OHM Space Network Plugin

fred18

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I found an old addon that should compliment this addon nicely - and it still works in 2016!

Real-Time TDRS package - Release 2

It puts TDRS satellites 4, 6 and 8 in orbit.

Thanks!

The plugin will create the TDRS satellites in the proper orbits and they will keep earth orientation automatically. they will have the latest mesh from Nasa website. see this picture:





So somehow this is already included, but anyway it's useful! And anyway the satellite modules will be customizable so also this addon can be used.
 

4throck

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If I understand the screenshots correctly, you are simulating data rate and file size?
So that we know if a specific transmission was successful?

That is very interesting!

Another thing: can we create a network freely by placing Deltagliders (since everybody has them) at the appropriate places?
 

fred18

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If I understand the screenshots correctly, you are simulating data rate and file size?
So that we know if a specific transmission was successful?

if a transmission was not successful you won't see the message sent, data size will influence time of uploading and downloading of the message. Anyway this might change a little before final release, I'll see.

Another thing: can we create a network freely by placing Deltagliders (since everybody has them) at the appropriate places?

The addon will contain all the modules needed: DSN stations, ground tracking stations and TDRS satellites. Anyway in the configuration file of the network you'll be able to choose whatever module you'd like to, so Deltaglider or whatever module you'd like to implement by yourself.
 

Urwumpe

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Will there be some kind of API to let add-on vessels receive messages? And maybe send messages by themselves?
 

fred18

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Will there be some kind of API to let add-on vessels receive messages? And maybe send messages by themselves?

yep that's exactly in the plan: the plugin will be for general usage and will open the network to everyone. In addition to that there will be an SDK with an interface class that will allow customize usage of it, such as automatic telemetry transmission, commands delivery etc.

As mentioned in the previous post also the network elements module will be free to choose, so if instead of the default one somebody wants to create its own TDRS satellite which broadcasts messages in a different way he will be able to do it.
 

Urwumpe

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yep that's exactly in the plan: the plugin will be for general usage and will open the network to everyone. In addition to that there will be an SDK with an interface class that will allow customize usage of it, such as automatic telemetry transmission, commands delivery etc.

As mentioned in the previous post also the network elements module will be free to choose, so if instead of the default one somebody wants to create its own TDRS satellite which broadcasts messages in a different way he will be able to do it.

Sounds good. I am still in early design for a "Medium size vessel middleware project" here, if there is already an communication API around, I just need to provide a factory to generate components for it.

Right now its just some doodles in my sketch book, at least since today I also have a nice reference vessel design around to play with. :lol:
 

fred18

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Sounds good. I am still in early design for a "Medium size vessel middleware project" here, if there is already an communication API around, I just need to provide a factory to generate components for it.

Right now its just some doodles in my sketch book, at least since today I also have a nice reference vessel design around to play with. :lol:

Cool. The api will be available not too long from now, I'm planning to release this in a month or so.

Please note that the target is to get the messages sent around the sim realistically, so it's not an instantaneous system but it will be linked to radio signals timing and lags, and to planet/moon shadows.
 

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Please note that the target is to get the messages sent around the sim realistically, so it's not an instantaneous system but it will be linked to radio signals timing and lags, and to planet/moon shadows.

That is OK. I just need something to exchange short messages, delay is fine for the use case.

It should be good enough to direct AI vessels, get executive packages for the player or exchange contract or price information.

I don't plan to send around Gigabytes of data as stream, this would likely kill your framework. Also I don't need it for short-range communication (where delay is less than a delta-t), there different systems would be better suited.
 

fred18

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I've resumed my work on the Space Network. I had to pause it for some months because o real life issues, but now I have some time again for it.

The system is basically already working quite fine, but instead of having only the plugin dialog I'm working hard on implementing also a MFD. I realized that it gives more "total immersion feeling". Basically users will be able to do everything from both MFD or dialog, but using the dialog for managing the ground network, and the MFD for the vessel will give a nicer feeling.

I've implemented a map feature inside the MFD that is basically a Map MFD but with the Network features.

This is a first basic picture of it, will get back soon with more.
 

fred18

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Are there actual "messages" to send now?

If you mean beyond what user will write for now there is the automatic telemetry which sends time and state vectors.

I'll implement default autopilots, orientation and burns

EDIT: i read it again and maybe i misunderstood the question: in this new version the messages are sent around the sim in a (i think) realistic way. If you type "hello" and press "send" from a vessel standing on earth, you can jump into a vessel standing on mars and wait, if you sent the signal and you receive it from sides of the planets "facing" each (properly calculated) other you'll see the downloading of the message and the the display of it in both mfd and dialog.
The ground network then is a particular set of vessels, recognized as network (completely customizable) by the system which are used in a combined way to send and receive signal. I think it has a good level of realism.
What was mentioned in my comment above is that i want to implement commands that can be sent by ground (or by other vessels) and will make the receiving vessel do something. For example uploading a set of commands for a burn (time, orientation, time of burn etc) similar to what happens in real world
 
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Voyager_VI

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Really looking forward to this update, Space Network has been the backbone of my Atlas V launches world.

---------- Post added at 10:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:12 PM ----------

If you're looking for a Beta Tester, I'm available :)
 

fred18

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I just finished to work on a major change of the core signal processing:

BEFORE:
Signals were sent in a single block. The plugin calculated upload and download times based on bandwith, antenna orientation etc and basically simulated the up/download of the signal by simply waiting to send or to receive it (all at once) for the time calculated

NOW:
When a signal is sent it is decomposed in single bits of a single character. They fly around the sim independently and when they reach a receiver its the receiver that start to put them in the proper order and recompose the original signal.

