Author Topic: The Base  (Read 15327 times)

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rditto48801

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Re: The Base
« Reply #30 on: August 26, 2013, 09:44:45 PM »
I am guessing using things like carbon fibers, carbon nanotubes or honeycomb based structures (with 'filler' material in the honeycomb spaces?) won't be of much help in terms of getting as much structural strength as possible for as little refined/processed material as possible.


At least stuff like the Lunar Electric Rover/Space Exploration Vehicle based design being made of many 3D printed parts will at least mean there will be an option for flexible vehicle designs, even if they might not  be suited for any serious heavy duty work.
Speaking of which, an interesting article on that subject.
http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/1686-mars-rover-runs-on-3d-printed-parts.html

Could materials like ABS or PCABS (whatever those are) or polycarbonate be something that could be made/produced on Mars? Or if there might otherwise be Mars produced equivalents of said materials useful for 3D printing? Such as algae based plastics could be used for 3D printing?
If something like ceramet (proper term for metal fused into ceramic?) were possible, would it also be possible to use some sort of plastic/polymer based material as a binding agent for some sort of ceramic that is powdered, mixed with the polymer and then pressed/cooked into its final form?


I still have to think about the potential of what all could be shipped to Mars if the Constellation project were a major aspect for the in game Mars colonization effort. (even if just for the initial main base setup and so have little direct affect on what players can do).
Like if the cargo landers (even smaller ones) could be made of useful materials that could be later tore down and recycled for said materials.

Edit:
For the hydrogen/oxygen rocket idea. It was not for propulsion, but as an alternative for heating up a smelter system, so 'propulsion' is not the goal, heat is. That is why I was talking about re-capturing the exhaust, since I heard the 'waste' from a liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen rocket is supposed to be water.

On the subject of rocket engines. Would it be possible for a lander to have, or include, engines that use liquid hydrogen/oxygen? So that they could be refueled using locally produced hydrogen/oxygen? To either be used to help ship smaller payloads (samples and such) back to Earth (or to get them into orbit to meet up with a craft heading back to Earth), or to otherwise 'remove and reuse' said rocket motors to make a basic rocket to deploy a small payload like a Mars made satellite into orbit?
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 10:17:15 PM by rditto48801 »
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Hyper

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Re: The Base
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2013, 10:36:23 AM »
Smelting using oxygen / gas might not be the way to go there. Oxygen will be super premium gold on Mars so I see electric cookers with no oxygen since lack of oxygen would create a more pure product.

Most likely we wont use hydrogen. Methane / Oxygen would be the way to go since it wont be as dangerous and methane will be easier to make in the quantity we need.

Have a look at Dr Zubrin and the Mars Direct story.

profit004

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Re: The Base
« Reply #32 on: August 29, 2013, 10:24:38 PM »
Although I do think a 3D printer will make the journey to mars,  I want to remind you that the 3D printer NASA used weighed 3 tons, without the generating system, environment system, or thermoplastic.

   To ship one of these to mars means the habitat needs to be built strong enough to support the weight of this during transit and shipment (3 tons becomes 30 tons during liftoff)   

  It has to have an environment system to screen out the gasses that are produced, plus dissipate the massive heat load. 

  It will also need a significant source of power... About 10KW to run for an hour..  That power will have to be perfectly pure and without interruption at 230 volts.   On mars, that would mean you would need  a ton of solar panels charging a battery system for 10 hours to run it for one. (the weight for a system that produces about 1KW on mars would be a little over a metric ton.)  And it will need to run for many hours for some parts.  The weight of 100KWH of lithium ion batteries is about a metric ton, maybe a little less.  Not terrible, but still significant.

Now I am not saying any of this is a deal breaker, because it is not... But... Just some challenges that need to be considered, and why early visits to mars will maybe not have the capability.

profit004

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Re: The Base
« Reply #33 on: August 29, 2013, 10:32:04 PM »
Edit:
For the hydrogen/oxygen rocket idea. It was not for propulsion, but as an alternative for heating up a smelter system, so 'propulsion' is not the goal, heat is. That is why I was talking about re-capturing the exhaust, since I heard the 'waste' from a liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen rocket is supposed to be water.

