Which ships can land on planets and how well?

io34

Posts: 13

Posted:
Posted: -
I did a little searching around to get a sense for what the atmospheric flight model goal is, shape is the guide for how well a ship performs, so a sabre would probably fly like a F-15 and a hornet like an A-10.
Is atmospheric entry going to be designed with the same approach? Would ships like the aurora struggle with heat and pressure possibly requiring a ferry service in and out of atmosphere? And ships like the hornet could just muscle through with stronger shields and armor?
I'm not familiar with the physics, so I'm not sure what would be plausible.
  • Greers

    Posts: 14777

    Posted:
    Posted:
    Every ship up to an Idris can land. Ships with wings can maneuver better (if you want to dogfight in an atmosphere) but even an Aurora has ridiculously strong thrusters compared to our current technology. Those ships don't need strong shields, much less armor. They can reduce their speed just fine.

    Also: not every Planet will have an atmosphere ;)
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  • grafton

    Posts: 24667

    Posted:
    How ship landing is determined (also ship-ship/ship-planet shuttles):

    Ezreail: With regards to the increase in ship sizes, I.E Idris, are some of the smaller capital ships still going to be capable of landing planetside. If they can when will we be able to actually walk in and around them. I've been jonesing to see what the Idris has become since its transformation.
    Darian Vorlick: I've been waiting for this question this is a cool one.
    Kirk Tome: Great question. We are discussing that now. However for the most part, the, we are deciding which ships are planetside landing capable or not when we design the ships. One interesting topic that came up was, for some of the snub nose or smaller fighters, we are deciding to either make them Quantum Travel capable or atmospheric landing capable. As a trade off between for having such a small ship you need to pick one that suits the needs that you are looking for.
    This is especially important when we have ships that are capable of carrying smaller ships. The Connie is an example of one, though the Merlin doesn't actually function on it yet, but when it does, you'll get the capabilities of what the Merlin is able to do when that comes online. For other ships that have snub nosed fighters for example or a carrier ship you can decide Well you know what I really wanted to park this carrier outside of a planet and then go down to the planet surface using all these smaller atmospheric landing capable ships.
    Or what I really want are a bunch of say like taxi style vehicles that allow you to shoot across the galaxy and then meet up with other ships very quickly. You'll need to make a decision. So as we design each ship we are deciding whether or not they are Quantum Travel capable and atmospheric landing capable. So these are things we're deciding and it's on a ship by ship basis.
    When will we get to see this? Well that's a great question! We're still, we're working on these we're making these ships as fast as possible however all of the ships that are medium size or larger are definitely going to have interiors that you can walk around in. I discussed earlier things like being able to access the components from the inside. That's going to be a big thing and so yes there will be interiors that you can walk around with, walk around in. And then interact with other crew members, components, systems. There will be standards things we have like beds, bathrooms, etc
    DV: We want to give players a reason to walk around these large ships. A reason why you want to walk down this hallway and open this door and other than just, besides having the reason of just having a large ship. We want to give you guys a reason to walk down that hall, open the door, access this panel. Apart from just being for that reason
    KT: And then we'll need to make decisions such as how do we make modular components for these ships so, at least on a ship level for well when we create a ship like an Idris, it's impossible to fill every square inch of that thing with custom geos so we need to figure out what a standard hallway is, what a standard room is like, what the engineering station is going to be like, what the, if there's an engine housing room, if there's a cargo area that we can make modular and place on several parts of the ship if there are landing areas for that ship how do we figure.
    We make choices so that we can make a ship that's functional and is within reason schedule wise because we want to create the best as quickly as possible these are things we consider when we are designing and ultimately building the ship from nothingness to something that we can actually see in the game
    DV: Let me give two examples. For those who are anime fans look at the Cowboy Bebop anime series. you've got the Bebop ship that carries: spike's, swordfish. And you've got also Faye and Jet's smaller ships. They use the Bebop through Warp Gates carrying those ships even though the Bebop can land trans-atmospherically it still has smaller ships that it can with it.
    But if you look at something like Battlestar Galactica where they have giant fleets of ships and some of them are orbital space stations that are jump capable but something that is shaped like a ring or like an orbital station is not going to be able to land so you want to have shuttles and lighter ships, well they're called lighters, that can go inbetween ship to ship or trans-atmospherically up and down.
    We'll even have orbital docking yards where you get up from there and you take a taxi or a shuttle back down to the surface. It's ultimately going to be decided by what that gameplays need is, what the ships functionality is going to be is, what the role that ship is going to fill. So ultimately there's going to be an ultimate large size of what ships can land something like…
    KT: I don't think we've made that decision yet. I think we're going to decide on those capabilities based on the role of the ships. "What is that ship made for? What is the reason to own that ship?". Then we'll make a decision about those particular characteristics at that point
    DV: Right. I can figure something like a Bengal Carrier trying to make a landing would cause major atmospheric problems.

