2013-09-10

Grumman LEM cockpit II

Working :-)



Grumman LEM cockpit

I'm modeling a simple retro styled cockpit for the Lunar Excursion Module. It's based on Gemini technology, with some allowances for Orbiter's MFDs. It's not historical or based on any actual proposal.
The pilot will have the two MFD screens in the panel immediately in front of him, and some (I hope) working indicators on the middle panel (fuel, thrust, altitude, speed, ADI ball, etc). On the right side I'll simply put some switches and generic indicators, just for show.






2013-05-28

Grumman LEM

Trying to learn Blender by modeling the early concept for the LEM. Work in progress, but will eventually make it's way into Orbiter





Here's an interactive 3D preview:

 

2013-05-05

Zvezda Virtual Cockpit released

This add-on for Orbiter Space Flight Simulator will add a Virtual Cockpit to the ISS Zvezda module.










Although complete, the mesh is a little basic on some parts, nevertheless I feel it's good enough for release. As such, I simply added it to an existing Zvezda add-on- the "Zvezda-J" add-on by jekka.

There are 2 visible MFDs (on the TORU workstation) and a HUD display over the periscope.
This 3D virtual cockpit model is more of a resource for developers than a complete add-on. Feel free to include it on your space-station add-ons and to improve upon it.

Get it here: http://www.orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=6083

2013-05-02

Brazilian Space Program for Orbiter v2 is released!

Brazilian Space Program for Orbiter v2, including the Alcantara Launch Center (CLA) , the VLS-1 satellite launcher (Veículo Lançador de Satélites), the VLM-1 microsatellite launcher (Veículo Lançador de Microssatélites), a Microsatellite, the VS-40 sounding rocket and the SARA reentry experiment .





Current version release notes:
  • Improved VLS detailed mesh and textures, now using normal maps for high resolution light effects on the latest graphic clients for Orbiter.
     
  • Improved textures with normal maps for the VLM-1, VS-40 and SARA.
     
  • Expanded the Alcântara Base, that now features details such as trees, terrain and various structures. Instead of adding new surface bases to Orbiter, this implementation builds upon my “Stock Orbiter default bases upgrade” add-on, only replacing (and improving upon) the Alcantara one.
    Notice: please remove the Alcantara_CLA.cfg and Base_de_Alcantara.cfg base config files from your Orbiter installation, if installing over the previous version.
     
  • Improved launch autopilot for the VLS-1 satellite launcher, which is now able to induce a stabilization roll to the upper stage, previous to the final burn.
     
  • Notice that the last stage on both VLS-1 and VLM-1 rockets is designed for a delayed burn (more than 200sec) and has no attitude control system (only spin stabilized). So be patient and let the guidance run until all fuel is spent.
     
  • To give some replay value, the autopilot will not place the satellite in a circular orbit. The guidance program provided is only meant to provide a reference to the intended launch profile and timings. It’s your job to launch manually or by autopilot to whatever orbit you desire.
     
  • New VS-40 rocket. This is a sounding rocket from the same family of the VLS-1, using the same solid rocket engines. I’ve programmed accurate flight behavior in LUA, including roll induced by the tail fins and launch from a dedicated tower.
     
  • New SARA reentry experiment, using both the VS-40 and VLS-1 rockets for suborbital and orbital flights. Aerodynamic parameters for reentry are “beta”, but usable.

2013-04-20

Some short videos...

VS-40 rocket launch:
Launch test of my VS-40 sounding rocket add-on for Orbiter Space Flight Simulator. It features a complete surface base, detailed textures with normal-maps and accurate flight behaviour programmed in LUA, including roll induced by the tail fins.




Buran aerotester virtual cockpit: 
Working instrument implementation using LUA scripting in Orbiter Space Flight Simulator



2013-04-10

Illustrations for the Brazilian Space Program add-on

Here are some illustrations for the Brazilian Space Program add-on documentation. They show the VLS-1 rocket configuration (labeled in English and Portuguese) and the launch profile with approximate times.



2013-04-01

World spaceports: Matagorda

Besides the well know Kennedy Space Center or Baikonur launch sites, there are many other such places around the world. Some of them aren't used for rocket launches, it they played an important role in space history, or are part of current aerospace activities.

