Project Old-Atlas-Series 2016 Launch Vehicle and Spacecraft Overhaul

1987VCRProductions

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
423
Reaction score
270
Points
78
Location
Champaign-Urbana
Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Balloon Tank.

Hey everybody, some of you probably already know, but over the past month I've been working on completely overhauling the Old-Atlas-Series add on for Orbiter 2016. This includes rotating and rescaling meshes, and painstakingly redoing the multistage config files and getting the launch physics as close as I possibly can to what they were in reality. This goes a step further than simply repackaging the old add on to work with spacecraft4 and multistage2015, it is the equivalent of giving an elderly add on heart surgery and a new lease on life.

Yes, I know I'm supposed to be working on making a Multistage2015 release of Saturn rockets for Orbiter 2016...and finishing the Apollo 14 Soundpack for AMSO (it'll happen eventually I swear), but this has captured all of my passion and energy as of late.

The stage and a half design is tricky to code for, as multistage treats the booster stage like a solid rocket booster with its own fuel tanks, rather than a set of engines that feed off of the Atlas main stage. By painstakingly doing fuel loading tests using dummy spacecraft4 vessels and BurnTimeMFD, all of the stages of the launch vehicles (including the upper stages) now respect the published specific impulse for each propulsion system. The physics are as accurate as I can possibly make them, which I am actually very proud of.

So far all the multistage config files are complete. The config files include Mach effects, LOX venting, accurate physics, and flame bucket effects. I've taken the Atlas launch complex included in the old add on (I believe it was a Kev Shanow pad) and completely built out the Atlas launch complexes at Cape Canaveral. I've also included Launch Complex 36 A and B as a static mesh which will overwrite your default Canaveral config file. I also simulated Vandenburg AFB launches since some of the iterations of the Atlas Agena made their maiden flights there.

For those of you who have downloaded the new Project Mercury add on by asbjos, I have also included config files and scenarios for using the Project Mercury Atlas mesh for missions using an Agena upper stage. Asbjos' Project Mercury add on will be required for these scenarios to work.

Atlas Agena.png
Atlas Agena Launch.png

Further updates and screenshots will be shared here.
 

Notebook

Addon Developer
Addon Developer
News Reporter
Donator
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
11,824
Reaction score
644
Points
188
Very interested in this as ATLAS was the base for UK design of the BLUE STREAK missile.

De Havilland Propellers began design and construction in 1957, having licensed the Atlas tank construction technique from Convair. Rolls Royce licensed the S3 motor from NAA, and built a copy designated the RZ1. This was redesigned to save weight, and the new design was designated the RZ 2.
A static test stand was built at Spadaeadam in Cumbria, where complete vehicles would be static tested before shipment to Woomera for firing.
from here:
I've seen the S3 engine credited to RocketDyne as well as NAA.

The RZ2 engine:

Though De Haviland used the ATLAS balloon tank construction, they strengthened the lower tank with stiffeners.
Also shows where to put the bomb.

Generic shots:

 
Last edited:

1987VCRProductions

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
423
Reaction score
270
Points
78
Location
Champaign-Urbana
This is the Atlas Centaur that was included with Missleman01's Mariner 10 add on, I'm including it as an alternate mesh for those of you who want a different look:

missleman01 Atlas Centaur.png
This is just a test launch, I'll probably remove the verniers as they aren't modeled on this particular mesh.

Also, with much thanks to 4throck, the texture mapping issue for the Surveyor solar panels has been corrected after 16 years (the Surveyor add on dates back to 2004):

Surveyor Panel Fixed.png
 

Notebook

Addon Developer
Addon Developer
News Reporter
Donator
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
11,824
Reaction score
644
Points
188
When I can get back to some add-on work, BLUE STREAK will be part of the UK analogy of the Mercury/Gemini program. Using either Woomera or Spadeadam as launch sites.
Haven't decided where the Saturn V equivalent will go from yet....British Virgin Islands? Latitude is good.
Fantasy Island, but I can dream!
 

Gargantua2024

The Desktop Orbinaut
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
1,080
Reaction score
1,289
Points
128
Location
San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan
Anyone have issues with Vinka's Spacecraft4 not spawning released payloads correctly in Orbiter 2016?
Also encountered this bug months ago. Solved it when I replaced Spacecraft4 with GenericVessel...(replaced the DLL indicated in the spacecraft4.cfg file so that I don't have to rename every SC4 vessel in scenarios)

Code:
ClassName = Spacecraft4
Module = genericvessel
 

MaxBuzz

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2016
Messages
1,420
Reaction score
2,138
Points
128
Location
Kursk
if you're talking about a pioneer 10-11 who strays to the side
this is due to the pioneer antenna antenna is considered as part of the pioneer the center point is considered the point between the end of the antenna and the end of the pioneer
 

1987VCRProductions

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
423
Reaction score
270
Points
78
Location
Champaign-Urbana
I'm talking about if you release a payload (for example: releasing an atmospheric probe from an orbiting Spacecraft4 vessel) it will spawn in the wrong orientation, several meters away from the spacecraft, and in a slightly skewed orbit.
 

