As I am going through building the virtualized ship systems I have seen waste heat expulsion rear it’s ugly head a few times. Since we are primarily operating in the atmosphere for the foreseeable future I am going to document my findings here, solicit feedback, and move on.
I plan to have three coolant loops (two primary, one standby) each with their own pump and reservoir. Each device in unpressurized sections of the craft will have a heat exchanger (oil to coolant) or a heat sink. Anhydrous ammonia was suggested for it’s vaporization properties in the temperature realm I am needing.
The idea is then to take fuel and/or oxidizer out of cryogenic storage using the excess heat carried by the coolant.
Since the fuel cell creates water as a byproduct, we could also dump hot water overboard.
Superficial heat exchangers (coolant to air) could be mounted inside the exterior plating but that leaves the system vulnerable (military operation, after all) and it only works in the atmosphere.
I heard that the space shuttle radiates heat from a shiny surface on the inside of the payload bay doors? I thought that materials which absorb heat best (matte black) were also the best radiators (why some engine manufacturers powder coat their engine blocks).
I have also been researching the holy grail of waste heat management – thermopiles.
Ian came to my location for a summit on the website, gameplay, and virtual systems. It was still bright out and the ground was dry so I took him out to see the simulator (first time he has seen it since it was in the basement). My daughter (6 years old) captured the moment:
Maybe a little ambitious but we did manage to knock the website out of the park!
Tried to get some power going so I flipped the switch. Nothing happened. Cool, first time I get to work through the schematics. Turns out it was a design flaw.
I don’t want all the current from the battery to all the systems to run through the cockpit… requires a thicker, heavier cable and increases the danger of fire, shock, etc. So instead we have a “battery power relay” which basically feeds the “battery direct bus” when the solenoid is on. The problem is you cannot run the solenoid without power to begin with!
Second attempt was to simply run a line from the battery to the switch and then back to the battery power relay. Problem is because both lines are from the same system the component treats them as redundant loops and will only use one. Therefore when power comes from the switch it uses that connection completely circumventing my intention of not having all the current driven to the cockpit!
Solution I haven’t tested yet is to have a new “control voltage” system so that the components don’t think it is a redundant loop. My concern there is that the component won’t know which system to load without programming that into the “relay” class.
I couldn’t find a comprehensive solution out there and actually put the project up for bidding. The $250 average bid made me look at RakNet again and I found out they have an HTTPConnection class! I started playing around and I had to modify RakNet to support SSL on a per-connection basis but I got it to work!
You can get the source through Doxygen:
Drop me a line if you need help patching RakNet!
Working on a new keyboard handler to support these little gems I found on eBay. They are backlit, bluetooth, and even have a touchpad.
So the built-in keyboard handler wasn’t going to cut it. I needed to identify the keyboard by device GUID, the whole works. So cue DirectInput. Still on version 8… I guess if it ain’t broke don’t fix it? Anyway the MapVirtualKeyEx isn’t working reliably for me so I am currently allowing configuration based on scan codes for those keys.
While we are talking about input I got the rudders working… there are like 6 axes plus sliders, POV, all that on the most basic state object! Might have to revisit that later. And get this, the Saitek Pro Pedals have full range toe brakes independently left and right… I am so sad that I can’t use them since we have skids as the undercarriage on the Dropship!
Work is progressing again on the systems virtualization for the Dropship. Also, work is continuing on the first module for the floating platform that will eventually be Cythera.