Ahh, I did not realize that.  No, Smelting will probably be done via inductance or resistive heating.  Almost certainly inductance.

On the subject of rocket engines. Would it be possible for a lander to have, or include, engines that use liquid hydrogen/oxygen? So that they could be refueled using locally produced hydrogen/oxygen? To either be used to help ship smaller payloads (samples and such) back to Earth (or to get them into orbit to meet up with a craft heading back to Earth), or to otherwise 'remove and reuse' said rocket motors to make a basic rocket to deploy a small payload like a Mars made satellite into orbit?

They would probably use liquid methane because it has a higher energy density for hydrogen. (Which is extremely rare on mars)  Other than that, the extreme labor requirement to remove a rocket engine would prevent it, but there is no reason a single stage vehicle could not be built on mars with it's significantly lower gravity. So.. The lander could go back into orbit.

The labor requirements would be to hook all these connections up perfectly after mating the engine to a new body.    It would be hard work and the engines are heavy.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/67/XLR-99_Rocket_Engine_USAF.jpg

 




« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 10:34:52 PM by profit004 »

rditto48801

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Re: The Base
« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2013, 01:01:15 PM »
Since less effective sunlight reaches Mars than Earth would it be feasible to utilize some sort of solar heating system to assist with smelting?
Basically like with some solar power systems that use a whole bunch of sun tracking mirrors to focus sunlight on a central tower, except rather than power, it would be used for extra heat generation.
When not used for heating, perhaps it could be used to heat molten sodium for power generation purposes, which has been done before by solar power plants in the past.
The biggest down side I can think of is getting all the equipment/materials to Mars in the first place. But maybe (a really big maybe) a small scale system might allow making things a little easier with some very small scale smelting?

Or perhaps some sort of 'nuclear heat pile' for smelting stuff with lower melting points (depending on how hot iridium clad plutonium fuel pellets or similar can get without melting other stuff, anyways).


Back to one thing I mentioned a little bit ago, in case it got missed.
Would it be possible for landers, ones just used to get stuff to Mars and be 'unused' afterward, to be made of parts/materials that could be reused, repurposed or otherwise recycled for useful materials?
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Hyper

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Re: The Base
« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2013, 08:38:04 AM »
The effective watts per square meter on Mars is less than half that of earth so it would take many panels to produce the power you speak of. Mirrors would be difficult not for the mirror but the support equipment to hold them and it would take lots. Sandia labs in New Mexico have a working system  http://energy.sandia.gov/?page_id=1267

As for using materials that get sent there yes. Matter of fact the design of the landing craft would most certainly be built with that in mind.

rditto48801

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Re: The Base
« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2013, 04:34:26 AM »
Would parabolic dishes using a collection of hybrid photovoltaic cells/mirrors focusing light onto an RSG unit be possible? Like a satellite dish as far as basic design, except it would be an RSG system instead of a receiver/transceiver at the end. Or maybe some closed system that heats up a liquid medium that is transferred to an RSG at the base that then feeds the cooler liquid back to the receiver setup.
Just need to keep the dish aimed at the sun, not having to try to keep dozens or hundreds of mirrors focused on a single static point.

To stray toward some inspiration of the old game Outpost...

To drift a little toward the realm of 'sci-fi', park a huge solar satellite in geo-synchronous orbit that transmits energy to the surface via something like a microwave beam or some such thing to a collection/array of ground based receivers (so it doesn't need to be 'to' accurate...)

Maybe if we are lucky, someone will figure out how to make a Tokamak (right name?) that can maintain a stable fusion reaction (or at least last long enough to generate more power than is needed to start it), by 2030... then we could just toss fusion power in as a late/end game goal to research/construct...

