Author Topic: Parts & Equipement - Idea  (Read 2179 times)

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Parts & Equipement - Idea
« on: August 09, 2010, 03:38:50 PM »

Parts & Equipement  
(Production/Utilisation/Repair/Modyfication schematic)

I would like to present you an Idea I had about 2-3 weeks ago, on how to emphasis engineering routines in MCO.

First of all - as an "Equipement" I understand such things like GPR, LIBS, Drill, Hab Computer, Fournace, Water Pomp etc...
"PARTS" are the components of the Equipement.
I propose that every Equipement has PARTS in it and that they are in constant check by the base main engeneer.
That's how it looks in real life too.

Look at the picture below on how I see this:

As you can see the GPR Unit has 4 main parts which I thought to be: 2 x Electronics components, 1 x Mechanic parts, 1 x Power Source.
On the other hand the Drill has 5 main parts: 1 x Electronics components, 1 x Drill, 1 x Hydrailic parts, 1 x Mechanic parts, 1 x Power Source.

You can also see that I am holding in my inventory some "spare parts".
If the device is in any way broken, what you would need to do is to REPAIR IT.
To do so you simply need to take the TOOL KIT and check the state of the device parts (the parts state will not be visible without holding the tool box).
When you see that one of the parts is broken, what you need to do is to replace it or take it to it and bring back inside.

There are 4 types of parts dammage:
1st - the parts are fine. Equipement just shuted-down becouse of static discharge, solar flare or system bug etc.. No need to repair enything. You only need to restart the device manually (simply press "ON").
2nd - one of the parts is slightly broken and it needs a minor repair (for instance - cables got lose, some dust came inside, equipement casing isn't locked etc.). This minor repair can be done in field. Just grab the tool-box and press repair. (It's just like repairing ROVER/SEPARATOR right now in MCO) When the process is over, press "ON".
3rd - one of the parts has some major damage. It will need to be replaced or taken to the base. In base you take it to the workshop and put the "Dammaged part" into the "Work Table" and you press "REPAIR". After that the part is ok to be put inside again. You only need to activate the Equipement. Those types of dammages are common if the equipement is near the Dust Devil, when it is run over by rover, when it's frozen etc..
4th - some parts suffered critical damage. It cannot be repaired. The "Destroyed parts" will need to be replaced and Utilized. You utilize the equipement at the "Utilisation Unit". By doying so, you will gain some raw materials. This type of dammage is usually coused by extreme radiation, extreme temperatures, rare inspection, working longer than it supposed to, everheet if it's working to fast.
5th - due to some unnown accident that happens against our will (eg. manufacturing error, corosion, bizzare chemical/physical reaction) the equipement has been DESTROYED. The destroyed equipement (like DRILL, GPR etc...) changes it looks into "Destroyed equipement". Every part that was inside will also be destroyed. The Equipement and it's parts should be taken to "Utilization unit" for gaining some materials. This type's of catastrophee happens randomly but rarelly. The equipement explodes, and when it does it starts a fire it it's inside the hub with oxygen, and kills nearby person (in ~2m). The fire spreads until it consumes everything, when ther's no oxygen or when it is putted down by an astronaut with fire extinguisher. The Equipement that is cought into fire takes after 10 sec the damage of the 1st type, after 20 sec - 2nd type, 30 sec - 3th type,
40 sec - 4th type, 50 sec - 5th type. You can put the fire down by depreasurizeing the Module.

Parts acquisition
You can buy the parts from Earth (or...Phobos base :P) at a very hight price.
The parts bought from Earth are always better then the ones made by ISRU (In-Situ Resource Utilisation) in your base.
There is a delay time from ordering the part to receiving it.
Parts are bying brought to you by the shuttle.

Parts manufacturing
You can make the necesary parts yourselves. They are cheaper than those you buy from Earth. The disadvantage is that it's not as good as the "Standard part".
In order to make the part you first need to gather enough resources. What kind? For example: Electronic Parts needs 10 units of Copper, 5 units of Silicate, 1 unit of Beryllium.
When you know you have enough resources in your base you need to go to the workshop. There you sit at the "Work table". This "Work table" is a station equiped with work space, tools, diagnostic equipement, and every other necesarry thing to create from scrath in Mars Base condition the part that is currently needed. This is also where you make EVA suit repairs.

[Work table]

You add the resources at the "Work table" and chose what part you wish to manufacture.
Then you click "Process" or "Start" and the manufacturing begins.

+ + =

Manufacturing parts in Mars base conditions isn't easy. It takes a lot of time. Some parts are made quicker - like "Mechanic parts".
Some are very complex like - "Electronic parts" and are made longer.

*NOTE* It's also possible that the avatars Experience Level would make it go faster. It's also possible that an engeneer would do it a lot faster then for eg. Botanist or Geologist.

