Note: This is the html version of the ingame Arrow's help file. (With images and a some sections added)


Presentation of the Arrow Freighter (Available only in this html doc)
Features list & Using the Virtual cockpit
Using the two special Autopilots (hover and autoland)
The three ambiance roof screen & UMMu Action Area
The countdown timer
The security maneuver mode
The captain's room
Important notes and tips
Important notes and tips 2
Configure the arrow (engines power, reserves, sounds...)
Keyboard key list
Limitation and specification chart
Make new skin, cargos, roof screen, add cargo support: Docs, psd and C++ SDK
Author note
Thanks & Credit (Available only in this html doc)


Go to main UCGO documentation

Presentation of the Arrow Freighter


The Arrow Freighter class vessel was created for deep solar system exploration and exploitation. Its goal is mainly to make long range cruise and land on small moon without or with tiny atmosphere. Its shaped hull was designed to resist about any chimic condition as for example Titan's atmosphere while the wings (that contain also rcs and radiators) help control and reduce constraints.

The Arrow freighter was built by Spacetech corp in LMO (Low Moon Orbit) and launched in 2039. Its lenght is 237 meter, it weight 3940 tons (max 5210 tons at full charge) and is powered by 6 RBK-H7 engines (main) and 12 RSB-H1 engine. (retro, hover)



First Arrow in construction the 15 october 2037 during the famous solar storm. All personnal where evacuated, the picture was taken by HMO SatCop.
First Arrow in construction the 15 october 2037 during the famous solar storm. All personnal where evacuated, the picture was taken by HMO SatCop.



The first Titan's flight 27 may 2043 taken by a droped camera.
The first Titan's flight 27 may 2043 taken by a droped camera.
RBK-H7 engines. Powerful but fragile until actual version (r23) went out in 2045.
RBK-H7 engines. Powerful but fragile until actual version (r23) went out in 2045.





The technical solutions of the Arrow Freighter

I'll not speak here about obvious fictionnal things but about thoses that seem unrealistic or strange and still have some good answers.

Schematic view of sleeping position
Schematic view of sleeping position
The first problem is low gravity which is deadly on the long term for astronauts healt. In this domain the calculations show that the Arrow's wheel give about 0.62G (0.618G at head's point). The problem is that such small diameter wheel would give bad head-to-foot gravity gradient this is why its only used for sleep. The horizontal position in the gradient and the low activity almost solve the problems.

On the image you see the sleeping rooms and crew position in the wheel. Notice the center rooms (0.56G) are not used for sleep but for things that require minimal gravity as hydroponic.



The radiations are another deadly problem for long range cruise. This is solved in the Arrow mainly by the use of double-hull, new anti-radiation material and the existence of radiation armored protection rooms in the center of vessel (surounded by tanks and all other systems) in case of very high radiation crisis.
The windows are made of multi-layers materials included quartz (for temperature) and metallic compounds coating glass (for radiation). The opacity is also controlled by fast reaction sensor to protect eyes.



Hover landing and take-off for a long and heavy vessel on relief terrain might be tricky this is why the landing gear are so long and equiped with height over ground mesurment lasers, weight captors and fast effectors to adapt themself to the terrain and keep the ship perfectly leveled for safe take-off.



The aerodynamical hull have several good reasons do be done so even there is no air in space. Structural resistance and airtightness is much better and simpler to achieve with such shape and the Arrow can also land on moon with atmosphere included chimically agressive atmosphere as on Titan.

The Arrow cannot aerobrake but even descending in atmosphere at subsonic speed using the hovers is much easier whith an aerodynamical shaped hull and somes computer controled surface. The wings contain also RCS, radiators and several captors, antennas and instruments.




Features list & Using the Virtual cockpit

Main VCMain VC
Captain's room VCCaptain's room VC
Hi-res texturesHi-res textures
Local lightsLocal lights


Arrow's Features:
•Fully clickable Virtual cockpit with 4 MFD.
•Skins support
•Can dock a vessel in bay (DGIV or XR2 like)
•Can release an exploration Rover on ground (Azure Rover of UCGO)
•Bay and cargo zone local light.
•Support Universal Cars cargo (up to 40 cargos)
•Support UMMU (up to 20 crew)
•Anim of bay door, gravity wheel, gears,rover and crew lift.
•Basic life support managment (02 consumption, impact death)
•Engine power and various things as reserve consumption can be tuned by configuration file.