As part of the development of my Orbiter stock bases upgrade add-on, I've done some research regarding this sometimes little know sites. My objective was to provide high resolution surface tiles for each base and to represent, using the stock base objects, the main structures present. I'll share here some interesting places I discovered.


Matagorda was considered as a possible location for NASA's spaceport, along with places like Cape Canaveral... While it was not chosen in reality, it's still featured as a space base in some Ben Bova books. In reality, two close airfields exist at that location, one of them related to private space firms in the 1970s. 


Matagorda Island AFB

 

Matagorda Island AFB, Matagorda Island, TX (28.33N 96.46W) was built during World War II. The site was one of the early NASA considerations for a launch site before they settled on Cape Canaveral. Matagorda Island AFB was deactivated in 1975.
Today, the runways and taxiways, although infested with vegetation, are in very good condition. There are several structures, hangars, and buildings of various types in various stages of deterioration. Also there is a usable dock and a small port facility.

Pads and runways

 

When in use, the base had 6 paved runways, control tower, VOR (116.4) and NDB beacons. It had one 15,000 ft runway, two 10,000 ft, and numerous shorter runways (at least 5000 ft).


Pierce Field 

 

Matagorda Peninsula Army Airfield (also named Matagorda Peninsula Airport, Matagorda Club Airfield or Pierce Field (72TA))(28.46N 96.29W) is also nearby.

Also built during World War II, to support the Matagorda Island AFB to the west. The airfield had a total of 5 paved runways. It was used by Deke Slayton and other former astronauts in a private space venture in the late 1960s/1970s. Several attempts to launch kerosene/liquid oxygen vehicles failed.


Pads and runways

  • Runway 6/24, 1829 x 23 m, concrete
  • Runway 18/36, 1524 x 23 m, concrete


Matagorda in Orbiter
(as featured on my  Orbiter stock bases upgrade add-on)





 

 

Matagorda in GoogleMaps

 


 

 

Maps and references

World spaceports: Gran Canaria Airport

Besides the  well know Kennedy Space Center or Baikonur launch sites, there are many other such places around the world. Some of them aren't used for rocket launches, it they played an important role in space history, or are part of current aerospace activities.

As part of the development of my Orbiter stock bases upgrade add-on, I've done some research regarding this sometimes little know sites. My objective was to provide high resolution surface tiles for each base and to represent, using the stock base objects, the main structures present. I'll share here some interesting places I discovered.

Gran Canaria Airport (IATA: LPA, ICAO: GCLP), (also known as Las Palmas Airport) was an official alternative (emergency) landing site for the NASA Space Shuttle.Also nearby is the Gran Canaria drop zone, an air-launched rocket drop zone, located lat/long 27.0, -15.3.

  • Runways:
    • 03L/21R : 10,171 x 148 ft (3,100 x 45 m) — paved — lighted
    • 03R/21L : 10,171 x 148 ft (3,100 x 45 m) — paved — lighted
  • Frequencies:
    • ILS: 03L 109.900; 21R 110.700
    • APP: 120.9 MHz
    • ATIS: 118.6 MHz
    • GND: 121.7 MHz
    • TWR: 118.3 MHz 


    Gran Canaria Airport in Orbiter
    (as featured on my  Orbiter stock bases upgrade add-on)








Gran Canaria Airport on GoogleMaps


Charts, diagrams and reference photos

Modeling the Alcantara Launch Center II

Some images of the final Launch Center model fully textured. Really happy with the results, specially with the vegetation, since my goal was to make a low polygon model for easy export to Orbiter simulator.

General view of the two pads: left for sounding rockets, right for the VLS and VLM
VLS-1 rocket on pad. The TMI (Mobile Integration Tower) is retracted to a safe distance.

After a successful export, here's the Alcantara Launch Center in Orbiter, with the VLS ready to launch. 

Alcantara Launch Center in Orbiter


2013-03-11

Final model of the VLS rocket

I've finished modeling the VLS rocket. Here's what it looks like in SketchUp after texturing!




