Payload Manager SDK
If your vessel is based on dll-module you can add the possibility to configuring vessel's payload. Payload Manager SDK allows you to add the Payload Manager functionality. First of all it is useful for ground-to-LEO rockets developing.

Concept

Any ship in Orbiter (vessel) is a subclass of VESSEL (or VESSEL2) base class. The SDK brings the new base class VesselWithPM which is also subclass of VESSEL2. VesselWithPM class has additional methods to provide Payload Manager functionality. Just use VesselWithPM class as a base class for your vessel.

Documentation

SDK is completely documented (in English). Kit includes the ready-to-use spacecraft example with source codes. The source code is fully commented.


Comparing with CVEL-GPDS technology

CVEL-GPDS simulates the cargo by addition of payload vessel visual (mesh) to the carrier ship. The visual model of a cargo looks like it is described in a msh-file. It is meant that all animations of model will be in "by default" position. For example the DeltaGlider will be with gears down.
Can you imagine the Buran is attached to Energia with gears down... This is ugly. Another problems are possible especially in cases of spaceships with complex visual model which can dynamically varies during the simulation.

There are also other restrictions of a payload ship. For example CVEL-GPDS is not compatible with famous DeltaGlider-IV by Dan Steph.

Spaceship-payload as the object of simulation is created only at the moment of separation from the carrier-ship. Up to this moment the user can not operate a payload ship. The cargo can not influence the carrier.

Payload Manager really attaches a payload ship using attachment points technology. The payload vessel is an object of simulation and you can switch the control focus on it. During the flight you can operate like a pilot of the carrier-spaceship or like a cargo vessel's pilot (the passenger in this case :)

All parameters of flight of the carrier-spaceship (speed, height, atmospheric influence etc.) are accurately transferred to the payload ship. The influence from the payload ship is also transferred to the carrier. It changes the dynamics of flight (the moments from payload's engines, change its mass, the cross sections area etc.)

Adding the Payload Manager support is not a difficult operation. It is just several new lines of C++ code. You can made it in few minutes in most cases.


Payload Manager

The Payload Manager consists of two parts:

1. The module that provides connect and jettisoning of a payload vessel and realistic behaviour of a vehicle/payload superstructure (for example - the transfer of influence from working payload's engines to the vehicle).

The basic principle is using of Orbiter's attachment points technology. This picture shows how the rocket autopilot neutralize the torque from asymmetrical thrust of three Deltagliders engines.


2. The Payload Manager itself - the payload configurator/editor. This is an extension of a Orbiter's Scenario Editor. Payload Manager allows to select payload vessel(s) and define payload location and orientation. User can do it during simulation in real time (or in pause).


Using Payload Manager you can build multistaged systems - like this "train" for example:


Currently Payload Manager SDK passes beta-tesing. The last beta-versions of ENERGY project, Space Tugs, Vulkan and the TX are based on Payload Manager SDK.

The Universal Cargo Deck project also has the Payload Manager support. With the Cargo Deck you can add the Payload Manager functionality to any spaceship in Orbiter.

Payload Manager for Orbiter is released. Go to download location.