Author Topic: Terraforming planning and case study (building big)  (Read 701 times)

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Offline Starmantle

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Terraforming planning and case study (building big)
« on: January 15, 2018, 02:13:42 PM »
You don't see a lot of descriptions of terraforming on Aurora forums, so I'm cutting and pasting the exigent pieces of logs here from my current game. We decided to go pretty big. We're also focusing a lot on deepening culture of different worlds in Sol before we do too much outside the system.

August 14, 2047

Scientist Lucas Obrien (BG 40%), Commander Jason Booth (Terraforming 30%), and Scientist Gemma Walsh (LG 35%) convene to vett possible solutions to long-term expansion to Luna, Mars, Ganymede, Callisto, and beyond. They outline a series of analysis and options for Governor Isaac Coles to choose from.

Option 0 - Continue on using infrastructure and add orbital habitats as a permanent solution to expansion throughout Sol. This is not a sustainable course because it is so duranium intensive and it doesn’t scale well.

Also, the Coles administration has made it clear that this isn’t the solution.

Option 1 - create ground-based terraformers like the two discovered on Callisto and now operating on Ganymede. Assuming this begins after advancement in terraforming efficiency (to .0012 bars) It would take 833 terraformer years. Producing these facilities would be slow, transporting them would take many new freighters, staffing them would take many millions of people, and moving them to the next target would be a laborious process.

Option 2 - Create a terraforming ship using the largest shipyard in orbit, This would be relatively simple to move, but the largest shipyard only holds 1 slip. Creating these in great numbers would take many decades and a fair percentage of shipbuilding resources.
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Gaia X1 class Terraformer 81 450 tons 350 Crew 1884 BP TCS 1629 TH 480 EM 0
294 km/s Armour 1-167 Shields 0-0 Sensors 1/1/0/0 Damage Control Rating 1 PPV 0 MSP 14 Max Repair 500 MSP Intended Deployment Time: 3 months Spare Berths 0
Terraformer: 3 module(s) producing 0.003 atm per annum

240 EP Commercial Ion Drive (2) Power 240 Fuel Use 3.54% Signature 240 Exp 4%

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

Option 3 - Pursue options 1 and 2 with gusto simultaneously.

Option 4 - Use principles from Scientist Gemma Walsh’s orbital habitat construct and apply them to orbital terraforming scaffolding. This structure could be built in Earth orbit with spindly arms stretching from space elevator to space elevator in upper atmosphere, not needing it’s own shipyard any more than a space elevator needs a shipyard. It would be ludicrously expensive, but could be controlled by a single expert in the field and might take just 20 years to add the equivalent of Earth’s atmosphere to a planet. It also has the benefit of providing habitation to 50,000 citizens and has a tractor beam to facilitate another large ship tugging it (though it’s an incredibly heavy construct)

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Gaia X2 Terraforming Scaffold 1 186 400 tons 3850 Crew 20939 BP TCS 23728 TH 2400 EM 0
101 km/s Armour 1-998 Shields 0-0 Sensors 1/1/0/0 Damage Control Rating 1 PPV 0 MSP 11 Max Repair 500 MSP Intended Deployment Time: 3 months Spare Berths 1
Habitation Capacity 50 000 Tractor Beam
Terraformer: 36 module(s) producing 0.036 atm per annum

240 EP Commercial Ion Drive (10) Power 240 Fuel Use 3.54% Signature 240 Exp 4% Fuel Capacity 250 000 Litres Range 1.1 billion km (122 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

This design is classed as an Orbital Habitat for construction purposes

Option 5 - A variant of option 4, but twice as large and twice as fast. It would take 7.5 months to build with the full might of all Earth construction industry, a month and a half to make it out to Jupiter, and 10 years to add the equivalent of Earth’s Atmosphere to a world. It’s a grand gesture and frankly the kind of statement and investment in the future Isaac Coles likes.

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Gaia X3 class Terraforming Scaffold 2 160 550 tons 7970 Crew 41957 BP TCS 43211 TH 8640 EM 0
199 km/s Armour 1-1488 Shields 0-0 Sensors 1/1/0/0 Damage Control Rating 1 PPV 0 MSP 12 Max Repair 500 MSP Intended Deployment Time: 3 months Spare Berths 3
Habitation Capacity 50 000 Tractor Beam
Terraformer: 72 module(s) producing 0.072 atm per annum

240 EP Commercial Ion Drive (36) Power 240 Fuel Use 3.54% Signature 240 Exp 4% Fuel Capacity 1 000 000 Litres Range 2.3 billion km (136 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

This design is classed as an Orbital Habitat for construction purposes

Governor Isaac Coles chooses Option 5. Commander Jason Booth (Terraforming 30%) will captain the scaffold. The project is added to the global construction queue after half of the financial centers are complete and some of the rest of the construction queue is shuffled to accommodate the giant project.

