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How do I sink or float?Edit

There are four ways of controlling your depth.

  1. Use the large slider at the top of the GUI, under "Ballast Control".  When submerged, moving the slider to the right will fill the ballast tanks with water (increasing weight) and proportionately remove buoyant air (lifting up) and vice versa.  You will float as much as possible at 0% and sink as fast as possible at 100%.
  2. Click "Depth Control".  The ballast tanks will automatically attempt to keep your vessel from sinking or rising.  The vessel may bob slightly as it gets the adjustment just right.  Use the + and - buttons to start rising or sinking at a controlled rate.
  3. Right click a ballast tank and change its individual trim.
  4. Assign an action button to one or more ballast tanks while in the VAB or SPH.

Why does my vessel flip over?Edit

The most buoyant part will naturally try to be at the submarine's top.  Try putting a ballast tank on top.  To be sure it floats the most, right click it and set the ballast to minimum (all buoyant air).

How do I control my submarine's pitch in water?Edit

It is best to start by turning on depth control so you are not sinking.  When you are at the right depth right click the ballast tanks at the part of your submarine that you would like to be higher.  Reduce the ballast in these tanks.  You can also use action groups assigned during vessel construction.

Can you explain how ballast tanks work in more detail?Edit

But ballast tanks can contain two things, air and water.  When you enter water this mod simulates the buoyancy of displaced water to provide lift.  As the slider moves towards 100% the ballast tanks fill with water, pushing out air.  This not only reduces lift but also increases mass and thus the force of gravity on the vessel.

There isn't an effective way of measuring displacement in KSP, so the only things that provide buoyant force on submarines is ballast tanks and crew quarters (which are assumed to be filled with 1 m3 of air for every crew member). 1 m3 of buoyant air lifts 1.025 tons of weight on Kerbin and other watery planets.

Thus, a light vessel with a lot of crew would require filled ballast tanks to sink.  A heavy vessel without crew (more common in KSP) requires emptied ballast tanks to not sink!

It might seem strange to call the parts "ballast tanks" when they can also help a vessel to float, but that seems to be the appropriate terminology used for submarines.

Why do parts explode at depths below 600m?Edit

There are two reasons.

First, water pressure at that point is equal to 60 atmospheres, or 6000 kilonewtons per square meter. That is like having 4 Mainsail engines pushing in on every square meter on every side of your ship.  It is unrealistic to have anything survive below that depth.

Second, KSP has serious issues with altitudes below -600m.  While things may appear to be running fine at first, the game itself actually becomes very unreliable.

Therefore, the limit of 600m has been implemented.

More questions?Edit

Try the Airship F.A.Q., its has very similar controls!

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