HyperKat Support and Tester Forum

Mars Challenger V1.0 => MCO Early Discussions => Topic started by: Marco2001 on March 02, 2011, 01:55:53 PM

Title: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: Marco2001 on March 02, 2011, 01:55:53 PM

Laser-marker on top of the base

(http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/2381/mcclaser.jpg)

As an amateur-astronomer I often use a green 25 mW Laser to point a star at a night sky. It's very helpful.
Her's an easy Idea - let's put a laser on top of the base comm.tower.
Why?
It's an easy way for navigation, when navigation systems are off-line, during night and during dust-storms. It uses very little power. It's soo bright that you can see it during night or day! On earth, a simple hand-laser (green 25 mW) is visible....from 7 km!
On martian conditions (0.01% of the air on Earth) a little stronger laser can theoretically cover the distance of.....70 km!
That means that the laser will be seen long before you will gain eye-contact with the base itself.
Her's another cool-thing about spotter-lasers...the more dust in the air, the more bright they are (they cover less distance, but increase thei'r intensity).

All those positive aspects:
-low energy consumption
-easy and small
-wide distance covered
-work's during dust storms
make's it perfect for usage in a backup-navigation systems.

Whenever an astronaut get's lost/has no communication etc. he just look's up in the sky and notice a green-laser, and hed's toward it.
Easy, cheap and a safe idea.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6e/Keck_laser_at_night.png/400px-Keck_laser_at_night.png) (http://scoutmaster.typepad.com/my_weblog/images/2007/03/14/green_laser.png)
http://laserpointerforums.com/attachments/f52/30220d1288634693-jetlasers-pl-c-250mw-532nm-handheld-laser-review-w-pix-6.jpg (http://laserpointerforums.com/attachments/f52/30220d1288634693-jetlasers-pl-c-250mw-532nm-handheld-laser-review-w-pix-6.jpg)
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: profit004 on March 02, 2011, 05:27:38 PM
Would this actually be visible if there was not a dust storm, I know lasers are completely invisible unless there are particles in the air to bounce off of.

As an aside though it is a good idea, and a marker would be good to have.

Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: Hyper on March 02, 2011, 06:35:12 PM
The laser can not be seen from the side unless there are particles in the air, you are correct. There will be a marker on the base, top of the radio tower, red flashing beacon yes... when I get to it.
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: Marco2001 on March 02, 2011, 07:42:08 PM

Yes - the laser can be seen from the side, because normal air is filled with particles that reflect the laser. I know this for a fact, since I use my 25 mW laser. Mars air, as thin as it is, contains even more dust-particles than earth one. The more powerfoul laser, the more light those particles will reflect. Green color is not absorbed by air, and it travels futher. Only steryle, laboratory air will not reflect laser. Laser's aren't just some light - they are extremely bright. Even my small 25 mW laser with maximum cover distance of 7 km is seen at 3 km. But there are 250, 500, 750....and even 1000 mW portable laser-pointers. If a laser were used as a marker light seen from tenths of kilometers away, it could be even more powerfoul.

(http://wanderingspace.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/msl-chemcam-laser-tool-ready-testing_2.thumbnail.jpg)

Some laser-pointers from youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g77CxWquJEU (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g77CxWquJEU) Paranal telescopes with Laser Guide star (Unique 360 night time lapse)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy5FRX6Vvik&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy5FRX6Vvik&feature=related) Green laser 200 mW daylight
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIiwcE810es (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIiwcE810es) 200mw, 250mw, 300MW, 400mw and 500mw Green Laser PL-C JETLASERS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEZ5dEi4oPo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEZ5dEi4oPo) ChemCam rock laser for the Mars Science Laboratory

The difference between beecon-light on top of a tower and a laser-beacon is that the laser is seen from dozen-times futher away, yet it uses the same ammount of power.
I think it is the most simplie way for navigation on Mars - and simple is good.
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: profit004 on March 02, 2011, 08:10:45 PM
I can hardly believe this.. But I kinda agree with Marco,  if they really are visible I would prefer a laser to a light (I wonder what the reliability is like though)

One side note though Marco, It may not be feasible for hyper to program a laser beacon.   I notice when games use solid laser light emitter beams inside of a 3D simulation it causes massive frame rate loss for some reason.  Perhaps it is bad coding on the games parts, but I have seen it again and again.  So don't have your heart set on it, it maybe a just a light for performance reasons in the end.

 (Maybe they will also do better on cards better than Nvidia 9800GTX's with 1GB video ram)


*Edit now that I think about it, it is probably because the entire beam is a light source, forcing hundreds of millions of extra shader calculations per frame.

Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: Phyco on March 03, 2011, 03:59:36 AM
I use lasers at work all the time and only when its really dusty can i see them from the side normally i only see the red dot on what ever it hits.
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: Hyper on March 03, 2011, 03:37:16 PM
Well even if you could see it, the beam divergence of a laser is small so at any distance you wouldn't see a 1/4 inch beam so it is impractical. By the way I used to be an EM engineer at International Laser Systems ( now Litton ) I built laser rangefinders, target designators etc for military applications so If you want to argue lasers with me have at it.



Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: thedubman on March 03, 2011, 03:43:35 PM
Nice idea the laser marker is,.. a strobe light be easiser I guess, marker flares for players could be fun, tangent, tangent, tangent :D
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: Hyper on March 03, 2011, 04:32:37 PM
I might be able to have a strobe laser with a 5 degree divergence, spins around so we should be able to see it at distance. For every miliradian of divergence the power density halves over range but it would be doable at low power.
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: thedubman on March 04, 2011, 01:22:12 PM
Well even if you could see it, the beam divergence of a laser is small so at any distance you wouldn't see a 1/4 inch beam so it is impractical. By the way I used to be an EM engineer at International Laser Systems ( now Litton ) I built laser rangefinders, target designators etc for military applications so If you want to argue lasers with me have at it.





I got a question about lasers, what happens if you fire one at a solar panel? do you get power converted from it? or is it the wrong wavelength/spectrum etc??
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: profit004 on March 04, 2011, 04:51:57 PM
Sometimes you will get power, sometimes not.

Usually no though unless you have a single cell because all cells in a panel need to receive light in order to work..

Also some wavelengths do get used far better than others.  

*Hobby builds solar panels and solar systems so I happen to know the answer to this =)
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: Hyper on March 04, 2011, 04:59:50 PM
You can get power but it cost more power than you would get back so not the best idea....
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: profit004 on March 04, 2011, 05:06:15 PM
You can get power but it cost more power than you would get back so not the best idea....


Although I tentatively agree with that statement there are certain applications where it might be useful....

For example ground powered aircraft and long range power transmission, Possibly space to ground.

Still, you are right, the efficiencies are terrible.
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: ET-1 on August 16, 2011, 12:30:10 PM
I know it's kinda stupid wasting my first comment on a long dead topic, :-[ but this was the first thing I thought I could comment on...

A bright laser beam pointing into the sky would make it more easier to find the base, than any paper-maps or flashing beacons could. I don't know whether being lost in a dust storm is vital part of the mars experience  ;) , but even if it is, you could still get that laser at some point later in the simulation.

Quote
I might be able to have a strobe laser with a 5 degree divergence, spins around so we should be able to see it at distance. For every miliradian of divergence the power density halves over range but it would be doable at low power.

Considering the physical properties of lasers you all have made a mistake, forgetting: -This is a game! 8)-
-- A really advanced simulation game that is, but still - it's not an exact physical simulation!
The laser beam itself would be the most simple thing to make:
A plain 2D green line pointing into the skydome/skybox and the textured side always facing the viewer/camera.
Thats the way cloud models are made in flight simulators, and how light is modeled in older 3D games. And as we are talking about a LASER, this would be a close enough depiction of what really happens... (from any place, we see a line of green, as reflected by particles in the atmosphere.)

+FEATURE: The colony could use this the same way, we use beacons on seashores: Broadcasting weather info!
This would serve as a back up system in case somebody is outside the comm.link range of the COHAB. Whenever a crew member is missing and a storm is coming up another crew member/the computer would simply turn on the laser and the bright RED beam of light would call everybody home. :)
(Getting a storm warning on radio, when outside radio range = inaccurate... )

Textures would be pretty easy to make:
-A panel with |ON|NAVlaser|STORMlaser|OFF|
-GREEN line for normal operation
-2 shorter GREEN lines for storm (flickering)
-RED line for stormwarning
-2 shorter RED lines for storm (flickering)


to make this stupid comment even longer...
+ Setting up, and testing this system after it arrives with the second rocket from earth, would make another one of those nice, short, inside & outside missions.
Where you had to:
-set up the laser station
-turn it on on the COHAB panel
-probably go outside in a storm to see if it is working...  ;D

sry for the long post  :(
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: Master_Kethnic on November 11, 2011, 02:09:37 AM
what about a simple lighthouse type of deal.. powered by 1 solar panel and just on top of a pole or something??
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: kill596 on November 11, 2011, 06:23:50 PM
I do think that a light house powered by one to two solar panels you would have to place it on the top of the crater or very tall on the COHAB
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: Hyper on November 11, 2011, 06:51:16 PM
The zone is only 4km square and the base is in the middle. I could find it with the compas and a map at zero visibility.
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: outzoner on November 26, 2011, 05:21:23 AM
.....agree with that. 

it happened to me once that iwas not able to find base,because i stopped driving for several times, my wife and my son are jumping on my nervs behind me--so i lost direction...

thats part of the game....first think of it->then do it.      being an sloopy idiot is a deadly mistake on mars!

good idea is to go on top of the next hill an have a look around....i guess you would do that in real-life too, wont you?? ;)
Title: Re: Laser-marker on top of the base - Idea
Post by: Alasandros on January 10, 2012, 03:22:00 PM
considering you have GPS on the sim ... i dont see how you can get lost .. write down the bases x,y coordinates then if you get turned around begin moving in a direction turning until the x and y numbers begin heading up or down in the desired direction ...and once both sets of numbers match what you wrote down bang look its home!!! heck i drive around out there pitch black and no lights all the time i use the x and y coords and the compass to steer the only reason i look out the window of the rover is to make sure im not driving of the side of a mountain id slide outa control on ...