Parts modification
I also propose that some parts may be "Modified" at the "Work table".
Modification is a proces in which some parameters of the part are changed at the expense of the other.
For instance. I have the "Standard Electronics Parts". Becouse it was made on Earth it is very reliable and will last long before it needs repair. It is also quite efficient. If I know i have the manpower to maintain the parts very often i pick that electronic part and take it to the "Work table". There I click the "MODIFY" button. It is quite a quick procedure. At the end of the process You will get from the "Standard Issue Electronic parts" a "Modified Standard Issue Electronics" which are ~10% more efficient.
The cost of this proces is that you will have to repair it twice as often.

Parts General Maintence
Parts dammage events are rare.
You might think that you only need to check on them when the Equipement reports it's broken and needs repair (and is critical like Augar, Drill, Water pomp).
In reality, Mars base equipement will be constantly and regularly checked for its state.
You need to understand that even 1 broken part could mean the death of mars colonists.
To make players check on equipement regulary I propose this solution: every part has it's "Operational time limit".
From the moment the game starts the Parts internal clock starts to count days since it was last checked with a "Tool Box". If the part reaches "Operational time limit" it will automatically gain one of 5 mentioned types of dammage. The clock will then be restarted. The clock will also be restarted if you just "Check it's state" using the "Tools Box".
So basically: If the player leaves the equipement unattained it will in 100% be broken when it reaches it's "Operational time limit", but untill it's reached the part/equipement can only be dammaged by natural phenomena like: Dust storms, Radiation storms, Static discharges, etc. that was mentioned earlier in "PARTS REPAIRS" section of this post.

I propose that parts:

  • PVCell
  • Electronics parts
  • Mechanics parts
  • Hydraulic parts
  • Drill parts
  • Power Source
  • Electrode
  • Electric parts
  • Filter parts
  • Petroleum parts

PVCell - This is the part of the Photo Voltanic Panells. Every panel is made from such cells working together.
[PVPannel]                                                                                                           [PVCell]

Every PVP could have like 9 of those.
There are 2 types of PVCells: brought from Earth and made by ISRU on Mars.
Those from Earth are more energy efficient than those made by ISRU.
They'r "Operational time limit" could be the same which could be like ~100 Sols.
The main couses of damage to the PVCell's are: Solar flare, Static discharge.
You can mix together Standard issue PVCells with ISRU PVCells. By doying that you will change the total power made by PVPanells.

Example: one Standard issue PVCells makes 11,1 W.
PVP has 9 of that parts which gives: 9 x 11,1 W = ~100 W
One ISRU PVCell make's 5,0 W.
If PVP had 9 of that parts you would have: 9 x 5,0 W = ~45 W.
If I insert into PVP 5 Standard issue PVCells and 4 ISRU ones I would
get: 5 x 11,1 + 4 x 5,0 = 75,5 W.

9 PVCells are needed in order to make PVPanell from scratch in the "3-D printer".


Electronics parts - Those parts are almost in every equipement. There are "Standard issue Electronic parts" brought from Earth and "ISRU Electronic parts" made on Mars. Electronic parts determine the Equipement efficiency, so the best ones you have should be placed in Augar, Drill, Water Pump etc..
There are many types of Electronic parts (both ISRU and Standard issue).

HAB Computers and other equipement that doesn't need high efficiency usses extremelly reliable "Simplistic Electronic Parts", which have "Operational time limit" counted in thousands of Sols (~1000 Sols).

There is of course a ISRU simplistic Electronic Parts version, which is very simillar but slightly worse:

On start every equipement is equipped with "Standard issue Electronic parts" which are very good (normal Efficiency) and have a moderate "Operational time limit".

And there's of course a worse ISRU version of that:

If your base have much of cash you could by from Earth the "Electronics parts MK 1". They have improved they efficiency greately, but they'r relability ("Operational time limit") is very low (you will have to check on it every ~50 Sols or so).

If you don't have lot's of money but want to improve your equipement's efficiency you will need to gather many resources and manufacture the "Improved ISRU Electronic parts" on the "Work table" which will have of course less efficiency than the Earth's MK 1 version, but will have greater "Operational time limit".

In advanced stages of the game, you would like to consider buying the "Electronics parts MK 2". They'r "Operational time limit" is reely low (~20 sols!) but they have high Efficiency - so if you know you have engeneers that can do they'r work, you will be ok.


Mechanical parts - they does not change the efficiency of they equipement. Simply: without them the device won't work. There are at least 2 types of equipement:
"Standard issue Mechanical parts" - bought from earth and equipped in standard. Low "Operational time limit".

"ISRU Mechanical parts" - they are worse (but cheaper :P)


Hydraulic parts - they don't change the efficiency. I don't know if there is any difference between ISRU and Earth parts.