I also wonder if the 'cargo lander' from the now scrapped Constellation Mars mission concept would be capable of carrying along something like a small nuclear reactor... if they make reactors and the supporting equipment small enough that is...
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Hyper

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Re: The Base
« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2013, 09:26:21 AM »
If you read the docs you find that the RSG = Radio Isotope Decay Stirling Generator. So the radioactive part supplies the heat for one side of the stirling engine and Mars supplies the cold side. The generator is single piston shuttle and there are 4 cylinders per unit. Should produce one kilowatt of power per unit.

rditto48801

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Re: The Base
« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2013, 12:36:28 AM »
Oops, my bad, I didn't mean an actual RSG. (I think I was a bit tired at the time of making that last post...)
I meant just a Stirling Generator for the solar power. The issue being getting the heat to the Stirling Generator. I am under the impression the Stirling Engine system might cause some vibration issues for the dish itself if it were directly mounted on the 'A frame' of the parabolic dish and be the direct focus point of the sunlight, due to a video I saw on how fast the piston can move in an ASRG. Otherwise  I might have suggested fitting it directly on the dish. Would an 'A frame' be able to have properly insulated/padded mountings to keep vibrations/movement of a Stirling Engine from causing much movement in a parabolic dish?
I also wonder if a Thermal-electric Generator would fit anywhere in the mix, such as in the radiator system that would be the 'cold side' of the system, just to squeeze out as much power as power out of the system...
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profit004

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Re: The Base
« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2013, 01:18:55 AM »
The solid state ones are absolute garbage for efficiency.  Hence why Stirling is used instead.


Hyper

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Re: The Base
« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2013, 08:26:50 AM »
Again a radioisotope decay system is much more efficient and will supply plenty of heat for the stirling engine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisotope_thermoelectric_generator
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_radioisotope_generator

The unit in the game is a 4 cylinder linear shuttle engine, requires little maintenance and should generate 1kw each.

« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 08:31:59 AM by Hyper »

Gleipnir

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Re: The Base
« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2013, 01:31:11 AM »
Hm, I was wondering far as the base goes, and I read through the whole thread and like all the ideas here. But I am curious about worker outposts that are like the base but more like geological work station or archaeological dig sites that have a direct communications uplink to the main base and can be edited to have necessary items like an ELS room, refuel station, cold storage. Look at the science outpost in Antarctica, the major bases are there yes, but there are smaller outposts that have to be build for dive teams, geological teams, wildlife survey crews and the like. So I was wondering if there will be outposts or secondary bases or research stations.

With the Base building in general, I like the idea of how Star Wars Galaxies did it, but maybe top down would be easier than anything else since coding the game so that you'd have to set the base up part by part would take a long time and could get filled with bugs, not to mention be a tedious process in getting that to work. So I am all for the Top down 2d format. Just don't do the cheesy"Island Survival" style. (For those who haven't played that, building something means a stick in the ground with a little square and smashing your hand at it.)
I do not fear death, for I was dead many times over billions of years before I was a human being, and I will die like everyone else again to ascend to be something more in the universe.~Samuel Blantz

Hyper

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Re: The Base
« Reply #42 on: September 30, 2013, 09:56:45 AM »
The top down 2d approach seems to be the most viable at this time. Once the decision is made where to build the game has to restrict access to that area so we don't build it on top of a player or other equipment so some sort of bound box need put in place.

Gleipnir

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Re: The Base
« Reply #43 on: October 01, 2013, 05:05:11 PM »
Good idea to do that as it would really suck to get force stuck because someone wanted to troll and build something on top of you from 200 feet away or not be able to get access to important equipment due to someone doing the same thing as stated. Maybe only people of specific rank should be allowed to build? Or only the server owner/appointed moderators with Ban/Build/Lock/Unlock permissions? Seems like a bad idea if anyone who pops in could build/access any system. Will buildings have a smart system of any kind so only appointed personnel would be allowed into specific areas?
I do not fear death, for I was dead many times over billions of years before I was a human being, and I will die like everyone else again to ascend to be something more in the universe.~Samuel Blantz

Hyper

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Re: The Base
« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2013, 10:51:31 AM »
We have had the discussion before on how to treat Players. Server player is GOD and they will have the tools to kick someone or restrict them somewhat but for the most part the game has to be unrestricted for movement.
Building over a spawn point will be handled at spawn time with a simple check.