Author Topic: Part 6: Commercial Shipping  (Read 17150 times)

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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Part 6: Commercial Shipping
« on: January 16, 2010, 05:31:05 PM »
Part 6: Commercial Shipping

Right, lets get back to class design. Two important early classes are freighters and colony ships, so let's look at those next. The first thing we need to do is create a design for a commercial engine so open up the Create Research Project window and select Engines. Select the last option, Engine Platform, and switch it back and forth between the options for Military Engine and Commercial Engine while checking the difference this makes to the engine design. The Commercial Engine has a higher power output, 62 instead of 25, and is much more fuel efficient, using only 10% of the fuel of a military engine of the same power. It is also classed as a commercial system, which means it will not cause a ship design on which it is mounted to become a military vessel. However, it is five times more massive which means it has a lower power-to-weight ratio of 2.48-1 compared to 5-1 for the military engine. More advanced engine tech will provide improved power to weight ratio for both military and commercial. The commercial engine is slightly more expensive in overall terms but much cheaper on a per HS basis. Make sure you have the Commercial Engine platform selected, change the name if you wish and press Create. Make sure you are in SM mode, open up the Research tab of the Economics window, change to Power and Propulsion and use Instant on the new engine.

Change back to the Class Window (F5) and press New to begin a new class design. Change the name if you wish using Rename or Auto Rename and change the hull name to Freighter. Change to the Design View tab. As with the survey ship, a few basic systems will already be included in the design. This is a cargo ship so the first thing to add is cargo holds. We'll add five holds, for a reason I'll explain in a moment. Rather than double-clicking five times, select the option for 5 just under the Available Components list and double-click Cargo Hold once (it is in the Transport & Industry section). You should now have five cargo holds in the components list and the summary display should appear as below. If you were to double-click on the components list it would remove 5 as well.

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Atlas class Freighter    26000 tons     48 Crew     173 BP      TCS 520  TH 0  EM 0
1 km/s     Armour 1-78     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
Maintenance Capacity 4 MSP    Max Repair 5 MSP
Cargo 25000    

Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range N/A

This design is classed as a commercial vessel for maintenance purposes
As you can see, this is a much larger vessel than the survey ships we previously designed. It has to be in order to transport factories, mines, minerals, etc.. The reason for choosing five holds is that each hold can carry 5000 cargo points and 25,000 cargo points is the exact amount needed to transport a single mine, automated mine or industrial capacity (factory in v4.8 ). You could have a freighter with three holds or seven holds and it would move 0.6 or 1.4 mines or factories but moving them in whole numbers is easier to handle. Some installations, such as Research Facilities, are so large that you little option but to move them in sections. Each cargo hold can carry just 0.01 Research Facilities so even our new freighter with five cargo holds can carry only 0.05 Research Facilities. It would take twenty freighters of this type to move a Research Facility, or twenty trips by one freighter. Here is a list of some of the transport requirements for various installations.

Industrial Capacity (Construction, Ordnance and Fighter Factories in v4.8 ): 5 Cargo Holds
Mine, Automated Mine, Fuel Refinery, Tracking Station, Mass Driver, Maintenance Facility: 5 Cargo Holds
Terraforming Installation: 25 Cargo Holds
Research Facility: 100 Cargo Holds
PDC Component: 1 Cargo Hold
Trade Goods: 0.5 Cargo Holds
Infrastructure: 0.5 Cargo Holds
Minerals: 2500 tons of minerals per cargo hold

On the left-hand side of the Class Design window. just above the list of Materials Required, is a section entitled Load Time. This should show a value of 10:10:00 and is the time in days, hours and minutes to load the current design at a planet with no spaceport. Ten days and ten hours is far too long so we need to reduce that substantially. You can do this with cargo handling systems. Make sure the number option is set back to 1 and add one cargo handling system to the design (it is just above Cargo Hold on the Available Components list). The design should now have a Cargo Handling Multiplier of 5, which  means the load time is reduced by a factor of five and should now read 2:02:00. Add a second cargo handling system and the multiplier will change to 10 and the load time to 01:01:00. The summary display should now appear as below.

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Atlas class Freighter    26200 tons     68 Crew     193.5 BP      TCS 524  TH 0  EM 0
1 km/s     Armour 1-78     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
Maintenance Capacity 5 MSP    Max Repair 10 MSP
Cargo 25000    Cargo Handling Multiplier 10    

Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range N/A

This design is classed as a commercial vessel for maintenance purposes
If a colony has a Commercial Spaceport then the load time for a freighter (or colony ship) will be divided by the level of that spaceport plus one. So a Level 2 spaceport would divide the load time by 3. A Level 4 Spaceport would divide the load time by 5. After you build your first Spaceport on a colony, using Industrial Capacity to do so, every additional spaceport you build increases the level by 1. If the freighter is part of a Task Force (more on those later) and the Task Force HQ is in the same system, the load time is reduced by the Task Force Logistic Rating. The Logistics Rating for the task force is a combination of the Logistic bonus of the Logistics Staff Officer plus one-third the Logistics bonus of the Task Force Commander. The Task Force window is Ctrl-F4 if you want to peek, although at this point no one will be assigned as commander or to any of the staff positions.

Time for some engines. Begin adding commercial engines one at a time until the speed moves above 500 km/s. You should have six engines at this point. Because of the lower power to weight ratio of commercial engines, commercial-engined ships tend to be slower than their military engined counterparts. This is offset by a much better fuel efficiency and no maintenance failures. In effect, commercial engines are trading a high maximum speed for fuel economy and low running costs. The summary display should now appear as below.

