DCIRogue System
Dev Journal – 5/26/13

Well, I hope everyone had a good week; and if you’re in the States that you’re enjoying the holiday weekend.

So, life support–I’ve got most of the fundamentals of the system working as expected. The sim knows the elements that make up the “air” mixture, and the percentage of each both inhaled and exhaled. In the case of a human, a typical mixture might be 79% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen in; and 79% Nitrogen, 16% Oxygen and 5% Carbon Dioxide out (excluding the many trace elements found in Earth’s atmosphere).

“Air” can be recycled–in the case of a human using scrubbers to remove the CO2. What this means is a rather small supply of oxygen can go a long way. A slightly worse case is when the scrubbers are saturated, or no longer functional. In this case CO2 will slowly build up to a toxic level. At this point the entire “atmosphere” would have to be dumped and replenished. Again though, with the Nitorgen/Oxygen mixture a small supply of Oxygen would last a good while. The worst case scenario is the loss of the scrubbers AND the nitrogen element. Now, you’d have to dump the atmosphere as before, but you’d be rejecting a bunch of unused oxygen just to “purify” the atmosphere of CO2.

As in the prototype, EVERY BREATH (inhale and exhale) of EVERY crew member is tracked–the sim knows exactly how much of each element is being used, and how quickly. The loss of Oxygen (thus creating a nitrogen-rich atmosphere), or the loss of scrubber functionality (CO2 rich) can be devastating to human crew members–leading to unconsciousness, and finally asphyxiation. What this means is that for longer flights you’ll need to make sure you have enough “air” for everyone aboard.

Both you and the ship’s computer can determine the source of breathable gases (for example, if you had a Reactant Core with a spare tank you could fill it with Oxygen for a reserve supply).

Other Life Support functions are SAN (Suspended ANimation for long journeys [time advance]) as well as Acceleration Force Management (AFM). For AFM, there’s three different sub-systems that work in conjunction to allow a pilot to sustain much higher-than-normal G-loads. Pilots can still suffer tunnel vision, red-out, G-LOC, and even life-threatening G conditions–they just have a much higher tolerance to them.

Some other things that fall under the realm of Life Support are helmet and flight suit functionality, voice synthesis, Caution and Warning, and fire suppression (where there’s oxygen, there can be fire).

Next up are thrusters, flight computer and main engines. I’m also far enough along to start fleshing out the interior cockpit a bit, now that I have a much better idea of the required controls and functionality. I think I’ll change pace a bit and work on that tomorrow for a few hours. Also, I’d still like to get a bit of art up for the new ship exterior. I need to take another pass at it to incorporate some changes based on functionality before I can do that…

Anyway, that’s about it for now. Oh, by the way, I appreciate the many supportive comments lately. They DO help the motivation level, so thank you!

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At 0256 UTC on the 21st of July, an estimated 500 million people watch as Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on a world other than the Earth.
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