After export, the model in Orbiter Space Simulator looks like this:



Very consistent. I'm using the DX9 renderer, and I've yet to add normalmaps!

As I'm happy with the way it looks already, here's an image sequence of a test launch.

VLS lifts-off from Alcantara

Ascending on first stage, after booster separation


Ascending on first stage
VLS rocket ascending on first stage. This configuration was the basis for the early VLM project.

Second stage ignites.

VLS rocket upper stages.

Detail of the upper stage attitude control systems and fairing

A small satellite is successfully released in orbit!




2013-03-08

A better model for the VLS rocket

I've been working on an updated model of the VLS rocket to go with the new Alcântara base. 
The first stage rocket boosters have better textures and a more geometry detail. I worked out the fixation points of the boosters to the main rocket, and it looks great! Also, the pad structure was corrected to match the rocket. 
The next step is to detail the other stages. Part of the work is done for the VS40 rocket, that shares identical hardware. But there are always differences. The fairing also needs some work to give it a less plastic impression.




Booster rocket

Pair of boosters

The upper stages are also under work. Here I'm using the new textures.

The complete VLS rocket stack. 

A quick test render of the rocket on pad. 

Detail of the first stage, boosters, and pad support structure.

2013-02-21

Hermes space shuttle interior, cockpit and instrument panel resources

The ESA Hermes space shuttle project ran from 1975 to 1992, after an original proposal from the French CNES (National Space Studies Center). The spacecraft was intended to serve two proposed European space stations:  the Man Tended Free-Flyer / Columbus Space Station and the Polar Platform.

Before cancellation, some mock-ups and trainers were built.  Because the project was developed in the 1980's there aren't many reference photos on the web. 

I'm taking the liberty of posting the all the images I could find on the web of the Hermes interior, cockpit and instrument panels. This way they are grouped all together in a single place for the convenience, so that the general layout can be understood and the different mock-ups / simulator versions can be sorted out. 




Hermes shuttle flight simulator


Hermes shuttle simulator



Hermes shuttle misc mock-ups



Hermes shuttle mock-up version "a"

Hermes shuttle mock-up version "b"

Hermes shuttle mock-up version "c"

Hermes shuttle mock-up version "c"

These versions have a similar general layout. There are duplicate control joysticks for both astronauts. In version "b" there's a third stick near the engine controls on the middle console.  The center console features a "flight management panel" at the center and  6 CRT displays that work as a glass cockpit. For each astronaut there's also a "multi-funcion keyboard". The HUD display is not visible on the mock-ups, although it would be present in the flight vehicle.



Hermes shuttle full scale 1987 CNES mock-up



Hermes shuttle full scale 1987 CNES mock-up cockpit
Hermes shuttle full scale 1987 CNES mock-up cockpit

Hermes shuttle full scale 1987 CNES mock-up cockpit
Hermes shuttle full scale 1987 CNES mock-up interior

The CNES mock-up features detailed panels. The arrangement is the same as before. There are now two joysticks for each astronaut.


From the available photos shown above, the center panels read (as far as can be read), from top to bottom, left to right:

FLIGHT MANAG UNIT
FLIGHT CUD DEP | NAVIG DEP | MES WARNING DEP | NAVIG DEP | FLIGHT CUD DEP
FLIGHT CONTR SYST PANEL | MULTIPLEX KEY BOARD | CUD MT | SYST CONFIG DEP | CUD MT | MULTIPLEX KEY BOARD | TELE?????? | 
LAUNCH | CONTROL PAN | COOMP CP | FOR USE | WARNING PAN?
?? | CAB CP OXYGEN |
?? | LANDING GEAR | PITOT SENSOR | TELECOM | AUDIO PAN | ???
?? | TRIM | LIGHT TUBE |DATA LINK | LIFE SUP PAN | ??? MEMORY


The right side panels read:

POWER SYST PAN | HIDRAULIC PANEL | FUEL CEL? | ??
MU | ??
INERTIAL SYSTEM


These indications have some changes on the cabin photos featuring the astronauts, but the general arrangement is consistent.





Sources: http://www.sciencephoto.com/ , http://www.capcomespace.net/ , http://www.pyperpote.tonsite.biz/listinmae/ and ESA