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Reaching for the stars: Space elevator [fictional] ?

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Reaching for the stars: Space elevator [fictional] ?

Postby Hooray » Sun May 17, 2020 4:19 pm

Okay, this is inspired by vitos' topic: It's No Moon

Vitos pointed out how we as a project/community failed to put a "virtual man on moon", because he "waited" for a corresponding project to emerge.

The point being, what does it take to convince this community to create a vehicle/space project "from scratch" - vitos referred to this as a "social experiment", so I'll call this one a community experiment. :lol:

Actually, I just finished watching a really old episode of Start Trek Voyager where a "space elevator" was depicted, and since this seems like something new, and something that would only require a pretty simple 3D model, and only a subset of the ufo FDM (for starters), I was thinking: Maybe this would make for a nice addition to the FlightGear project ? :D

Seriously though, creating a "space elevator" seems like a long-standing idea, and one that is apparently pretty popular among some people:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_elevator




Besides, we do have other fictional aircraft/spacecraft and vehicles (including a rope animation) - so, let's see how this unfolds (or not) ...

I guess for starters, we could use a scripted FDM and an arbitrary 3D model and then evolve things over time to use a dedicated 3D model with some texturing and a more refined FDM, and then take it from there ? 8)

So, what do you think, any comments, ideas / suggestions or open questions ? :D
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Re: Reaching for the stars: Space elevator [fictional] ?

Postby Hooray » Sun May 17, 2020 4:57 pm

Okay, after a little googling, turns out the idea isn't that far-fetched/unprecedented at all, here's some food for thought (this was created by an Orbiter user as part of a PhD thesis, and is no longer maintained):

https://thespaceway.org/page.php?id=200


http://www.endlessskyway.com/u-fly-it-s ... vator.html
and the idea even made it into a book: Design Considerations for a Software Space Elevator Simulator
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Re: Reaching for the stars: Space elevator [fictional] ?

Postby Thorsten » Sun May 17, 2020 5:53 pm

So, what do you think, any comments, ideas / suggestions or open questions ? :D


The renderer is going to balk on that one, because these elevators are friggin' long beasts and you violate the far plane clipping limit.

Otherwise it doesn't have an FDM - the point of it is that it's just a static structure extending very high from the surface.
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Re: Reaching for the stars: Space elevator [fictional] ?

Postby Hooray » Sun May 17, 2020 6:04 pm

No FDM then (but hey, FlightGear thinks in terms of a FDM, right ?)
And about the near/far plane issue: What about Earthview then ?
Would this even be an actual issue given that you're only ever going to look at a segment of the rope (again, these are genuine questions) ?
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Re: Reaching for the stars: Space elevator [fictional] ?

Postby Icecode GL » Mon May 18, 2020 12:52 am

The new ALS pipeline under the Compositor has a depth resolution of 0,01m at a distance of around 10.000 km. That should be more than enough to avoid any clipping or z-fighting issues (even if the elevator is on a 1:1 scale, unlike Earthview).

Although I don't see the point of doing this without a FDM. You can just create a really tall cube in Blender and paste it somewhere.
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Re: Reaching for the stars: Space elevator [fictional] ?

Postby Thorsten » Mon May 18, 2020 6:09 am

That should be more than enough to avoid any clipping or z-fighting issues (even if the elevator is on a 1:1 scale, unlike Earthview)


I take it the rather substantial z-fighting of vegetation at a distance of 1 km has been resolved then? Nice..
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Re: Reaching for the stars: Space elevator [fictional] ?

Postby Icecode GL » Mon May 18, 2020 6:37 am

Yes indeed, although of course with some tradeoffs like particle systems and osgText not rendering correctly, but those should be resolved fairly soon.
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Re: Reaching for the stars: Space elevator [fictional] ?

Postby Thorsten » Mon May 18, 2020 11:19 am

That's good news indeed.
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