Kerbal Space Program Live – Sarnus Satellite Network SSTO – Part 4 – Failure… so far.



KERBAL SPACE PROGRAM LIVE CHALLENGE! – Part 4: We’re now in an stable and eccentric orbit around Sarnus, with a periapsis positioned close to where we’ll want our Satellites circularized around the planet.

This challenge, keep in mind, also involves RemoteTech, so we’ll need to account for signal delay for all of our maneuvers as well.

No refueling was permitted during the flight, however, the plane does not need to be recoverable. Would have been really nice to have done that though, and that was the original plan. However, the aerobrake around Sarnus was too much for our wings, which broke off the plane a mere 15,000m into Sarnus’ dense atmosphere. The plane will not be recoverable now. It’ll almost certainly end up as space junk, or perhaps we can get it lowered into Sarnus’ atmosphere once more.

This Challenge Playlsit:

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1 comment
  1. I think most of the behaviour of RT made perfect sense there. Your main ship did not run out of power because the shivas produced enough with all the antennas tured off in the main ship. I would have liked to see the amp year details of the main ship. However, when you had all the sats decoupled, your main ship did lose EC.

    When the first satellite ran out of power, the solar panels and the shiva still produced enough power for the Omni antenna so you could communicate via the mother ship to kerbin (the large dish was definitely dead however). You can see that in the couple of seconds when you turned the ship at 36mins. The solar panels are not oriented properly and the omni loses power. After you performed the maneuver, it drifted away from the mothership. I'm pretty sure it died when the omni ran out of range.

    With all the large antennas decoupled from the main ship, your main ship did not lose connection because all (or at least some) probes have a small omni with 500m range in them. You can check that in the vab.

    In fact, AMP year can do the power calcs for all planets (including solar power). The feature is somewhat hidden. Design all sats individually. Then go to the menu in amp year in the VAB where you can select the planets, select one and close (!) the planet window. The power calculation in the main windows will show true values for all parts that are supported by amp year.
    It is really a good idea to point the sats towards the inner planets. Just do Moho and keep in mind that that the fact that youre not pointing directly towards the sun will reduce the generated power by a certain percentage that is less or equal than 1-cos(arctan(MohoApoapsis/PlanetPeriapsis)) at all times, so less than 20 percent even for eve. For Duna, the loss is already below 5%. So just add a a little margin for the outer planets. Its a shame that Kerbol cannot be targeted in ksp though. I usually do a quick check. Just cheat them up there and test it. It is really annoying when amp year does not support one part and you waste a lot of time just because the mods dont cooperate.

    I think that the reason why you were able to control your main ship without delay is because there is a mod conflict between RT and MechJeb. Notice that this was only possible with the craft that had a MJ-module in it.

    In general, I would recommend to redesign the large relays and add little antennas to relay to the moons. That way you dont have to pay for the power hungry large relay antenna for every moon and every incoming craft. Your omnis wont cut it there and you will only have a connection in a very limited ring around sarnus. At least, add a small directional antenna that will allow you to control incoming (active) vessels within the whole SOI so you dont have to support a massive dish on every craft. With your current method (that is that the relay on kerbin is pointed towards the active vessel), you will lose connection on all your crafts when you are behind Sarnus (which takes a while, especially on the outer moons). Just something to consider.

    I have to say that the stock RTGs and the shivas feel pretty imbalanced since there is no need to resupply them with fuel and they dont add a lot of trouble (weight/volume/etc…) 😉 So its not really difficult to deal with the distance from the sun and makes all planets more or less the same. But that is of course up to you. The number and size of the solar panels required for a relay to kerbin are really massive…(but still possible).

    There is a cool trick you can do to deploy satellites evenly spaced in a circular orbit. Circularize the mothership in the target orbit, note down the orbital period. Decouple one satellite, change your orbital period by a factor of 1/the number of sats, wait for one orbit, decouple another satellite, circularize it, wait for one orbit, decouple another one and so on. That way you dont have to fiddle with the positioning which is a real pain with all the delay.

     I have to say that I really enjoy watching your KSP content. Keep up the good work.

    Edit:
    I just rewatched the episode where you built stuff. You had AMP year set up correctly. However, you and probably nobody in the chat did not notice that the power drain was higher than the production. Note the red line in amp year.
    https://youtu.be/HOGZe1Fyc3Y?t=21m13s
    Note that the dark side calc only indicates that you have enough batteries to last through the dark side transit in orbit. It does not calculate whether you generate enough power during the rest of your orbit to fill your batteries. So if you produce exactly as much as you consume, you might still run out of power during the dark side transit if your batteries dont fill up completely. There is a bug(?) in amp year which is that the power production in amp year always shows 0 when the dark side calcs window is open.

    Also consider that the cone of your antenna from kerbin is really tiny when planning. So your relays relays need a low periapsis when you dont focus the kerbin relay on the active vessel but on sarnus.

    It took me a whole evening to plan though all of that stuff when I did it for the first time. You really have to consider a lot with all those realism mods, especially with RT and full coverage of the whole Sarnus network is difficult to achieve.

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