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B9 Aerospace / Intake_Area

Intake Area

Why are the area values for intakes strange?

You may be wondering why larger intakes seem to have equal or smaller area than smaller ones.

This is not the case. The areas are correct, the performance is correct, it shows nonsensical values in game because Squad.

What exactly is going on?

The drag made by an intake, like all stock drag, is multiplied by its mass.

Since the main Squad intakes have a mass of 0.01, any intake that has a mass different from that will create more drag per intake surface area unit.

For example, the Squad parts Nacelle Body and Radial Engine Body have a mass of 0.15, and therefore have 15 times as much drag per intake area as the circular/ram/scoop.

In order to avoid this, one must divide the intended area of an intake with mass not equal to 0.01 by the mass/0.01 ratio.

area = intended_area * (mass/0.01)

Then, you must adjust unitScalar - a multiplier to the amount of resource gathered per surface area.

unitScalar = 0.2 * sqroot(mass/0.01)

Finally, because of a long-standing bug with ModuleResourceIntake, one must also adjust maxIntakeSpeed (note that the intakeSpeed parameter present in all Squad intakes is not present in the PartModule, and does absolutely nothing). This bug is also why we multiply unitScalar by the root of the mass ratio - its being used twice.

maxIntakeSpeed = 100 * (unitScalar + sqroot(mass / 0.01)) / (unitScalar + 1)

After these acrobatics you have an intake of the desired mass and effective surface area, but the area and various in-flight values in the part's right-click menu will be meaningless.

If this makes you unhappy, bug Squad about it.

Updated