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Ion/ Hydrogene Hybrid Idea

Discussion in 'General' started by Hellothere!, Nov 10, 2015.

?

Do you think this might be worth a shot?

  1. Yes, I can see the benefits

    18 vote(s)
    75.0%
  2. No, my maneuvering speed is high enough as it is

    1 vote(s)
    4.2%
  3. No, why not just use more ion thrusters?

    1 vote(s)
    4.2%
  4. Yes, because HYDROGEN

    1 vote(s)
    4.2%
  5. No, get your hydrogen out of my face! I'm sticking with Ion

    3 vote(s)
    12.5%
Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Hellothere! Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    412
    After we got the shiny new hydrogen thrusters I put some thought into how you might use them outside of their intended field, for example in space warfare.
    Since a hydrogen-only ship would quickly run out of fuel, hybrid ships seem to be the only option.
    As with many other people, my first idea was to use hydrogen thrusters as boosters to grant you some extra forward acceleration on demand.

    However, this seems kind of wasteful. Most larger ships already have decent forward acceleration, and there are very few situations where a forward thrust boost would give you a significant edge in combat.

    Then I had the idea to do things exactly the other way around, and put hydrogen thrusters on every side except for the back, and at least to me this idea seems to actually have some potential.

    You see, a ships main engines (the ones propelling you forward) are the ones that usually do most of the work.
    The maneuvering and braking thrusters on the other hand are mostly used in short bursts. They are dead weight most of the time, but the you need them, they are always too weak. Thus I propose a vessel that exclusively uses ion engines for forward acceleration, but can activate optional hydrogen thrusters to bring the acceleration into every other direction at a similar pace when needed, thus enabling you to do evasive maneuvers etc. much faster than your opponents.
     
  2. Leadfootslim Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,300
    Not a bad plan! In my early ventures designing high-speed racing craft, I ran into similar issues with needing side and up/down thrust a lot more than forward or back ones. Being able to do drift turns at high speed while maintaining a desired forward facing would be crucial for combat, too.

    It's worth noting, however, that turrets alter how you do fighting; keeping a direct forward heading isn't nearly as important, so you can get away with wider strafe arcs. Large ships also don't need as much maneuverability for this reason... most of the time.
     
  3. Nickvr68 Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    529
    Especially since the dampener nerf a lot of my designs for large ships have been drifting a lot. I might have to integrate hydogen thrusters into my maneuvering banks in the future designs.
     
  4. Eternal Visitor Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    71
    I've been thinking about single hydrogen thrusters in back as a booster, but most of my designs are battery and solar powered, not sure how well any of them would take the conversion..
     
  5. AirplaneFood Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    148
    I had an idea similar-ish to what you said; (Its in the book I am writing actually) where, instead of a mixture of hydrogen and Ion thrusters, they are combined into 1 thruster. (In my story though, these are outdated by a couple hundred years :p ) (It was plasma instead of Ion too, but you get the point)
     
  6. waterlimon Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,499
    One advantage of hydrogen thruster is more thrust per surface area.

    So they should be useful if you want to minimize the cross section of your ship (to avoid being hit), and even if not, you can have more armor/guns and less thruster exposed (assuming youre not 'cheating' with internal thrusters...).
     
  7. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Messages:
    4,841
    Well, a small hydrogen thruster still consumes two blocks of space if you include the necessary small conveyor tube needed to run it... plus the piping leading back to the hydrogen tank.

    If the line gets hit during combat, then anything that relies on that pipe goes dead. So in order to be combat effective backup piping would be mandatory to ensure functionality. That in and of itself is additional space and mass... plus hydrogen systems are much more vulnerable since they cannot be enveloped by armor, they require one block for conveyors that lead to other conveyors and eventually a tank.

    You would have to ensure that a direct hit to a thruster by a rocket/missile wouldn't cripple the entire system or a critical portion of the ship.

    The thrusters also have a limited fuel supply. Carrying extra ice to be converted and additional hydrogen tanks on a small ship would create a mass issue. So expect your hydrogen to run dry over an extended engagement. With the advent of small ship turrets, lots of maneuvering will be necessary; not rapid changes in velocity but ever vectoring changes in trajectory so that the turrets cannot establish a predictable lock. Your maneuvering thrusters will be constantly firing as you're varying your envelope.

    The only viable solution would be to ensure that the amount of ion maneuvering thrusters for each side are adequate to do their job with the hydrogen thrusters used to create an advantage but not a dependency. So I would definitely test the system with the hydrogen thrusters switched off. But if you're building a system that is already responsive without hydrogen thrusters, then there is very little return in adding hydrogen thrusters on top of that.

    I'm still more of a proponent of rear facing thrusters. Braking takes a long time with maneuvering thrusters of almost any configuration. So for faster slowing, you'll probably turn your ship to use your rear engines for retro burn. With they added hydrogen engines all at the rear, you can retro-brake faster AS WELL as accelerate away even faster once that portion of the maneuver is over.

