Air Tanks

Hey Folks! I think I've got the air tanks up and running now. I spent most of the day fixing up the code for gas pumping to be compatible with both rooms and items, and then setup an "Air Canister" item to test pumping gas into a non-room item. Here's how it looks right now:


Like a colorful tax rate table.

In the screenshot above, we're looking at a couple of rooms separated by walls and doors, an air pump, an air tank, and our trusty crewman Mann. Each grid tile has a debug overlay to help me see partial pressures of each gas present, so that's what all the numbers and red/green tint are. (Green means pressure is close to atmospheric, or breathable. Red means near vacuum.)

The air tank is the orange circle with the white bracket around it, in the "red" room. Immediately to it's left is an air pump in the wall drawing air from the room to the pump's left ("orange" room) and into the air tank on its right. Mann is standing in the "green" room, which is sealed off from both the red and orange rooms.

There are a few things going on here.

First, you can see the pressure is high in that air tank. The numbers are partial pressure of each gas in kPa, and atmospheric pressure is 101.3 kPa. So that tank is quite a bit higher than normal air pressure on Earth. Though, probably still only about half of an industrial air canister pressure when full.

That air tank is being filled from the orange room. It was originally higher pressure (like the green room), but has been sealed off with the pump running a few minutes. Given enough time, the orange room would turn closer and closer to red, though probably never reaching it due to diminishing pump performance at low pressure.

Speaking of red, the red room is a total vacuum, and is demonstrating that the air pump and air tank are sealed off from it.

Finally, we see that the pressurized rooms have mostly N2 (nitrogen), some O2 (oxygen), and trace CO2 (carbon dioxide). When the simulation started, I pumped in roughly Earth-like atmospheric constituents (so about 80/20 N2/O2). All of the CO2 you see in the image was generated by our trusty windbag, Mann. Given enough time, the ship's air will have more and more CO2 and less O2. That's where future equipment will come in, such as CO2 scrubbers, ducting, and either O2 reservoirs or O2 generation beds, to create a life support system (at least the breathable component).

The question now is, what next?

I see a few options. I could go ahead with the aforementioned life support equipment to try and create a closed system. I could also start thinking about power and electricity for the systems, and how they interact with that. There needs to be some new data added to handle asphyxiation in crew (and what happens when a crew dies).

There are also higher-level systems I haven't touched yet. I want there to be a console the crew can interact with to load a UI for navigating the Solar System. And for that matter, a system to open a UI based on crew interacting with it.

So lots to choose from. I'll let that stew over the weekend, and see what I'm leaning towards on Monday. Until then, have a good weekend!