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I know it's been a long time now since our last update — and we feel really lousy about that, but we are working hard on the next release, and here's proof.

We've just wrapped up support for windows to all geometry types.  I'm sure we'll work a bit more on the material, but the geometry (which is the hard work) is done and working great!

Here's an example of a cylinder habitat with windows for lighting:
[Image: 6f6Wz.jpg]
In the "Configuration" panel at lower left, you'll notice a new "Lighting" option (with a pop-up menu, which also required new code, but that's done now).  The options there are "None", "Electric", or "Windows".  New (as well as pre-version-0.17 designs) have this set to "Electric" by default, but if you change it to windows, you get something like the above.

Here's the same option set for sphere...
[Image: wfiMR.jpg]

...and for barbell...
[Image: wOPM5.jpg]

And finally, what is perhaps my favorite, the torus:
[Image: kMqqa.jpg]

This is a great one because it's the approach used in the classic "Stanford Torus" design:
[Image: torus-10fps.gif]
The image above is a ray-traced movie I made many years ago, as accurate to the Stanford Torus design as I could make it.  The big oval thing floating above the space colony itself is a mirror, to reflect light down into the colony.  (It's not positioned quite right relative to the light angle in this image, for artistic reasons.)

We're going to need mirrors in High Frontier, too, and for the same reason.  With the basic windows done, that's next on our list (though at the same time, we're also adding more decorations and water-management buildings).  Stay tuned!

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier

An alternative to windows, Fiberoptics! The problem I have with windows is that PSI becomes unsupported megatons. Fiberoptics can be run in massive bundles or single fibers through the structure. You can run bundles together to create a window or a single fiber to light a reading nook. The amount of light allowed to enter or leave a fiber can be gated by liquid crystals. Liquid crystals can be varied density and color allowing lighting of any type and any place needed.
If I did my calculations right at 4psi the total pressure on 1 acre of window is 1045.44 tons. Living on shipboard one learns about cumulative pressure, your life might depend on it.
Psi and acres aren't very intuitive units for me, but at first blush that sounds about right to me.

But I don't imagine you would have acres of solid acrylic; you'd have window panels supported by steel (or basalt fiber or whatever other new-age stuff your hull is made out of).

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier


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