Drill parts - drill is the most important part of the digging equipement. Drill or items that supposrt it are often destroyed and needs replacement. Becouse Mars colonist would very often use the drill, many scientists have tryed to develop good ISRU drills.
As far as I know, now in MCO there are only 2 equipement that uses the Drill parts: Augar and mobile Drill.
The Mobile drill might be placed permanently to the equipement and player in order to repair it would need to go to the "Drill Parts Box" and replace it. That's becouse this mobile equipement is simplificated, and has no drill replacement port.

Augar is another story. The drill would be replaced there very often. If anyone watched the "Race to Mars" movie, you would notice how many times in 30 days they relaced the drill in order to gett to the water.
I see it this way: when players find a good resource, they set up the Augar and bring near-by some basic needed equipement: lights, Tools box, some oxygen/power for EVA, PG for Augar....and a box of drills. A players that checks Augar from time to time would simply turn around and replace the drill by takeing on of the drills from the box. That way, the players would plan more ahead.

"Standard issue drill" (very good)

"ISRU drill" (...worse)

The main reason why the drill parts are destroyed wound be: overheat and overwork. They are "immune" to such things like Radiation storm.


Power Source - every equipement that is not plugged to the electrical grid needs to have it's own power source. When using the equipement the power level of the power source will decrease. As far as I know, every power source must be bought from Earth (anyone knew how to make from mars regolith a battery? :D).
Some of them might be recharged and used many times. Some works for many months and then they are thrown away. I only present a few.

Battery power source - a standard power source that's normally in every equipement. It can be recharged many times at the "Battery recharge station", but it will discharge very quickly (~5 GPR shots, 100 m with drill ?). This kind of batteries are very sensitive to extreme temperatures and radiation.

It would also be possible to buy from earth up-graded batteries:

Nuclear link power source - (also called by many other names). They have a radioisotope that emits beta-radiation or heat. That kind of power is used where you can't reacharge, like onboard Pionier-11 probe or heart-starters. Equipement equipped (:P) with this power source would have enough power for a few GPR shots or couple houdret meaters drilling with drill before it discharges like the normal battery, but since the power is producced non-stop it will recharge itself. If you use the nuclear link for a proces that takes much time, this power source would be more preferable then the normal battery, since it reacharges a little while beying used.

Of course there could also be a better nuclear link power source:

Biochemical power source - this kind of power source uses biological and chemical exothermic processes which make's it have huge energy cappacity in comparison to the previous energy sources, but cannot be regenerateg and it's very expensive.

...and a better one:


Electrode - they are used where electrochemistry is used to make resources like: electroiliser, Sebatieur reactor, Zircon reactor, RWGS reactor etc..
Electrodes are used slowly over-time by the proces they catalize. They are (simply speaking!) 2 types of material that are used commonly for electrodes: Graphite (that can easily be done from converting Carbon) and Precious metals (Platinium, Gold). The Graphite electrode is used several times quicker than the metal-ones.
It shouldn't matter if the electrode is from Earth or Mars - they would basically be the same.
A mars base should have a few (~5) of them in they'r stock. This much schould be enough for a base for a long period of time, and making another electrodes would only be necesarry if you have a very ond-base or you are makeing some equipement.


Electrical parts - equipements that generate (or at least - operates) large electrical powers are equiped with "electrical parts". Those parts determine how many energy is lost. The better the part: the more anergy you will have at output.


Filter parts - some equipement have filter, like CO2 Scrubber, EVA suit itself, water tanks, WAVAR etc. and that filter needs to be keeped in good shape as long as possible. Usually the filter parts will be used-up after time from the dust. When that happens, just take that part at the "Work Table" and clean it.
After a couple of cleans like that (~5 times) the filter will be of no use anymore, and will need to be changed.


Petroleum parts - most of the items we have uses petroleum components. We can make petroleum parts artifically now, but we cannot free ourselves from them.
Much if the equipement have 1 critical petroleum part - like Rover tires, petroleum-made seals, medicine, EVA suit etc..

Poland here. My time: GMT + 1h
Writing a book about Mars. Any ideas? Type to me.
I'am an Astrobiology/Biology student.


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Re: Parts & Equipement - Idea
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 06:14:54 AM »
Good job, Marco:)
I will add something about petrol industry. On Earth we have oil, source for all petrol industry based things. On Mars we don't have oil, but... we have carbon dioxide and water. Its enough, in MCO we are using it now to producing methane, oxy and hydrogen. Next thing is to get so called "synthesis gas" (mix of carbon monoxide with hydrogen). We can get it by burning methane in steam (yes, in steam). Last what we have to do, is Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. What we get? By regulating reaction parameters and catalyst, we may have entire pallet of hydrocarbons.
Now on Earth, we have few plants where in Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) or a Fischer-Tropsch gas to liquid process, (F-T GTL, methane to benzine conversion) synthetic benzine is made. Chemistry is giving us methods to go further and produce fully synthetic lubricants for mechanical parts. Fiat Panda in Natural Power version have CNG installation and in engine is fully synthetic motor oil. Future is now:)
Earth TZ: UT+1 (CEST)