Using the Virtual cockpit:
Systems remain basic and simple. All buttons work and most are self explanatory. Only somes buttons
on the left panel with a red frame around them are fake, just for the look.

You can click on thrust gauge on the center screen to set thrust as well as the fuel gauge wich will
give you the detail of remaining fuel. MFD screen also respond to click. (MFD buttons)
You can manage crew, systems, doors, cargo and skin on the right console (below this help)
You can have a closer view of the front window and look around, hit CTRL+ALT+UP.
(ctrl+alt+down to get back)



Using the two special Autopilots (hover and autoland)

The autopilots switchesThe autopilots switches


Autoland autopilot:
Landing such heavy ship can be tricky for newbies and no one in reality would land it manually.
The autoland pilot can deorbit and land you safely and smoothly, given you take care to launch
it properly;

1-Autoland need a XPDR or VOR frequency with a range of 1500km and will land right on the transmitter.
2-UMMU or cars can emit XPDR but there is a special balise cargo that you can deploy. Sending
   a litle reco ship deploying this balise before landing would be a realistic procedure. (DGIV for example)
3-Arrange your orbit so it pass right over the balise beetween 10 and 25km high.
4-Launch the autoland pilot about 1000km before arriving to the balise.

Important Notes:
The Arrow freighter is not designed to land on a planet with consistent atmosphere, the autoland is
only certified for no or tiny atmosphere moon. The autoland pilot can also be launched at low speed
and altitude when hovering around base. Dock or VTOL MFD can give your more information about the
target.

Auto Hover autopilot:
This autopilot can help you during your approach, landing or take-off. Up and down keyboard key allow
you to set vertical speed as well as the two buttons "+-" next to the pilot's button. Increment
is 0.10m/s below 2m/s and 1m/s above.



The three ambiance roof screen & UMMu Action Area

The roof screensThe roof screens


The three ambiance roof screen:

They are mainly here for the ambiance, the feeling of being in a real cockpit. They show random images
that are related to the body you orbit or the zone you are (eg: close to sun, deepspace or in asteroid
area)

The buttons "roof screen" on the panel below allow you to set the display delay, set them to manual
change (click on each screen) or set them off. Those setting are persistents.

Two cases show specifics screen : when you crash and when the o2 reserve drope below 5%, 2%
and 1%. In this case the time acceleration reduce to 1x, this help you save your crew from suffocation.

By default all major bodies are provided for a total of 880 images. Adding more is very easy, so more
may appear as addons on orbithangar. (search about "mosaic" "roof screen" "arrow")

The actions area:

From ground you can remotely open/close lift and bay doors with an UMMU. Just go under Azure,
crew lift or under bay door and hit <enter>. A message and a sound will inform you of what you
triggered. In an Ummu hit CTL+enter to know if there is action area in the vincinity.

Virtual representation of two action areaVirtual representation of two action area




The countdown timer

The countdown buttonsThe countdown buttons
Example of Countdown setExample of Countdown set


The countdown timer: MUST HAVE

The countdown timer not only will add a great sound ambiance to your burn, but it will also reduce your
time acceleration mistake by almost 90%.
  
Feature:
•Countdown that reduce time acceleration smoothly to 1x as it reach zero.
•Humain readable time display (years, month, hours instead of millions seconds).
•Play radio announce at 10mn 5mn, 2mn, 1mn, 30 sec and the final countdown (10,9,8...)
•Delay for time acceleration reduction to 1x can be set from 60 to 600 second before zero.

Use:
When any instument display a delay (imfd, transx etc.) click "Set" on the center console then enter
this number minus 10-20 seconds and press <enter>. Watch the instrument as it reach the number you
entered and at the exact time press key <space> or click "start/stop" button. Timer is started, check
that the numbers match then enjoy time acceleration without fear and enjoy also the voice announces
and countdown before burn or maneuver.

