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Space Shuttle

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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby amalahama » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:31 pm

As promised, some quick shoots from Orbiter:

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Our mesh is this one: http://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/74692 - I can't compare with SSU, but I doubt the SSU one is this detailed. However as Thorsten said we have only currently got the forward panels because the original is very detailed see the pics on Chris Kuhn's Shuttle Cockpit images facebook page


I've seen Chris's work and it's totally outstanding!! I've also realized that size and proportions are not exactly the same, with Chris's looking more realistic. But I've to say, labels in SSU's cockpit is easier to read, but I'm not sure if it's due to the way Orbiter renders the scene (very plain, without shadows), the simpler texture of SSU cockpit (no photo-based) or the camera positions and adapted sizes of the cockpit to improve elements visibility. At the end of the day, SSU doesn't look as pretty, but seems to be more practical, IMHO

By the way, there are just a bunch of functional switches in SSU, so lot of animation has to be done anyway.

In other matters, I've now started to implement the FAIL ON mode of the RCS jets (an ignited jet refuses to shut down). This gives some meaning to the SPEC 23 thruster management.

What needs to be done is to shut down the faulty jet by cutting the fuel supply (aka de-pressurizing the manifold supplying the jet in question) and then de-select it from the jet table in SPEC 23 to prevent the problem from occurring the next time again.

Currently the RCS control doesn't account specifically for de-selected jets, so the performance of the rate controllers in achieving their targets is deteriorating (just as it is for FAIL OFF jets), but it all works as advertized.

Also, CWS picks and announces both fail on and fail off.


Nice! RCS management can also be carried out via overhead panel right?

Regards!
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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby Thorsten » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:12 am

Two views in more or less direct comparison:

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I guess our strategy isn't so bad. :-) I honestly prefer Richard's approach.

Also, readability isn't such a big issue for us, since we have the tooltip functionality anyway - you just need to have it on and hover the mouse over a switch to see its name and current setting, there's no need to be able to read everything from pilot view.

RCS management can also be carried out via overhead panel right?


Once we have one, and once it's animated and hooked up, RCS propellant and oxidizer flow can also be managed via the overhead panel. De-selecting a jet is a software function, I don't think there are switches anywhere for that.
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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby wkitty42 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:56 pm

amalahama wrote in Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:31 pm:As promised, some quick shoots from Orbiter:

wow! if that's from orbiter then it has been a long time since i looked at it... holy wowza...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby Thorsten » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:13 pm

Please welcome the latest addition to the DPS - SPEC 23 is now operational:

Image

I'm not sure if I want to nominate it for 'most complicated display' or whether I should give the honor to SPEC 50 or SPEC 33 instead - it's the combination of having lots of dynamical elements in combination with the non-trivial systems modeling required underneath which is the killer.
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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby wlbragg » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:21 pm

I have a couple comments to make on the visual comparison between the two models.

First, the shots Thorsten used are not the most current state but close enough for a good comparison.

I think we need some texture work by a "good artist".

I notice some room for improvement in our background panels, depth shading, better textures.

I am a bit concerned that I might be wasting (and have wasted) a bunch of time should we pull the plug on our work and collaborate. But I think we are on the right track and I am relieved that the comparison isn't too extreme.

I also think, all of us that are working on it realize where there is room for improvement but are trying to get a base established to then improve upon.

With the current manpower we have available, we could have one perfect panel or several satisfactory ones that could stand some improvements.

Seeing a comparison though does have a tendency to motivate one to do better.
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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby Hooray » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:35 pm

I am a bit concerned that I might be wasting (and have wasted) a bunch of time should we pull the plug on our work and collaborate.


to be fair, collaboration may sound easier than it is given the legal/licensing restrictions on the FlightGear side, i.e. all resources having to be either GPL-compatible or simply put in the public domain. Most people don't feel too easy about the kind of "freedom" granted by the GPL, and now imagine such people to learn about something like the FPS scammers to re-sell a rebranded version of FlightGear focusing on just spacecraft, which is a very real possibility, one that should be discussed upfront before any kind of collaboration is worked out, or it may backfire at the project
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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby Richard » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:27 pm

wlbragg wrote in Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:21 pm:I think we need some texture work by a "good artist".

I notice some room for improvement in our background panels, depth shading, better textures.