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Atlas class Freighter    33850 tons     218 Crew     304 BP      TCS 677  TH 372  EM 0
549 km/s     Armour 1-93     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
Maintenance Capacity 6 MSP    Max Repair 16 MSP
Cargo 25000    Cargo Handling Multiplier 10    

Commercial Nuclear Thermal Engine (6)    Power 62    Fuel Use 10%    Signature 62    Armour 0    Exp 1%
Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range 26.6 billion km   (560 days at full power)

This design is classed as a commercial vessel for maintenance purposes
There is another school of thought on freighter design where you create a more expensive but faster ship. Below is the same freighter but with fifteen engines and an extra crew quarters. It is 59% more expensive and has a shorter range (although you can add more fuel storage to offset that) but it is 87% faster, which means cargo will get to its destination more quickly. Fewer of these ships could be built for the same money but they will transport more cargo over time due to their speed. Load time would be the same though so the most efficient design often will depend on how what proportion of the total travel time time the freighter will spend loading and unloading. Don't be concerned that the Max Repair cost is higher than the Maintenance Capacity as commercial vessels don't suffer maintenance failures. They can use the maintenance supplies for damage control but if this vessel is under attack then lack of maintenance supplies will be the least of its problems.

Code: [Select]
Atlas class Freighter    45350 tons     448 Crew     483.5 BP      TCS 907  TH 930  EM 0
1025 km/s     Armour 1-113     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
Maintenance Capacity 7 MSP    Max Repair 16 MSP
Cargo 25000    Cargo Handling Multiplier 10    

Commercial Nuclear Thermal Engine (15)    Power 62    Fuel Use 10%    Signature 62    Armour 0    Exp 1%
Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range 19.8 billion km   (224 days at full power)

This design is classed as a commercial vessel for maintenance purposes
Let's move on to a colony ship. Copy the Freighter Design, rename the new class and select Colony Ship for the hull name. Remove the five cargo holds but leave the two cargo handling systems. The design should appear as below

Code: [Select]
Mayflower class Colony Ship    8300 tons     193 Crew     197.5 BP      TCS 166  TH 372  EM 0
2240 km/s     Armour 1-36     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
Maintenance Capacity 15 MSP    Max Repair 16 MSP
Cargo Handling Multiplier 10    

Commercial Nuclear Thermal Engine (6)    Power 62    Fuel Use 10%    Signature 62    Armour 0    Exp 1%
Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range 108.4 billion km   (560 days at full power)

This design is classed as a commercial vessel for maintenance purposes
Start adding Cryogenic Transport Modules and watch as each one gradually reduces overall speed. Lets stick with four as that will keep the speed above the 1000 km/s level. You can play around with colony ships by changing the number of engines and number of modules to find something you like or perhaps create different types, such as small, fast ships or large ponderous ones. Here is the design with four modules.

Code: [Select]
Mayflower class Colony Ship    18550 tons     233 Crew     623.5 BP      TCS 371  TH 372  EM 0
1002 km/s     Armour 1-62     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
Maintenance Capacity 21 MSP    Max Repair 16 MSP
Colonists 40000    Cargo Handling Multiplier 10    

Commercial Nuclear Thermal Engine (6)    Power 62    Fuel Use 10%    Signature 62    Armour 0    Exp 1%
Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range 48.5 billion km   (560 days at full power)

This design is classed as a commercial vessel for maintenance purposes
The civilian sector will use your current designs when building their own ships so over time you will probably see a few of these designs belonging to civilian shipping lines. With the civilian sector in mind, lets design a third ship type. Copy the Colony Ship, rename the new class and select Luxury Liner as the hull type. Remove the four cryogenic transport modules and replace them with four Luxury Passenger Accommodation. Note that the Required Crew is now a lot higher so you will have to add two more crew quarters as well to get rid of a design error that has appeared in the bottom right. The resulting design should look like this.

Code: [Select]
Mauretania class Luxury Liner    18650 tons     603 Crew     653.5 BP      TCS 373  TH 372  EM 0
997 km/s     Armour 1-62     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
Maintenance Capacity 22 MSP    Max Repair 16 MSP
Passengers 1000    Cargo Handling Multiplier 10    

Commercial Nuclear Thermal Engine (6)    Power 62    Fuel Use 10%    Signature 62    Armour 0    Exp 1%
Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range 48.2 billion km   (560 days at full power)

This design is classed as a commercial vessel for maintenance purposes
Although there is no reason to build this design yourself, except perhaps for role-playing reasons, the shipping lines will occasionally decide to build passenger liners to transport people between established colonies or take a small amount of colonists to a new world. These trips generate as much income for the shipping lines (and tax money for you) as a colony ship of similar size and they are usually earning money in both directions. The civilians will use this design as the basis for those liners. You can play about with different liner designs (and colony ships/freighters) if you want to see more variety among the civilian ships, although as tech improves over time and you build new designs the civilians will pick up on those too.

Steve
 

Offline Kered

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engines
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 07:09:54 PM »
Sorry about this, but Im running version v6.  21 and there is no selection for commercial or military engines, it's all military engines, any way I can fix it?
 

Offline icecoldblood

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Re: Part 6: Commercial Shipping
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 07:29:11 PM »
This tutorial only applies for v5.6 and earlier. Look up the wiki for more up to date help:http://aurorawiki.pentarch.org/index.php?title=Main_Page. v6.0 drastically changed engines, so this tutorial is irrelevant to the current version.
 

 

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