Picture - https://i.imgur.com/rTZkNC4.png

September 29, 2047

The expansion to 5 space elevators on Earth, as well as 3 more commercial shipyards and 1 military shipyard are complete. The focus is now on 2,000 infrastructure, 4 academies, 100 financial centers, 10 research labs (10 of the 20 in the queue were moved up to this slot), and finally, the Gaia Terraforming Scaffold. Workers all over the planet are gearing up to build the Terraformer, which represents an absolutely huge investment in credits, duranium, and effort.

July 11, 2048

Construction on the Gaia Terraforming Scaffold commences.

137,500,000 skilled workers across the globe begin to prefabricate and connect incredibly intricate and complicated systems and haul them up space elevators to be connected in orbit. This is to say nothing of the estimated 50 million workers who developed background technologies for the construction and the 88 million workers who have dug deep into the Earth’s mantle to collect materials for its construction. Truly, this is a global construction.

Completion date is 8 month from now in March. No other construction projects will happen during this time on Earth except for shuttle and shipyard production.

November 2, 2048

The Workers Guild is trying to unionize Construction workers during the massive Gaia Terraforming Scaffold project. They’re getting a fair amount of traction with a message that’s all about helping brothers on other worlds and making sure workers are treated fairly as well. There are 137.5 million construction factory workers, the single largest government work sector. John Heath is seen as the face of the Workers Guild in many circles, but Governor Isaac Coles is also a part of that faction and is aiding the effort while striking a more moderate tone.

The Gaia Terraforming Scaffold is 48% complete.

February 11, 2049

With help from their diplomacy team and key leaders, the Workers Guild wins recognition of the Factory Worker’s Union of over 137 million laborers. There’s been no explicit threat of work stoppage, but with the delivery date of the Gaia weeks away, the timing moved enough members of the Security Council to accept the union petition. Now, both Science and Construction factory workers are unionized and there are active campaigns for miners and fuel refiners. The Capitalist Alliance is not pleased.

March 11, 2049

The Gaia class Terraforming Scaffold undergoes a 3-day systems check, retracting and lowering its atmospheric booms and checking engines and contingency systems. After that, it launches and sets course for Ganymede, a journey that will take 49 Days and 360,000 liters of fuel, even with the Gaia’s super-efficient engines. There are celebrations all over Earth as the ponderous ship leaves Earth orbit, visible but slowly shrinking in the night’s sky. The Audacious class Frigate will be the largest warship in the fleet when it’s finished, but it’s only ? of 1% the size of the Gaia.

Quote
Gaia class Terraforming Scaffold 2 160 550 tons 7970 Crew 41957 BP TCS 43211 TH 8640 EM 0
199 km/s Armour 1-1488 Shields 0-0 Sensors 1/1/0/0 Damage Control Rating 1 PPV 0 MSP 12 Max Repair 500 MSP Intended Deployment Time: 3 months Spare Berths 3
Habitation Capacity 50 000 Tractor Beam
Terraformer: 72 module(s) producing 0.072 atm per annum

240 EP Commercial Ion Drive (36) Power 240 Fuel Use 3.54% Signature 240 Exp 4% Fuel Capacity 1 000 000 Litres Range 2.3 billion km (136 days at full power) This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

This design is classed as an Orbital Habitat for construction purposes

May 1, 2049

The Gaia class Terraformer has arrived on Ganymede.

It adds 1,337% more terraforming power than the 7 large facilities already on the world provide, an effort that already employed half of all available workers on the planet.

The terraformer lowers its heavy booms and whiskers down from orbit to begin churning and transmuting atmosphere and mineral veins into greenhouse gasses to trap in heat on the frigid little moon.

Scientist Lucas Obrien (BG 40%) is furthermore working on advancements to terraforming techniques that should dramatically decrease the time it takes to terraform the world.

November 10, 2049


Ganymede now has 100 millibars of atmospheric pressure, about 1/10 of Earth's atmosphere.