I am a bit concerned that I might be wasting (and have wasted) a bunch of time should we pull the plug on our work and collaborate. But I think we are on the right track and I am relieved that the comparison isn't too extreme.

I also think, all of us that are working on it realize where there is room for improvement but are trying to get a base established to then improve upon.


The comparison shots shows me that our mesh is better but that we need texture work. As I said originally it'd have to be a very compelling reason to abandon what we've done and the hundreds of hours of work.

The missing panels were originally omitted by me to have a manageable file size and vertex count. It was always the plan to include the rest, but as separate models. Now Thorsten's asked for the overheads I'm working on these and they should be available in a few weeks as I'm doing other things as well. The aft section should be fairly straightfowards to include.

At this point I prefer the way I've done the textures for the legends (no surprise there as I chose to do it like that in the first place because I prefer the look of less than perfect text). I'd also like to get the rest of the legends (left/right consoles (R1/L1)) done soon.
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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby wlbragg » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:45 pm

Richard wrote in Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:27 pm:Thorsten's asked for the overheads I'm working on these and they should be available in a few weeks as I'm doing other things as well.


I guess I'd better get back on the animations and tie-ins for the panels we already have. I kind of took a break to do "other FUN things". Sometimes it helps me to step back and start anew from a fresh perspective.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing more panels filling in those blank walls.
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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby wlbragg » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:16 pm

Help. I'm not sure what I did. I was adding some button objects by duplicating like I always do. I also edited the main texture sheet to add a new texture to it. I reloaded the image in the UV window to see the changes and BAM, it lost almost all associations to all textures. Needless to say, this is a disaster. There are thousands of texture links that I started to re-link when it became apparent how many individual buttons now need to be linked to their texture. I'm literally about to throw this computer, Blender and all, through the wall!

Anyone know a "quick fix" for this?

My "quick fix" was to grab the blend from the development repo and append my 9 new objects into it and map their textures. Way quicker than reassigning a few 100 object texture paths.

I sure would like to know what caused this to happen in the first place though?
I'm not positive, but I think the act of hitting "Reload Image" instead of "Open Image" is what caused this.
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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby Thorsten » Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:55 am

I am a bit concerned that I might be wasting (and have wasted) a bunch of time should we pull the plug on our work and collaborate.


There wasn't an offer of collaboration in the room though. There was an option to use an existing textured mesh under LGPL. That option is best evaluated by the people end up working with either mesh. I have my preferences for the best possible visuals, but ultimately you don't need to be concerned, because it's much more your and Richard's decision what mesh to use rather than mine.
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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby Thorsten » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:00 pm

Yikes - my own RCS control code starts to beat me... I've spent half an hour trying to work out why the wraparound DAP roll control for single engine OMS didn't fire any thrusters. There's by now so many sub-modes, config options and exemptions that it's really a handful to figure this out.

But we've got good vector control for single engine burns now - I'll make it accessible from the software so that it can be programmed, and then I'll also do the single SSME roll control wraparound in case of a two engine failure scenario so that you're not completely screwed flying your contingency abort (you'll be so screwed anyway...) :-)
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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby Hooray » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:06 pm

that must be a first, and it is why professional pilots need to be type-rated before flying the real thing, so it seems the space shuttle is well on its way towards becoming similarly complex as the real thing if not even its developers can figure out some of its intricacies
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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby Thorsten » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:12 pm

Ah well, the real thing has the completely independent developed backup flight system (BFS) explicitly supposed to take care of hidden bugs triggered by something weird, because if PASS experiences an oddity, it'll affect all GPCs which it runs on, but BFS will still be there, doing the same thing with completely different code.

Unfortunately we don't really have that ;-) - but it's an extremely resilient design.
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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby Hooray » Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:49 pm

Thorsten wrote in Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:12 pm:doing the same thing with completely different code.


correct, it's a software development philosophy called "diversity design", i.e. safety by design diversity.
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Re: Space Shuttle

Postby wlbragg » Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:04 pm

You have no idea until you try to animate and tie in a simple switch only to find out that in reality there is a "massive" amount of logic that needs to be considered. I must admit though, either by design or luck Thorsten has managed to keep it manageable, at least to this point. But it keeps getting harder and harder and more complex.

It's getting to the point where it is going to requires a Masters Degree in engineering to simply tie in a switch and have it do what it is suppose to do.

The complexity, is mind boggling and mind numbing.
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