To enter the time you can use hh:mm:ss format or mm:ss or ss. Example: "100:120:10" will give 102h and
10 seconds "2450" will give 40 minutes and 50 seconds while "25000000" will give 9.65 month. So after
9.65 month the time acceleration will reduce to 1x right on the delay you set (by default 60 seconds).
To change this delay click "Set" and press <enter> without any input. (This setting is persistent)



The security maneuver mode

Security mode's button. In progressSecurity mode's button. In progress


The security maneuver mode: MUST TRY

Started by a button on center panel this mode is mainly for ambiance and is absolutely not mandatory.
It simulate with sounds the fact that the crew is preparing the ship for a burn.

When the security maneuver mode start several things happen:

•A main announce is done as if the captain warn the crew about the maneuver.
•All the open doors close automatically after a delay. (bay, lifts, wheel)
•Fasten belt sign light.
•During the time the crew is "preparing" the ship (about 200 secondes) 30 random ambiance sound play:
  Noise of belt, system powering up, radios, doors and various.
•In external view you can see the crew in cockpit wearing spacesuit with belts fasten.
•All doors are locked simulating a "security mode"

Note:
•There is no penalty if you leave your crew with belt fasten during month.
•Ambiance sound don't play if you use time acceleration. (only main announces)

With the countdown timer (see precedent page) you'll really have the feeling that there is a living
crew aboard during your important maneuvers.



The captain's room

The captain's roomThe captain's room
Windows close view with Titan behindWindows close view with Titan behind


The captain's room: MUST TRY

This room is located behind the front-hull left side windows. yet you cannot do
any action in it appart taking some rest and enjoy the view during long trip.

To access the captain's room hit CLT+Down, you can have a closer view of the windows with the
key CTL+ALT+Up (CTL+ALT+ Down to come back) and finally CTL+Up to get back to the main VC.

Such "normal" room design in zero gravity may look strange but this was done for crew's morale
wich stay sometime several years far from home. The captain also sleep in the wheel for healt
concern so this room serve only when off duty.

There is a lot of bars, belt and the walls are made in soft material to prevent wounds.

NOTE: You can use the countdown timer to get warned about maneuver in captain's cabin.

If your system can't handle it (very low graphic memory) you can deactivate the captain's room
in the configuration.

The captain's cabin is located behind thoses two windowsThe captain's cabin is located behind thoses two windows




Important notes and tips

The default Orbiter's engineThe default Orbiter's engine
Same scene on DX9Same scene on DX9


Important notes and tips:

•Turn on antialiasing or better use the new DX9 or DX11 engine for Orbiter !
  The new Arrow have bigger textures and fine details that will badly render on the default engine
  without antialiasing. You can download the new DX9 or DX11 engine on the main orbiter forum.
  (see sticky topics on "Orbiter Visualization Project" forum)
  Even with those engines remember to turn AA, font quality and other quality setting to the max.
  Turn also on "local light sources" in Visual effect tab of launchpad. (bay and cargo area light)

•All my addons have been updated for DX9 and DX11, ensure you have the latest "2012" version !
  This include OrbiterSound, DGIV (with new features), UMmu, UCGO and all my orbiterhangar addons.

•DO NOT land with a vessel docked. Safety rules forbid this. (In reality Orbiter has a bug with
  docked vessel when landing). The dock 2 is rotated at 90░ so the XR5 can dock.

•Gravity wheel need time to start/stop and should NOT be started when there is already have gravity
  or acceleration (engine running, planet etc). Animation of wheel does not depend on the time
  acceleration as to look realistic during a long trip. Improper use of wheel will not harm your crew.

•Rover lift can only grapple an Azure rover and no other cars, if you lost yours, spawn one by using
  the scenario editor. When the rover lift is deployed you can drive it. To get back park the rover on
  the lift and stow it. The rover Azure can take two cargo on it's top. (Key "C" see cars' help).



Important notes and tips 2

Paying attention to Arrow's limitation is vitalPaying attention to Arrow's limitation is vital


Important notes and tips 2:

•Lack of oxygen, excess temperature, G, pressure or crash will kill your crew or destroy the arrow.
watch the front screen's data. You can set or disable those limit in configuration. (see next page)
In case of danger you'll have messages and sound and the time acceleration will be set back to 1X.

•An UMmu can only enter or transfer in the active dock/exit. Remember to select the correct dock/exit.

