Dear Backers and Meco Rocket Simulator Community,
I extend my deepest gratitude for your ongoing support. Your commitment is invaluable to this project.
I acknowledge the delay in the Early Access Release and sincerely apologize. The complexity of creating a high-standard simulator has led to unforeseen challenges.
Each obstacle serves as a learning opportunity to enhance Meco. I am committed to a quality rocket engine simulator and will outline key developments below.
Your trust is paramount, and I remain dedicated to transparency and accountability. I appreciate your patience and look forward to sharing our progress.
- We have a Windows build: Given a good portion of people use Windows for their gaming and that I wasn’t sure if the new “Electron-based engine” would work on it, I went for it with good results.
- Game art workflow established: Early this year, NovelAI was used to create Meco – the face of the Meco Rocket Simulator. Since then, generative AI has taken huge strides, and I’m glad to say that we now have a flexible and robust workflow to create art for the game using a custom mix of generative AI models
- Wiki is up: As the early version of Meco’s UI was being completed, it became apparent that some online guide/knowledge base would be beneficial to users of Meco Rocket Simulator; hence, some time was invested in setting up a Wiki powered by MediaWiki (as used by Wikipedia)
- AI can’t quite handle rocket science (yet): While for general topics about rocket engines, ChatGPT does alright, it falls apart when asked questions like (in the context of Fanno flow):
A proper answer:
- MecoGPT: To help others get the hang of rocket science while using Meco, I am considering a custom-trained GPT-based AI that will be augmented with my curated set of documents on rocket science and rocket engine design. However, this might be quite far down the road.
- The gas flow network valve simulation is broken: This issue seemed small, but it turned out to be a biggie. In the effort to push Meco out the door, the gas network portion of the simulation engine was simplified with several limitations. The decision was made to research a more robust solution with fewer limitations, which will allow for the modeling of more engine types with better accuracy (and fix gas valves in the process!)
Development Log Year 3, Month 8
5th Month of trying for a version 0.1 release
Code Refactoring and Reformatting
- Refactoring and reformatting of code for better maintainability and readability.
- Removal of unused functions and variables to improve code cleanliness and reduce complexity.
- Commenting out unused variables and removing them to improve code readability.
Configuration and Settings Updates
- Addition of new CMake files to find and set libraries.
- Replacing hardcoded paths with variables for better flexibility.
- Updates to settings and configurations for better development environment.
File Organization and Management
- Addition and removal of files for better organization.
- Renaming files for clarity and consistency.
Library and Dependency Upgrades
- Upgrades to libraries and dependencies to enhance functionality and performance.
- Documentation updates for better guidance and readability.
- Adding comments to explain variable initializations and calculations.
- Updating comments to provide clearer explanations.
New Notebook and Functions
- Addition of a new notebook with various functions for solving steady network equations.
- Functions include calculations for Filonenko coefficient, specific heat, mass flow function, Mach number, viscosity, Reynolds number, heat transfer coefficient, transfer units, temperature change, etc.
- Demonstration of solving a steady network problem using the “solve” function.
Bug Fixes and Error Handling
- Updating error messages for better clarity.
- Fixing test cases and conditions to improve code logic and accuracy.
- Adding error handling for unsupported fluid molecule names and gas keys.
- Fixing calculation errors to avoid division by zero.
- Enhancing the Vulcain engine builder feature to support reading configuration from a JSON file.
- Using the end_time value from the Vulcain engine test case configuration file.
- Fixing and improving various features related to nodes, turbines, gas generators, and solid components.
- Adding support for additional design condition parameters the turbine design constraints.
Testing and Test Coverage
- Updating assertions in test cases to match expected values.
- Adding new test cases to verify correct calculations and functionality.
- Making changes to improve testing coverage and maintainability.
These development themes highlight the introduction of new features, improvements to existing functionality, and enhancements to the software product’s overall code quality and maintainability.