1987VCRProductions

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
423
Reaction score
270
Points
78
Location
Champaign-Urbana
GenericVessel solves that issue but it messes up other things like loading in a custom engine exhaust texture (the documentation mentions that feature but it didn't work for me), and the landing wheel/belly friction didn't work either (the ini code as defined by GenericVessel is different to how Spacecraft4 defines it (Wheel, Brake, and Belly instead of Wheel_Friction, Brake_Force, and Belly_Friction)). So it's not 100% compatible, I'd need to redo some of the code to work with GenericVessel, but people who only use Spacecraft4 would miss out on some functionality.
 
Last edited:

1987VCRProductions

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
423
Reaction score
270
Points
78
Location
Champaign-Urbana
I'll look into it later, seems interesting. Before I go to bed, one last update: I went through all the Atlas config files and did some more fuel level tweaking, got everything down to the kilogram in terms of fuel loading for the booster stage and Atlas main stage.
 

4throck

Enthusiast !
Joined
Jun 19, 2008
Messages
3,502
Reaction score
1,008
Points
153
Location
Lisbon
Website
orbiterspaceport.blogspot.com
Looks good but perhaps you can use local flattening on those pads. You already have the coordinates, so creating the file is trivial.
It's something I can help with if it's too much work for you. Just PM me with the pads and give it a try ;)
 

1987VCRProductions

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
423
Reaction score
270
Points
78
Location
Champaign-Urbana
The pads are all spacecraft4 vessels that just sit there and look pretty. The ground textures and local terrain are the Orbiter defaults. The Cape is fine, since it’s flat enough to work okay, but Vandenberg is nothing but slope. There really isn’t sending you pads per se, it’s an issue with the local terrain, something that I don’t know how to fix. A tutorial would be nice, otherwise I was just going to leave it as is and let someone else do a Vandenberg update for Orbiter 2016.

Everything is done except for Surveyor, since Spacecraft4’s compatibility quirks with 2016 makes the transition from retro fire to vernier descent rather rough and janky. I am making a VesselBuilder configuration for Surveyor, but I’m having to learn a completely new system in the process.

I created a config for the one-off Atlas F Agena D that launched Seasat, this included making a large fairing from one of the original supplied meshes to cover the entire Agena. It looks really pretty launching from SLC-3W at Vandenberg. Photos to come later since I’m currently on my phone and doing yard work. I plan on also doing an Atlas E/F with the Star upper stage as was used all the way up through the mid-1990s.

I do plan on doing a video showcase showing off some of the missions and unique launches, that should be fun.
 

4throck

Enthusiast !
Joined
Jun 19, 2008
Messages
3,502
Reaction score
1,008
Points
153
Location
Lisbon
Website
orbiterspaceport.blogspot.com
I am making a VesselBuilder configuration for Surveyor, but I’m having to learn a completely new system in the process.

I'd say that VB is the right tool for this.
Just try to setup the vessel according to reality - two fuel sources (vernier/retro) and assign each thruster to the correct source.
Retro will drain first, so can setup an event when fuel on the retro tank reaches zero. Vernier will of course keep firing.

I didn't test this, but it should put you on the right direction:
Two events, one spawning a vessel, another checking for zero fuel. Spawn is triggered by the zero fuel event.

1602091246747.png

1602091270371.png

Besides spawning you can also reconfigure the vessel's mass ;)

Hope this helps !
 

1987VCRProductions

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
423
Reaction score
270
Points
78
Location
Champaign-Urbana
After a 5 month hiatus, I've decided to drastically cut down this add-on to its bare essentials. I want to avoid the same mistake I made with my Multistage Saturns for Orbiter 2010 where I got too ambitious and made a bloated mess. Surveyors 1-7 and Mariners 4-10 are being cut. I will include Mariner 2, Ranger 7, and Pioneers 10 and 11, but the rest are now on the cutting room floor. I believe that I should leave the rest of the missions up to those who have the patience and time to rework everything in Vessel Builder. I'm proud of the multistage Atlas as it stands now, I put a lot of work into getting it right and it has made me really appreciate the United States' answer to the Soviet Union's R-7. This week on my downtime I'm going to start drafting documentation and organizing the files for distribution on the Orbit Hangar.
 
Top