Tutorial Orbiter Tutorials: www.orbitertutorials.zxq.net

ibjammin

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I spent the last year putting together some orbiter tutorials based on procedures that I found in the forum. My hope is to give beginners a basic guide to using the Orbiter Space Flight Simulator. Enjoy

www.orbitertutorials.zxq.net
 

Rtyh-12

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Err... you do know that we have a special area for tutorials right on this forum, right?

---------- Post added at 20:32 ---------- Previous post was at 20:30 ----------

The site really looks nice and comprehensive, after a quick look. It needs some more designing though (other than that, it's awesome!).
 

Malkom K

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I agree with Rtyth, the design is pretty awful.
 

dgatsoulis

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I like the way you structured the curriculum and how detailed each tutorial is.

Perhaps you could add a few more.

1. Special types of orbits and their uses (sun-synchronous, Molyna, GEO, Lagrangian points, etc.)
2. Free return trajectories
3. Slingshots

I think that it would be a nice addition, to provide a downloadable scenario with each lesson.

As others have pointed out, the site's design needs a little work.
Other than that, great job!:thumbup:
 

Tommy

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I didn't have time to more than skim this, but it seems decent in most regards. I would consider doing away with a lot of the stuff that only applies to conventional aircraft, like traffic patterns. Spacecraft don't fly patterns like that - it would dramatically increase the fuel needed, and simply isn't practical. Spacecraft have priority over conventional aircraft (and only launch or land at specially designated "spaceports") for this reason.

There's a problem with your method of determining launch headings. The answer you arrive at is 162.76, when the correct heading is about 138, a difference of about 23 degrees. I'm not sure where exactly the problem is - it could be the chart is wrong, or that you are using it incorrectly. I've never used a beta angle chart before so I'm not sure. It could be that you need to add the beta angle to your starting latitude, which would yield a heading of about 42 degrees. 90 - 42 = 48, and the complimentary launch angle would be 90 + 48 = 138, which would be correct. That could just be a coincidence, I don't have the time to run a bunch of tests to validate that method.

While the design may not be slick and fancy, it's functional. IMHO a simple and functional site is better than a gaudy, over-designed site that will be hard to navigate.
 

dgatsoulis

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There's a problem with your method of determining launch headings. The answer you arrive at is 162.76, when the correct heading is about 138, a difference of about 23 degrees. I'm not sure where exactly the problem is - it could be the chart is wrong, or that you are using it incorrectly. I've never used a beta angle chart before so I'm not sure.
About 23 degrees is also the difference between the ecliptic and the equatiorial planes. It's probably because the ecliptic plane was used as reference instead of the equatorial, that gives such a different heading.
 

Tommy

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About 23 degrees is also the difference between the ecliptic and the equatiorial planes. It's probably because the ecliptic plane was used as reference instead of the equatorial, that gives such a different heading.
Good call, that is probably the error. The chart provides a much better heading when the ISS's Equatorial inclination is used.
 

ibjammin

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Yep made a mistake there, I thought I was adding to the previous thread already. Anyway to fix it?

---------- Post added at 11:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:49 PM ----------

Yep made a mistake there on posting a thread, I thought I was adding to the previous thread already. Anyway to fix it?

The websites a work in progress. Since I have been working on it for so long I figured I'd publish so I could get feed back on how the lessons where put together. I'll improve it as I have more time.

As far as how it organized well I tried to follow lesson outlines that you'd find in aviation. There certainly room for improvement.

When I have some time I'll have to go back and look at that heading chart again and think about if I did it right. I'm still working on how to come up with a simplistic way of doing a flight plan. I'm a flight instructor and teach students all the time on how to plan a xcounrty flight plan using charts, time and distance calculations. I figure there might be a similar way of doing it for a space mission flight plan using some sort of performance charts.


As far as the lessons on traffic patterns and the airport environment. I believe it essential for a begin Orbitnaut to understand the fundamentals aviation. Neil Armstrong was private pilot a some point in his career. I have drawn on my experience as a CFI to try and teach that. It is true that not all space craft such as the Spaces Shuttle would fly that kind approach to land in a traffic pattern, but the Orbiter software is design to accommodate all sorts of aircraft and space craft. Besides given another hundred years we'll probably have vehicles capable of making routine flights to the moon. I image that making an instrument approach to land on a moon base will probably have similar characteristic as a conventional instrument approach. So it would make sense that the traffic pattern on a lunar base would be similar to terrestrial base on Earth. As time allows I'll try to add more lessons on different space craft and approaches making landings.
 

Tommy

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As far as the lessons on traffic patterns and the airport environment. I believe it essential for a begin Orbitnaut to understand the fundamentals aviation.
My main reason for disagreeing here is that it adds to learning curve, and isn't needed. Essentially, you are presenting too much information. While Orbiter has some support for standard aviation, it's focus is on spaceflight and I've always thought that should be the focus of a tutorial aimed at beginners. The idea being that we want to make the learning curve shallower - not steeper. Just my opinion, and I won't be offended if you disagree!

Besides given another hundred years we'll probably have vehicles capable of making routine flights to the moon.
This doesn't mean that these flights will be common. It will still be VERY expensive, so flights will be limited to a few each month. Traffic patterns are designed for airports that see dozens - if not hundreds - of flights each day. That kind of congestion simply won't occur at spaceports. Also, conventional aircraft don't need to accelerate to speeds in excess of Mach 28 - so the penalty for carrying "extra" fuel is nowhere near as significant as it is for spacecraft.

I image that making an instrument approach to land on a moon base will probably have similar characteristic as a conventional instrument approach.
I'll disagree. In conventional flight flying in circles doesn't cost that much, especially since these traffic patterns are flown at low speeds (so drag is fairly low). In non-atmospheric flight EVERY change in direction has a large fuel cost - flights will be directed fairly "straight in", and "landing slots" will be assigned before takeoff for "local" flights, and assigned well in advance of landing for Earth - Moon flights. Think if the sub-orbitals in Heinlein's novels, where a flight doesn't even take-off until the landing strip is empty and waiting.

Again, this is all just my own opinion - but it's one shared by many people who have given serious educated thought to how future spaceflight will be handled. The simple truth is that spaceflight has different needs and conditions than standard aero flight, and the rules will need to be different to reflect this.

It is , of course, your tutorial, and I fully support your right to do what you think best. Your opinion is no less "worthy" than mine. I am just trying to give you something to think about.
 

ibjammin

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Sure what you say is true about flight from planet A to planet B. I'm sure there will be special approach procedures for situations like that, but if your on Mars and traveling from one base to another base that's just the same thing as flying from New York to Las Vegas, or a supply mission from one point on the moon to another. All of the 'low altitude flights' will probably follow standard procedures that happen in aviation today.

Another reasons to start of with basic aviation is to teach basics about the fundamentals of flight then work up to to more complicated stuff.
 

RisingFury

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Sure what you say is true about flight from planet A to planet B. I'm sure there will be special approach procedures for situations like that, but if your on Mars and traveling from one base to another base that's just the same thing as flying from New York to Las Vegas, or a supply mission from one point on the moon to another. All of the 'low altitude flights' will probably follow standard procedures that happen in aviation today.

Another reasons to start of with basic aviation is to teach basics about the fundamentals of flight then work up to to more complicated stuff.
The thin Martian atmosphere makes atmospheric flight a real pain. You'll be landing at supersonic velocity...
 
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