Author Topic: Lagrangian point detection net - Idea  (Read 2155 times)

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Lagrangian point detection net - Idea
« on: March 04, 2011, 10:53:41 PM »

Lagrangian point detection net
( Solar activity is crucial to survival on Mars. Colonist may have a way to protect themselves from the radiation, but could have no-time to prepare for it. That means, that they could encounter a solar-storm while doying EVA...which will resoult in death. A simple detection system on Mars and Earth will not be enought, becouse the moment you detect a Solar Particle Event (SPE) you will be already irradiated....thus, a detection-net is required, that will allow to monitore the sun, and will give information whether it's safe or not. How this could work in MCC?)

Each celestial body has it's own Lagrangian points.
Those points indicate that there the gravitational forces of the body (Mars) and the Sun are equal, and therefore a satelite put there would stay there.
There are 5 of those points.

If satelites were put inside them, they would have a with one-another.
Each of them monitors a different side of the Sun.
Each part of the sun has a different activity.
The Sun rotates in 25 days.
That means that if you detect extreme activity at the unseen side, you can be allarmed (by the L3 satelite) that in 12,5 days there will be lot's of solar-storms.
On the other hand - if a satelite L1 indicates low activity, you should feel safe and use that oppurtunity.

But let's start from the beginnig.
What does those satelites measure?
Solar particles density/composition, energy, speed, vector etc...all that is nice but for the sake of the gameplay only one Parameter is needed for the players.
That's smoothed sunspot number (SSN)

SSN give an indication of the overall level of solar
activity. SSN ranges from zero to over 300. Although this value is said to
indicate solar activity, it does not always mean activity with regard to flares and
coronal mass ejections. It might be regarded as similar to a space weather
temperature, but we must be careful with such analogies.

So each of the Lagrangian satelites would measure SSN for thei'r side of the Sun.
L1 would measure the front
L2 ?not needed?
L3 would mesure the back side
L4 would measure the right side
L5 would measure the left side

So a typical console in MCC colony could show:
L1 - 22
L2 - 20
L3 - 100
L4 - 12
L5 - 250

So what could player deduce out of those simple SSN numbers?

1 - It is fairly safe TODAY
2 - YESTERDAY was a very safe day
3 - Soon there will be a period of increased solar activity, that will be increased for about 12,5 days.
4 - In about 3 days there will be a MASIVE solar activity. No EVA should be done at any time!

That's all becouse we know that Sun rotates in 25 days. There is still an issue that those values change constantly, but they give an estimated number. There is little possibility that in those 3 days SSN will drop to normal values, but it's more propable that it will be much to dangerous.

Ok - so by using 4 (5?) satelites, you can measure the propability of solar-storm in the future (that's not 100% accurate, but that's the best we got).
What else would we get out of that Lagrangian point detection net?

It's also an automatic FIRST WARNING ALARM.
Whenever a SPE (Solar Particle Event) is detected, they would send a warning to mars colony giving some extra time before the main (slower then light) proton-radiation would come.
This system automaticly estimates, and gives the calculated time at which astronaut will encounter the radiation from the time they receive the message. Morover - it says how much radiation will come.

And her's another thing: it's easy to think that only L1 satelite is needed for that, and other-ones are useless.
That's a wrong assumption, becouse the right and left side of the Sun will also have SPE.
They will not be as strong, but they will reach Mars. Becouse L4 and L5 satelites are futher away, they will give a warning long before that.

I can't confirm that by link or a quote, but if I remember correctly, an L1 satellite will give a warning 4 minutes ahead, and L4 & L5 will give a warning 19 minutes ahead.

So a typical WARNING MESSAGE in MCC could look like this:
WARNING! Class C Solar Flare detected by L1 satelite (4 min remaining). Expected dosage: 400 mS.

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: Lagrangian point detection net - Idea
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2011, 01:59:17 PM »
Interesting. And it would even enhance game play.

But for a game you would not want any more than 4 minutes of warning so... because of budget cuts there will be only one... at L1

Might also want to drop the history and predictions to a couple hours instead of days.


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Re: Lagrangian point detection net - Idea
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2011, 02:04:52 PM »
Yes, a great idea. A good element of danger, causing everyone to head to HAB safe zone for period of time... if you caught out nasty.


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Re: Lagrangian point detection net - Idea
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2011, 07:28:03 PM »
It is already in the game, soon as I get the communications stuff working it will give us 30 to 40 minute warnings. The rad damage code was a part of that so I could get a sense of how much damage over time vs instant high delta damage. Other issues more important atm....