This allows to be much more realistic I think

A small video of the WIP, sending from the ISS a signal (with the plugin's dialog) while passing over a parked DeltaGlider

Default bandwith is just 1 byte/sec in order to see the signal slowly recomposing in the receiver (in the MFD).

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7-133c1HZ0"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7-133c1HZ0[/ame]
 

fred18

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Here I am again, with a major update for this project.

I literally rebooted it almost from scratch, and I'm very happy with the result by now.

Messages are sent and received around the sim, everything seems to be working smoothly.

Together with messages, as anticipated in another thread there's the possibility to send and receive pictures!

Coding of the dialog is almost finished, I'll add a tab with the settings so they can be changed by the user directly in the sim. I don't know if I'll add an MFD as well, since the dialog is working quite all right by now.

to give the idea of how it works:
when a vessel is sending a message, this is splitted in bits and sent bit by bit by the sender vessel.
The bits fly around the sim up to the vessels, each of them becomes a receiver. A receiver actually receives the bits only if he can "see" (no obstruction by bodies) the point from which the bit was sent (the module checks both the obstructions relevant to senders and to receivers).
Each vessel will have an High Gain and a Low Gain Antenna. Bandwith and distances for those are customizable by cfg file.
Full Ground Network is simulated, including TDRS sats, Tracking stations (both for LEO and nearby) and DSN for BEO. DSN is an animated vessel which receives from the Ground Network system the input for tracking the various vessels around the sim and actually orient itself to them (see picture below).

That's for general of course, but I'll give details in the docs, once done with the coding (it will probably still take a while).

still to do then:
- settings tab (not difficult, just boring)
- class interface for developers (so everybody who's building his addon can leverage on the new space network)
- a bit of "movement" when vessels are sending/receiving bytes
- automatic vessel control through default messages (users will be able also to implement their own through the SDK, but a set of default commands will be provided)
- documentation

here's some pics:
vessel tab


ground tab:


map tab:


pictures received:


DSN tracking object:


that's it for now,

cheers everyone :cheers:
 

fred18

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Hi guys, a small update:

I finally, after some big efforts, managed to get the groundtracks properly plotted in the map tab. I added the options of drawing or not groundtracks and horizon line.

On top of that I added the possibility to choose among 3 themes:
terrain map:



black and white map:



and my favourite, dark map:



hope you'll like this, cheers

Fred
 

fred18

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Small Update:
- SDK is ready and working. (and documented!)

what's still missing:
- solve some issues with sending pictures
- settings Tab in dialog
- commands sender and parser (for predefined commands)
- MFD (it will be a simple MFD, but it's better to have it, many users will prefer to use it for the vessel part of comms)

work in progress! :coffee:
 

fred18

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ok, so here's a pre-pre-pre-pre alpha version of the space network...

there is no documentation about how does it work yet, but I strongly believe it will be easy for expert users, since most of it is self explaining, just remember to activate the module in the launch pad and to open the dialog through the functions options of the in sim menu.

The SDK with relevant documentation is also included, of course it may and it will change, but I decided to let it go public as it is now, just to see if it's completely impossible to understand, or if it's on the right path.

Still to do:
- commands sender and parser
- MFD (there is only the dialog now)

Let me know if you have comments, but please keep in mind this is a preliminary version.

Cheers
Fred
 

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  • SpaceNetwork.zip
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fred18

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Commands sender and parser done.

It will work like this:

ground (or any other vessel) will send a formatted message and the vessels who will receive it (channels can be used in case of many vessels in the sim) will execute the relevant commands.

commands available:
- Defap = default autopilots, so killrot, prograde, retrograde etc
- Engine = main engine level
- SendKeyBuffered = make vessels simulate a keypress
- Absolute Attitude = point the vessels in a certain direction in ecliptic frame
- Target Pointing = point the vessel towards an object in the sim
- Pitch Roll Heading = orient the vessel with the relevant pitch, roll and heading

format of the commands with some examples:
Code:
cmd: BeginningMJD Duration[secs] command_tag prm1[number] prm2[number] prm3[number] prm4[letters] 

cmd: 52020.9877 100 defap 3    

starting at 52020.9877 mjd, for 100 seconds the prograde autopilot will be engaged

cmd: 52020.9877 60 tgt 0 0 0 Earth

starting from mjd 52020.9877 for 60 seconds the vessel will turn and point towards Earth

cmd: 52020.9877 150 Engine 0.5

starting from mjd 52020.9877 for 150 seconds the Main engine will be fired at 50% power

cmd: 52020.9877 200 prh 15 0 270

starting from mjd 52020.9877 fpr 200 seconds the vessel will turn to have pitch = 15 degress, roll = 0 and heading = 270

I also added a tab in the dialog to monitor the various commands, and since messages can be loaded in sim from txt files there will be the possibility to store and reuse a series of commands.

I'll update the release as soon as i can,

now the MFD is missing and we will be close to the finish.
 

fred18

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A little update:
we're getting close to the end, the MFD is ready for 2 thirds:

Here's the Links Screen, where the user can monitor the current link with the Ground Network and with a chosen vessel:



And the Messages Screen, where the user can review the messages received and input new messages to send around.



Still to do:
- Map screen (which will be basically a replica of the Map MFD but with Space Network dedicated functionalities)
- some adjustments and fixes
- documentation.

I hope this addon will be welcomed with enthusiasm, I believe it can really improve orbiter experience!

:cheers:
 
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