    Your opponent in the hydrogen-for-maneuvering set-up will overshoot you quite a bit during their retro turn. In order to engage you, they will have to enter a retro-burn, assuming that their weapons face forward. You will slow first and they will continue to slide. You will accelerate away as they are still sliding in the opposite direction. You will accelerate faster than they do with their ion-only main thrusters... creating even more of a distance. You will reach maximum speed and eventually they will too... but with your opponent well out range.

    At this point, you control the encounter. They have no means of closing that distance. If you continue, you can hold them off indefinitely until someone decides to turn.

    As the pursuer. You also have the advantage with faster forward acceleration, you are able to close the gap much faster. As an attacker, you have to get into range and say in range.

    My strategy would be to pile on the hydrogen thrusters facing rear and to up the amount of gyroscopes so that they can be shifted into retro-burn at the blink of an eye and possibly even be disengaged at a moment's notice to confuse your opponent. I would also map the inertial dampeners to a spare mouse button to turn that function on and off without having to take your hand off of any thruster keys.

    Those are just my thoughts and I expect them to be contradicted in full. However, I'd rather have one excellent set of rear thrusters than disburse them over 6 directions... assuming all things are equal between ships regarding the mass, number, and types of thrusters.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  8. Lleajy Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    33
    I'm planning on having stations orbiting, with ice stock and hydrogen setup to dock with for landing, and the same on the planete for takeoff.
    I don't want to spend my time harvesting ice. Unless you know an other way, hydrogen thruster seems to be costly for regular use.
     
  9. Marneus Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    382
    I only see benefit in a hybrid ship if you need a planetary capable ship or to avoid crashing your ship in a planet. I think in my capital ships I'll only put hydrogen thrusters in the back for the extra acceleration and for if I have to avoid getting caught in a gravity trap (aka planets).

    Still, I'm waiting for planets to make any time costly design. We just don't know how natural gravity will affect our designs. The first week of planets I'm going to spend testing designs and re designing them.
     
  10. Hellothere! Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    412
    That's exactly what I meant. Large ships don't need much maneuver thrust most of the time, since they can just turn and use their main engines. Thus spamming your front, sides, top and bottom with ion engines is useless.
    There are however situations where you do need that extra maneuverability, for example if you want to avoid getting hit by torpedoes, or crashing into stuff on short notice. This is exactly why hydrogen maneuvering boosters would be so effective. They are not needed most of the time, but can save you in situations where other ships might run head on into a wave of torpedoes due to the lack of evasive capability.
     
  11. Verkham Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    10
    I'm writing a story too (not a book, not yet),so... I need to ask.

    What do you think of Antimatter thruster?

    They are supposed to be extremely powerful as the ships they impulse have a enormous weight thanks to the outside armor. (Which is made of an Alien material [You don't want to know how do they obtain it] which I call "Tjyorolite" [also, wadaya think of the name?]).


    I need opinions, I'm stuck with the Tech.:(


    Edit: It is out of topic... My apologies.
     
  12. AirplaneFood Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    148
    I tend to dislike antimatter because it is overused, and since when it comes into contact with matter, it basically becomes a nuke, I can't see how you would make that work :p Plasma has always been my choice for everything. (and I hope in real life to do some experiments with it)

    As for the name, I can't pronounce it, so it must be good! :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  13. Verkham Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    10
    Hm, good point about the overuse of antimatter, thoughI've been thinking today and I thought of ships attacking the antimatter containment unit just to make the ship go boom.

    I'll think of something else.

    And the name is kinda pronounced... TIO-RO-LITE.... LITE is kinda like Hematite.
     
  14. Me 10 Jin Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    463
    Tylorite? Sounds like something the Tonka Mining Corp. would dig up.

    Anyways, the OP's idea of using hydrogen thrusters for maneuvering ships that typically just go forwards is pretty good. I would tweak it to use ion thrusters for movement both forwards and backwards, since the ship would do most of its accelerating on that axis.
     
  15. Catfish Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    195
    Hydrogen for emergency-braking seems like a good idea. Still, most of the time better planning would erase the need for those. To me, the most sensible use of H in zero-g would be to move a really heavy station, or to get a PMW up to speed quickly. Come to think of it, I wonder if H thrusters are equivalent to ion for causing damage. If not, that might change how they can be used.
     
  16. BlackUmbrellas Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,818
    In fairness, antimatter-as-rocket-fuel has some solid scientific backing as a theoretical high-energy power source.

    It does require some hefty containment though.
     
  17. Morrigi Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    240
    Yeah, the problem with antimatter is actually producing and containing the stuff.
     
  18. Verkham Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    10
    Yeah, I wonder if someone has thought of creating a mod with a realistic approach to antimatter.

    Maybe some new blocks like a Containment unit, antimatter factory and electromagnetic conveyors (Because I don't think normal conveyors will be safe enough). And of course, the Thruster.

    Maybe even weaponry... But that's too much already.
     