    from: http://www.scqa.info/transcript/?episode=10DEV-006
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  • grafton

    Posts: 24667

    Posted:
    Atmospheric Flight Model:

    design and engineering have begun work on the first implementation
    ships that look more aerodynamic will handle better than those that don’t
    atmospheric densities increase closer to the planetary surface, decreasing your ship’s maximum safe speed
    there will be pockets of varying density creating wind and turbulence
    not intending to create ships that fly by aerodynamics but for the flight model to handle spaceships in atmosphere
    drag is largely determined by the cross-sectional area of the ship’s three main axes
    drag is calculated dynamically so damage affects the surface area and where drag is applied
    other things can be used to tune performance like materials with different drag coefficients

    from: https://relay.sc/transcript/around-the-verse-episode-3-01
    and

    OE: How much does the aerodynamics of a ship effect flight and what other things will affect flight such as wind or air density?
    ST: The way i have to explain it is that there isn’t a separate flight model. It is completely seamless, at some point when you get into the atmosphere you are at 0.001% of hitting the atmosphere. The first reason of why we don’t have a whole new flight model is when do you make that switch? It would feel like something is happening and that’s not something we want. What we want to do is make our flight model which is made to fly ships around which aren’t aerodynamic is still what is being used in atmosphere just the variables applying things to the ship have changed and pretty dramatically.
    Those two things you’ve mentioned wind and air density are the more important things and everything that would affects those two really are the things that would do anything. Drag is affected by air density, the amount of wind from weather from all different places. What’s going to happen when the ship hits the atmosphere they thrusters are going to keep the flight model the same except the external forces are still acting on it like drag and lift are now a lot more obvious but the model itself hasn’t changed. We have actually have a guy with a Phd.
    EKD: A very smart guy
    ST: we stare at his screen of formulas and bar charts. He [John Pritchett] is our flight programmer and he’s been on the project from the start.
    EKD: The complicated maths behind the newtonian physics and that model. That brings back to the simulation as much as we possibly can. What would actually happen if you take this ship into atmosphere.
    ST: So to answer more clearly, the shape of the ship will absolutely effect how it handles in atmosphere, but it’s not due to a different flight model. More because those external variables are different, less drag because it’s more aerodynamic, more lift because it has wings and more like that.
    We constantly clash in terms of its a game thing that happens in game development of what happens in reality and what’s just a game part of it. John hates the hand wavey game stuff. He’s like “Noooo that’s not how it would work” the the G-Force conversations are just none stop. There’s a way we do it in games that is fun and feel s cool and then there is the reality of what it would do to you. You definitely have to come to a balance but it is nice to have the accuracy of someone that understands it in the real world.
    EKD: It is nice to see that level of passion in each person’s individual aspect of what is Star Citizen. Everybody you interact with in their field or thing that is exactly how the conversations go. The passion is deep and rich and it is a discussion you have to have and then ultimately we get to what you get to play but it is across the board with everyone.

    from: http://www.justpushstart.com/2017/03/exclusive-star-citizen-interview-sean-tracy-eric-kieron-davis-full-transcript/3/
    IFCS automatically transitions:

    Does the wind tunnel testing profile mean that airfoils will work and we can expect lift, weight, thrust and drag to be simulated in the flight characteristics of each ship when in atmospheric conditions? If so, will there be a new flight model or IFCS mode switch to handle the transition from Space to Atmosphere and different variations in gravity?
    IFCS automatically adjusts the flight handling when transitioning between Space and Atmosphere, there is no need to manually transition between modes as it all done for you.
    We currently simulate drag and gravity in atmosphere and this is calculated on a per ship basis, so ships like the Razor will handle better in atmosphere than others due to their shape but in the Razors case will potentially be more susceptible to wind/turbulence do to its low mass.

    from: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/15658-MISC-Razor-Q-A
    Planetary landings include weather and analysis:

    Syntax: What is the end vision for planetary ship entry? I would love to see a requirement for a crew to analyze various aspects such as atmospheric pressure, composition, etc, that facilitates an active participation from the crew to determine the best mode of entry.
    Well, we haven't actually fleshed this out. We do have plans for sort of atmospheric entry and atmospheric flight, we all kind of want to do… if you seen Prometheus, the sort of Prometheus entry down onto the planet or if you go back to Aliens they had a very cool… well, the effects aren't as nice as in Prometheus but going through the storm and you know the clouds and the turbulence. So, we definitely want that depending on the kind of planet, potentially a planet you could go down and find minerals and strip and gather resources that you could sell for a lot of money. It should perhaps be quite dangerous to get down there and maybe you have to figure out how to get down there without getting caught up in huge storms or the rest of the stuff.
    So, we want to make that part of the future, we've been discussing it and obviously John Pritchett our flight guru so we've already been going back and forth on some of that. Of course, we have quite a few other things to do but we are planning sort of clouds on planets and weather systems and all the rest of the stuff so we'll definitely ultimately have that and I think it will be a pretty cool experience. It won't be any time in the near future but it's definitely something we are planning and I don't know if you necessarily go to a full length scientific analysis but there will be certain kinds of planets that will be more dangerous to enter and will require some skill to enter but I think there will be rewards if you get down there. Maybe some of you won't be able to scan from a distance without getting through the cloud layer or something like that. So, there you go.

