dcfedor's blog

Reactor Feed and Shutdown

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Hey Folks! More reactor work today. Was a bit more productive today, tackling a few more necessary features of the reactor system: drawing fuel/propellants, and shutting down.

Course Plotting and Propellant

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Hey Folks! Bit of a short day today, as I had an errand to run this afternoon. I did, however, get a bit more work done on the course plotter.

Propellant Storage Figured Out, Reactor Controls Next

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Hey Folks! I think I figured out how I'm going to handle propellants for the reactor/thruster, so I finished up adding that data to the game, and I'm starting on the reactor controls.

Yesterday, I wasn't sure how to handle storing propellants, since the fuel used in the reactor/thruster (He-3 and D) had such a low density, even as liquids instead of gases. I was calculating needing 40 of those 4 giant canisters you see in the image above. And while that would be realistic, it'd also be kind of a buzzkill.

Fuel and Propellant Storage

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Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Pretty uneventful here, though I did fire up a bit of both Alien Isolation and Warlock for some fun. Forgot how much I enjoy those!

Back at the office, I resumed work on end-to-end flight systems. Last week, I managed to get everything on the ship assigned a mass, as well as an estimated thrust for the typical reactor, and that's a major step towards getting the flight computer to plot an actual course based on ship parameters.

Accounting for Mass and Thrust

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Hey Folks! Big science and engineering day today, as I tried to work out reasonable thrust ratings for the reactor, and mass ratings for all components on the ship.

Reactor Is "Go"

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Hey Folks! Finally got the reactor working today. Well, "working," as it doesn't do anything fancy just yet. But it's enough to stand-in until later!

Most of my morning was unfortunately spent wrestling with JSON. As mentioned yesterday, I was having trouble getting the JSON reader/writer to deal with single vs. double precision numbers. And I briefly steered down a course where I was going to replace the LitJson library with Unity's built-in one.

Reactor Charging...

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Hey Folks! I think I finally got the batteries behaving, and I'm back on the reactor again.

I decided to bite the bullet and just write code to handle power distribution on the ship. Puzzling out the Rube Goldberg machine of conditions and triggers to do what is basically a heartbeat function was getting to be both too much of a headache and too unreliable. So now, all my powered items just update on the same heartbeat as other conditions, and the nitty-gritty power use/storage/transmission stuff is all handled in code.

Recharging Batteries

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Hey Folks! Some progress today, though still a bit slow. Working on the power system a bit more, focusing on battery recharging and visualization tools to help tell what's going on.

Power on a ship is going to come from one of two things: a generator (like the reactor) and stored energy (batteries/fuel cells). And so far, the system can handle either. In theory, anyway.

Power System

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Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Ours was actually one of the nicer ones in recent memory. We took care of a lot of house stuff we've been meaning to do (I installed a kitchen faucet!), and spent a lovely autumn day at the zoo. It was nice to get outdoors, flex some muscle, and do real world stuff for a while.

Power, Thrust, and Science

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Hey Folks! Going to be a short post today, as I've left news too late to dive deep. Family is waiting for dinner :)

Early in the day, I spent a bit of time looking into a bandage/wound issue on NEO Scavenger mobile with Tiago, and a DMC map edge bug. And late in the day, I reviewed some of Michael's latest edits to the space prototype's major players/brands.