  19. Morrigi Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    240
    Dear god, an antimatter-pumped laser warhead would be terrifying.
     
  20. Verkham Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    10
    Indeed.

    I have many ideas for antimatter as weaponry, like a small blaster that fires cannonball sized antimatter blobs to one's enemies.

    What about some cannister that contains this thing, which is used in atmospheres?
     
  21. BlackUmbrellas Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,818
    I take it you're not much of a "hard sf" type, eh?

    No shame, in fairness, but, uh... just know that that's a patently silly idea.
     
  22. Verkham Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    10
    No offense taken.

    But, talking about them doesn't mean I will add them in my story, actually it just crazy thing that I got on my mind that I think would look okay.

    And yeah, it's a silly idea now that I think about it.

    Bah, anyway, nice talking you guys.
     
  23. TungstenWall Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    129
    I have yet to complete any ship yet (I keep changing my mind of roles) but IMO I want to use Hydrogen thrust for travel, but will still have minimal Ion thrust for a sort of Economy/Emergency movement mode.
     
  24. BlackUmbrellas Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,818
    I mean like... silly doesn't have to be bad? IIRC, Dragoons from starcraft threw around antimatter bolts as their primary armament.

    Given the right setting, stuff like that can work great. It just seems out-of-place to raise in discussion about a game that aims for more realistic technology, like Space Engineers.
     
  25. Hellothere! Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    412
    I don't have any exact calculations and am too lazy to look them up, but a cannonball sized blob of antimatter probably has enough energy to destroy the moon. So yeah. No.
    Most realistic applications probably won't use antimatter directly, but have an antimatter generator on board of your ship that produces the energy for your engines and weapons.

    There might also be possibilities of direct antimatter powered engines and antimatter warheads for missiles, but I'm pretty sure ships will never shoot unconstrained antimatter at each other.
     
  26. Verkham Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    10
    Right!

    Damn, I wasn't considering the massive energy output, I was kidding myself with the size of the blob.

    Thank you.


    Oh, but I understand, really.

    And, that's why I was kinda saying my byes, because I feel I've made this talk longer than it should've been.

    I feel I derailed the post from the original topic.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  27. blizzerd Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    478
    Unconstrained antimatter as a projectile could be 100% countered by just applying a large but thin cloud of random shit (oxygen for example) around your spacecraft.

    The enemy would fire into it, the projectile would eventually collide with a random shit atom, explode pre-emptively and create a larger cloud of random shit as it catalyses the energy of the anti matter not able to annihilate with matter into new "normal" mass.

    If we ever use antimatter as an explosive, it will be in a shell that gets lunged at an enemy and relies on the containment of the antimatter to be broken once impact is made.
     
  28. BlackUmbrellas Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,818
    Congrats! You still set off an antimatter explosion nearby your ship. Buh-bye!

    (There's also the question of how you apply a "large but thin cloud" of anything around your ship in the first place...)
     
  29. blizzerd Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    478
    Well, space is big... its easy to have clouds literally span thousands of solar systems. some places dense enough to form stars and so forth

    maybe its less of "lets make a cloud" then "lets find a cloud dense enough" or "lets fire a bunch of random atoms in a shotgun style mannerism towards an incoming antimatter projectile"

    All you would need to take out an antimatter projectile is 1 normal matter atom to come into contact with it...

    1 atom... heck, i dont think space is enough a vacuum to reliably fire an antimatter projectile over distances longer then lets say 0.001 au

    edit: also a cool idea is to have the cloud be magnetically held in place as a thin filament of atoms... this could be done over very long distances away from the ship and would only require the ship to stay stationary to be invulnerable to anti matter charges.

    edit edit: after some math, you could make an earth sized "atom field" of 1 atom thick where the atoms would be "back to back" with only the amount of water to roughly fill the hindenberg zeppelin... thats 152941m3 or a sphere with 34m radius
     
  30. BlackUmbrellas Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,818
    Yes, but that's not really plausible for a ship to create as a defensively-deployed shield, is it? Although you did acknowledge that;
    "Finding a cloud" is extremely unlikely. Space is big and mostly empty. If somebody's lobbed a nugget of antimatter at you with a railgun or something, you're not gonna be able to find "cover" in time. The speeds that'd likely be involved also make me inclined to think trying to "shoot down" the antimatter wouldn't be very easy, either.

    It's been a while since I've read up on this, but IIRC antimatter and regular matter do not universally annihilate; some atoms would repel some types of anti-atoms too strongly. Theoretically you could contain antimatter particles within carbon fullerenes (that is to say, tiny little carbon capsules).

    Maybe?

    Honestly, the problem with this is that it's all rather deep into speculative territory. I don't doubt it'd be more efficient to encapsulate any weaponized antimatter, but I'm also reasonably certain that it'd be (on the whole) easier to throw antimatter at somebody and have it explode close enough to irradiate them to death than it would be to prevent the antimatter from exploding within kill-range.
     
Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.