    (multiple other sections, too): from: http://www.scqa.info/transcript/?episode=10FTC-077
    and
    continued...
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  • grafton

    Posts: 24667

    Posted:

    Coryphaeus: I would like to know more about the procedural tech. You've talked about consulting linguists for alien languages, are you talking to exobiologists, exoplanetologists, and exo-climatologists for direction and help in designing the ecosystems and climates of alien planets?
    That's a good question. I, we have done a certain amount of working with a local school here in L.A. actually. So UCLA we've been dealing with some astrophysicists and their ilk, in terms of laying out our star systems and what kind of planets would be what distance from the stars. That dictates the type of planet. To a certain extent what we do is we say "Well we want this kind of planet". Then we talk to the folks that really know and say "So what situation could we potentially get this planet in?". And they'll say "Well then maybe it needs to be this distance, this many Au from the star and …".
    And that's so how we on a macro side have been doing the star system map and some of that will filter into the procedural tech. But it's still early days on the, kind of figuring out the ecosystems of the planets and the weather patterns and all the rest of the stuff. I would guess that we would tend to go a little bit more towards a designed approach where it's like taking a look at Hoth. It's an ice planet and it's cool, but is the whole planet covered in snow or is it..I mean it certainly looks like when you watch the movie. Would that be realistic? Would there ever be life on a planet like that? Maybe, maybe not I don't know.
    But you very much define the planets like, using my Star Wars reference here: Hoth is the ice planet, Tatooine is like a desert planet and so you got, you go to the Dagobah system and it's all like this swampy jungle thing. Very much in Star Wars they focus the planets to feel like it's a type, it's a jungle, or it's an ice planet, or it's a desert planet.
    So we'll probably do a little bit of that, maybe not quite as much of that. But we'll definitely do some of that, 'cause I think it really helps in terms of identifying the planets and stuff. So there'll be a combination of a little bit of science and what we think fiction or lore wise, kind of gameplay wise would help. So there you go. A little bit of it, but not a massive amount.

    from: http://www.scqa.info/transcript/?episode=10FTC-078

    cheers!
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  • Starlin

    Posts: 13838

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    Posted:
    ALL ships can land...... once. Taking off is a different story.
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  • grafton

    Posts: 24667

    Posted:
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    ALL ships can land...... once. Taking off is a different story.

    The Dragonfly might be small enough to completely burn up on re-entry, though, @Starlin. ;)
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  • Eistrias

    Posts: 5

    Posted:
    Edited: by Eistrias
    Posted:
    Edited:
    a
  • CaptMal

    Posts: 12372

    Posted:
    Posted:
    [hide]

    [hide]

    ALL ships can land...... once. Taking off is a different story.

    The Dragonfly might be small enough to completely burn up on re-entry, though, @Starlin. ;)
    Still lands, just a little worse for wear.
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  • Boldheart

    Posts: 784

    Posted:
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    [hide]

    I did a little searching around to get a sense for what the atmospheric flight model goal is, shape is the guide for how well a ship performs, so a sabre would probably fly like a F-15 and a hornet like an A-10.
    Is atmospheric entry going to be designed with the same approach? Would ships like the aurora struggle with heat and pressure possibly requiring a ferry service in and out of atmosphere? And ships like the hornet could just muscle through with stronger shields and armor?
    I'm not familiar with the physics, so I'm not sure what would be plausible.

    Most small -> medium ships can land on planets. You only begin having problems when you start getting upwards of say the Idris or Endeavor class ships
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  • CaptMal

    Posts: 12372

    Posted:
    Posted:
    [hide]

    [hide]

    I did a little searching around to get a sense for what the atmospheric flight model goal is, shape is the guide for how well a ship performs, so a sabre would probably fly like a F-15 and a hornet like an A-10.
    Is atmospheric entry going to be designed with the same approach? Would ships like the aurora struggle with heat and pressure possibly requiring a ferry service in and out of atmosphere? And ships like the hornet could just muscle through with stronger shields and armor?
    I'm not familiar with the physics, so I'm not sure what would be plausible.

    Most small -> medium ships can land on planets. You only begin having problems when you start getting upwards of say the Idris or Endeavor class ships
    Idris lands. Reclaimer lands. Orion doesn't land. Endeavor doesn't land, but the front section does.
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