•4 "Oxygen" type cargo are enough to refill your O2 tanks. (click "Use O2" button) Remember to take
  some. You can use fuel cargo but it will not add that much to your 800 ton tank. They can be important
  tought to refuel your child vessel. (if it fully support ucgo as the dgIV)

•UCGO Cargos can be spawned by scenario editor but in Arrow and in each of the UCGO addons you
  can browse trought all cargo available and add them with key or buttons.

•UCGO Cargo can also be grappled by Cars, UMMU, DGIV, the special ShuttleA and ISS provided with
  UCGO and some other vessels.

•The ShuttleA and ISS "UCGO & UMmu" provided with this addon doesn't replace your stock ISS and
  shuttleA. On orbiterhangar you can find a version that allow you to replace stock in every scenario.

•You can change the 30 radio chatter sound, see folder "Sound\UCGOArrow\RadioChatter".



Configure the arrow (engines power, reserves, sounds...)

Vessel Configuration:
To change the values below edit this file with notepad:
Config\Vessels\UCGO\Vessels\UCGOArrowFreighter.cfg

You can:
•Change or disable the vessels limitations (pressure, temperature, G)
•Change the engine power (rcs, main, hover)
•Change the ISP (this changes the fuel consumption if you want a huge fuel reserve)
•Set the maximum oxygen reserve (from 15 days to 96 months)
•Set if vessel needs at least one crew to be controlled.
•Change the refresh frequency of the center display.
•Change the radio chatter delay.
•Disable the ambiance sounds.
•Disable the ambiance sound for the security mode.
•Disable the exhaust flickers effect.
•Disable the auto IDS frequency selection.
•Enable the wheel turning like a mad with time acceleration.

Note:
To refill your O2 tank either use 4 "Oxygen" type cargo or edit the scenario with
notepad and set "O2_RESERVE" value to 100.0




Keyboard key list

Special keyboard key:
CTL+Down Go to Captain's room (VC), CTL+Up to get back to main VC.
1 or 2 Select Member to EVA
E Eva selected crew member
M Add a crew Member to vessel
A Deploy the lift Airlock (to EVA on ground)
C Grapple A Cargo (must be <50m from center)
SHIFT+C Release a Cargo
SHIFT+E Use closest fuel cargo and add its content to your ship
CTRL+E Use closest oxygen cargo and add its content to your ship
8 Cycle - trought cargos in Orbiter installation.
9 Cycle + trought cargos in Orbiter installation.
SHFT+9 Add to first free slot the last selected cargo by key "9" or "8"
U Deploy the Azure Rover (on ground)
G Toggle Gear
B Toggle vessel Bay door (can contain one docked ship)
W Toggle Gravity Wheel
N Toggle Nav and Strobe Light
5 Toggle Autoland Pilot (top of keyboard)
space start the countdown timer

View: CTRL+ALT+UP Front window View (ctrl+alt+down to get back)



Limitation and specification chart

No html doc for this help topic !

Vessel limitation as temperatures, G and pressure are dynamically displayed in
the Arrow's ingame help as they depend of the Arrow's configuration.
Please refer to ingame help ! (right panel button help)

The limitation screen contain vital informationThe limitation screen contain vital information






Make new skin, cargos, roof screen, add cargo support: Docs, psd and C++ SDK

What you can do as addons for UCGO:

•Create or skin vehicles.
•Create or skin cargos.
•Make your vessel cargo compatible. (Full C++ copy/past doc available)
•Make your vessel UMmu 2.5 compatible. (Full C++ copy/past doc available)


What you can do as addons for the Arrow Freighter:

•Make new skins.
•Create new roof screen mosa´cs.
•Translate help, doc for your language's community.
•Change the radio sound.

One adress for all that, the developer doc located here:
Doc\UniversalCarsAndCargos






Author note

Author's note


As promised in the first release's doc, the Arrow is my new toy and I bet it's not the last release. :)
I plan more VC, more systems, more fun, I have a load of ideas for it.

For now the Arrow is fully mature and its status is not anymore only a UCGO feature demonstrator.
It's now one of the nicer Orbiter's futuristic ship and a great ship for system exploration.

I wish you a lot of pleasure flying with it.

Thanks to the whole Orbiter's community and especially all the peoples that have helped or
supported me, you can find their name in the html doc.

  
   DanSteph - January 2014



See main documentation's thanks section
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