November 1, 2050

A 9th alien terraforming installation is discovered on Callisto and is transferred to Ganymede. Which now has 298 millibars of atmosphere.


Cross-posted to /r/Aurora4x on Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/aurora4x/comments/7q7vg8/terraforming_planning_and_case_study_big/

(This game is still in progress, but I might add more later)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 05:47:16 PM by Starmantle »
 

Offline joeclark77

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Re: Terraforming planning and case study (building big)
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2018, 10:49:55 AM »
I would have left off the engines and created a tugboat to haul it.  The fuel supply will be an annoyance in the future.  If you were to build a tugboat in the future to haul this vessel at higher speed to distant systems, for some reason the tractored ship continues to burn fuel while being tugged.  And it will run out of fuel every 2 billion km no matter how fast the tugboat goes.

Better to switch to SM mode and give it ten times the fuel storage (even if you don't fill it).

One thing about option #2 you'll find is that it increases slowly but then quickly.  You'll build 2-3 of these ships in the time it takes to add another slipway, then 4-6 while adding a third slipway, then 6-9 while building the fourth, and pretty soon you'll find yourself with a fleet of 20 or 30 terraformers that can do a whole planet in a year.  Then you get to a point where your colony infrastructure fleets can't set up new planets fast enough...
 

Offline Hazard

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Re: Terraforming planning and case study (building big)
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 04:26:34 PM »
Thugs are also a better decision out of a different efficiency point of view.

You can use them for any base and ship with shot up engines, so you've got them anyway, and if you don't like their speed and/or efficiency you can shove newer, higher tech engines in with much less effort.
 

Offline Starmantle

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Re: Terraforming planning and case study (building big)
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2018, 05:45:29 PM »
Though I'm certainly all-for having a dedicated tractor ship, there wasn't one available just yet and I probably won't make one until the the Magneto-Plasma age because it's not worth retooling a shipyard.  At any rate, it would take a very large one or a lot of smaller tugs to get this moving at a reasonable speed. 

That said, putting an engine on something does not preclude the possibility of tugging it, it only gives the option of traveling without a tug (and adds a bit of cost and weight).

Tractored ships continue to burn fuel while being tugged because their engines are firing and they're contributing to the speed of the fleet.  But unless there's some terrible bug that I hadn't yet heard of, this ship would go 136 days at full power (at its new, faster, tugged speed) before needing more fuel.  And those are efficient engines, no more or less fuel hungry than a Tug I'd build.  But is there a bug I don't know about?

This structure will spend decades in Sol, so it doesn't have to go a long way soon.  But eventually!

Also, note that it has a tractor beam built in, so any fig ship with a lot of EP can help "tug" it.  I just didn't have anything big enough to really help.

Yeah, I usually go with option 2, but now I have the equivalent of 20-30 of those big terraforming ships right now :)

At any rate, this sounded like a fun, new, novel way forward that incidentally saved me shipyard hassle and made a good story. 
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Terraforming planning and case study (building big)
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2018, 07:53:06 PM »
Yeah, folks have been talking about building something like that, nice to see it actually being done!
 

Offline Starmantle

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Re: Terraforming planning and case study (building big)
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2018, 08:17:09 PM »
Yes!

I believe I did get the idea from this forum, though I don't recall what thread.

It was fun to RP the government weighing different options and coming to a solution.
 

Offline joeclark77

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Re: Terraforming planning and case study (building big)
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 10:50:05 AM »
Tractored ships continue to burn fuel while being tugged because their engines are firing and they're contributing to the speed of the fleet.  But unless there's some terrible bug that I hadn't yet heard of, this ship would go 136 days at full power (at its new, faster, tugged speed) before needing more fuel.

I hope you're right, but I think you're wrong, I believe the fuel will run out every 2.3 billion kilometers.  Also if tugging worked properly, one ship would still be able to pull the other when the other was out of fuel, but it doesn't work that way in Aurora.

Anyway I'm not really recommending you get rid of the engines, because this is all about your choice, not mine.  I do recommend SM'ing in a huge fuel tank because that doesn't really change your vision, but it will reduce a micromanagement annoyance later.  I have recently conquered a couple of alien homeworlds in my current game, and your post has given me an idea for what to do with their construction factories...
 

Offline Starmantle

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Re: Terraforming planning and case study (building big)
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2018, 02:04:09 PM »
I'll definitely have to test it and try to verify the tugging thing and get back to you!

!!Science!!

Thanks for the heads-up!
 

 

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