love seeing how amazing space looks. But I really hate grinding ... spending ages clicking back and forth to try to get a course in TransX or IMFD. There used to be a Matlab project (https://www.orbithangar.com/showAddon.php?id=2ac115e4-20c6-42e3-b618-e5d8c97f4420) but its very buggy and doesn't really work.

It would be nice to have a program like that, that does all the calculations for you so all you need to do is plug the values into TransX or IMFD. Maybe if I offered $100 for someone to develop such an application that might get the ball rolling?

If I could write such an application, I would be DAMN rich by now. Remember, this is an optimization problem. Such a program would only be as good as what you tell the program, what you want - and how well it understands you. And there are literally millions of good choices, not just the single one best trajectory from A to B.

Maybe it would be possible to write an assistant window for you there, if you don't plan to study astrodynamics - but again, the choices would be yours. Just like the execution of such a flight plan.
 

N_Molson

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Yes, looks like mostly an interface issue;

The thing is that Orbiter add-on devs are no professionals, and designing and ergonomic interface is quite a professional skill. Now yes as @Urwumpe said, there's worse. Newer cars often have a nice and pretty MFD with a terrible interface and some kind of Neandertal OS. 😅
 

Urwumpe

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Yes, looks like mostly an interface issue;

The thing is that Orbiter add-on devs are no professionals, and designing and ergonomic interface is quite a professional skill. Now yes as @Urwumpe said, there's worse. Newer cars often have a nice and pretty MFD with a terrible interface and some kind of Neandertal OS. 😅

Don't get me started on the new Volkswagen UI. Please. 🤯

Yeah, but it isn't just about the user interface, I think. It is also about understanding the problem.

Do you want a slow, but fuel-saving trajectory? Do you want to be at your destination as fast as possible? Do you want to land on a base during daylight? Entering orbit in a fuel saving way to reach a space station - or as fast and aggressive as possible?

Maybe instead of focussing how to improve the software, maybe it would be better to provide a guide with "cooking recipes", how to achieve your goals. And then look at providing easier tools to decide, which trajectory helps you find your way.
 

n72.75

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Yeah, you can't ask "how do I do it" with first knowing "what you want to do".
 

Marijn

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Sometime ago I did create a webbased application which allows the user to fetch a mission from NASA's Trajectory browser and, after some user input regarding settings, offers the mission as an Orbiter .scn file in a .zip file with the usual Orbiter file structure so you can install it as an add-on.

It's possible to download the scenario for various steps of the mission. Like depature from earth, coasting, or arrival. Depending on the step, IMFD is pre-configured so the Course program will be put up, or in case of an arrival, the BaseApproach program is pre-configured.

So for the calculation part, it simply relies on what NASA has available in their browser. That's a limitation, but it completely solves this otherwise very difficult calcalation part. IMFD only needs a few values to set up and this is easy to do with some scripting.

It's a mashup. The idea is to introduce a gameplay element by starting off with the Asterank browser to find a $$$ asteroid. Then check if NASA has a trajectory for this target available. If so, add a delta-v budget and run the rocket equation for each step. If the mission is actually possible with the current settings, then offer it as a download to the user.

The app was never really finished though and it is in a messy state now after Google made changes to the runtime environment which I still haven't properly adapted to. I can kind of work with it, but to share, it would require quite a bit of rework. I think with so few possible users, it just isn't worth the time. Here's an impression:
 
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GodAtum

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Sometime ago I did create a webbased application which allows the user to fetch a mission from NASA's Trajectory browser and, after some user input regarding settings, offers the mission as an Orbiter .scn file in a .zip file with the usual Orbiter file structure so you can install it as an add-on.

It's possible to download the scenario for various steps of the mission. Like depature from earth, coasting, or arrival. Depending on the step, IMFD is pre-configured so the Course program will be put up, or in case of an arrival, the BaseApproach program is pre-configured.

So for the calculation part, it simply relies on what NASA has available in their browser. That's a limitation, but it completely solves this otherwise very difficult calcalation part. IMFD only needs a few values to set up and this is easy to do with some scripting.

It's a mashup. The idea is to introduce a gameplay element by starting off with the Asterank browser to find a $$$ asteroid. Then check if NASA has a trajectory for this target available. If so, add a delta-v budget and run the rocket equation for each step. If the mission is actually possible with the current settings, then offer it as a download to the user.

The app was never really finished though and it is in a messy state now after Google made changes to the runtime environment which I still haven't properly adapted to. I can kind of work with it, but to share, it would require quite a bit of rework. I think with so few possible users, it just isn't worth the time. Here's an impression:

Wow that's amazing! I really appreciate the effort involved.
 

4throck

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Sometime ago I did create a webbased application which allows the user to fetch a mission from NASA's Trajectory browser and, after some user input regarding settings, offers the mission as an Orbiter .scn file in a .zip file with the usual Orbiter file structure so you can install it as an add-on.
A basic version that simply placed your vessel on the appropriate location and time, and with the correct orbital parameters would be useful.
 
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