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Mirrors not working on Toroid station - Printable Version

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Mirrors not working on Toroid station - Mandella - 10-16-2016

Either I've got a bug, or maybe I'm just being clueless here, but I've built a Toroid station in low earth orbit that when I switch to inside view to place my buildings I get a light/dark cycle which seems, surprise surprise, to coincide with the spin of the station.

Both mirrors are in place (the big mirror floating "above" the station, and the angled ring mirror build into the spokes), and seem to be reflecting in the outside view. The station and big mirror seem to be oriented properly to the sun. Is this a known bug? I'm running win10 with an Nvidia 970, latest drivers.


RE: Mirrors not working on Toroid station - JoeStrout - 10-17-2016

(10-16-2016, 09:25 PM)Mandella Wrote: Either I've got a bug, or maybe I'm just being clueless here, but I've built a Toroid station in low earth orbit that when I switch to inside view to place my buildings I get a light/dark cycle which seems, surprise surprise, to coincide with the spin of the station.

Not quite — the light/dark cycle coincides with the orbit of the station around the Earth.  About half the time, your station is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, so your mirrors have no significant light to reflect.

We have to play a little loose with the timescale of the simulation, but basically one simulated day is about 30 seconds.  In low Earth orbit, you're in darkness for about 45 minutes out of every 90 (in real life), which would work out to a seizure-inducing 0.9 out of every 1.8 seconds in the game.  We didn't want to do that to our players, so we stretch it out.

This will cause your residents to complain (people don't have much use for a 45-minute night!), and of course it also affects thermal balance and power production (if you're using solar panels).

So, yeah, mirrors aren't much use in a low orbit... they work great in a high orbit, though!


RE: Mirrors not working on Toroid station - Mandella - 10-17-2016

(10-17-2016, 09:56 AM)JoeStrout Wrote:
(10-16-2016, 09:25 PM)Mandella Wrote: Either I've got a bug, or maybe I'm just being clueless here, but I've built a Toroid station in low earth orbit that when I switch to inside view to place my buildings I get a light/dark cycle which seems, surprise surprise, to coincide with the spin of the station.

Not quite — the light/dark cycle coincides with the orbit of the station around the Earth.  About half the time, your station is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, so your mirrors have no significant light to reflect.

We have to play a little loose with the timescale of the simulation, but basically one simulated day is about 30 seconds.  In low Earth orbit, you're in darkness for about 45 minutes out of every 90 (in real life), which would work out to a seizure-inducing 0.9 out of every 1.8 seconds in the game.  We didn't want to do that to our players, so we stretch it out.

This will cause your residents to complain (people don't have much use for a 45-minute night!), and of course it also affects thermal balance and power production (if you're using solar panels).

So, yeah, mirrors aren't much use in a low orbit... they work great in a high orbit, though!

Ah, got it! Obviously, I've just started playing with this sim -- I knew I probably shouldn't be building anything as big as this station in low orbit, but the cost savings!  Smile

This also explains why you lock the sun in one position in LEO -- it would be pretty dizzying in a real scale. It does bring up the question of whether it would be worth the effort to simulate a sun-synchronous low orbit for your game. Not as cost effective to get to and fro, but nice for the constant solar power and lighting.

Thanks for the quick reply! 


RE: Mirrors not working on Toroid station - JoeStrout - 10-18-2016

(10-17-2016, 11:10 AM)Mandella Wrote: This also explains why you lock the sun in one position in LEO -- it would be pretty dizzying in a real scale. It does bring up the question of whether it would be worth the effort to simulate a sun-synchronous low orbit for your game. Not as cost effective to get to and fro, but nice for the constant solar power and lighting.

You're right about the locked sun in the external view. But, I'm a bit embarrassed to say, we never considered a sun-synchronous low orbit! The equatorial orbit is pretty ideal from a radiation point of view, because you are deep within the magnetosphere and avoid the South Atlantic Anomaly.

But you're right, the advantages of constant sunlight could be substantial. I will need to look into this more! Thank you for suggesting it.