Atmospherics is the area of Engineering which involves management of the ships life support systems. This includes managing a situation such as decompression. Atmospherics is dealt with by Engineers. This guide will go over the setting up of the ships atmospherics, understanding basic gas principals and dealing with emergency procedures.
Atmospherics can be quite daunting at first, but once you understand the basics, the rest becomes simple. The ship's life support systems are divided into two systems: scrubbing and pumping. Pumping means to "add" gas to a room, while scrubbing means to "remove" gas from a room. There are five primary gases you can find on the torch:
- Oxygen: An important component of air, this holds about 21% of all air on the ship.
- Nitrogen: The other important component of air, it holds about 78% of all air on the ship.
- N2O: As the name implies, it is what happens when you achieve 2 parts nitrogen to 1 parts oxygen. More commonly known as "laughing gas" - doses of this will put most crew members to sleep. Its general application is for science and security purposes.
- Carbon Dioxide: Bi-product of air consumption by various species. It is stored for various uses, most importantly it is a common fuel for thrusters.
- Phoron: Phoron is used for scientific research. It can also be used to cool the Supermatter.
- Hydrogen A less dangerous cooling gas for the Supermatter.
Normal Operating Conditions
The SEV Torch runs all rooms at 101.3 kilo-pascals (Kpa) at a temperature of 293.2 kelvin (K) or 20 degrees celsius (c). These are controlled individually through various air alarms.
Air alarms monitor rooms for any changes in gas composition. Air alarms can move between two alerts, minor (flashing yellow) and major (flashing red) A major alert is triggered when there's a major change to pressure, or when toxic gas enters the room. A minor alert is triggered when there's a slight change in pressure, or when small amounts of toxic gas are present. Both alerts will send out an alarm to the AI, atmospheric alert computers or any general alert system. Most values of the air alarm can be modified, either by directly interfacing with the air alarm itself, or by the atmosphere control program.
Supply and Scrubber Relation to Ship
Atmospherics is not only where air is stored, but where it is produced. There are five tanks of gases within atmospherics, each corresponding to the gases above. The most important ones are the supply gases - Oxygen and nitrogen. These two storage containers move through a section of regular pipe to a gas mixer. This gas mixer takes the oxygen and nitrogen and combines them to make breathable air.
Once the gases are mixed, they are moved to a buffer. This buffer stores combined air for use during emergencies. The buffer has two stages, the first being the pressure tank buffer, which holds air in a pressurized tank. The second is the air sort buffer. This is where air is moved to either the SEV torch, the gas mix, or the portable air pumps.
There are a large number of tools available for atmospheric purposes.
It can be noted around the ship has various pipe colors. These are the most common ones:
Machines and Canisters
Pumps are what "divide" certain areas of atmospherics from each other. They consume a considerable amount of power, but are effective at moving gases. There are various types of pumps that mix, regulate etc. They have three important values:
- Load: This is the amount of power that is going through the pump. If this is maximum, that means the pump is receiving full capacity.
- Desirable output pressure: This is the amount of pressure you want to come out the end of the pump. Once the pressure is reached, the pump will stop.
- Flow rate: The amount of gas currently flowing through the pipe. Higher flow rate indicates more gas that can move through per tick.
Setting up Atmospherics Systems
Note: This section is only relevant to the SEV Torch.
The initial setup of atmospherics itself is ineffective. A few upgrades can be preformed to increase the efficiency of atmospherics to a standard rate.
Replacing the Atmospheric Pumps
To increase its efficiency, you will have to swap out a few pumps. On the image to the right, starting from the top:
- The first pump connects to the air pumps outside atmospherics. You should swap this out with a high-power gas pump. Set the target pressure to max. This will ensure that the portable air pumps are full.
- The second pump connects to the air scrubbers outside atmospherics. You should swap this out with a high-power gas pump. This will ensure that all of the gas is taken out of the scrubbers. The pressure should be set to the maximum.
- The third pump connects to the ships vents. You should swap this out with a pressure regulator. However, we do not wish to create a problem where the pipes are too full of pressure, and in the event of a pipe explosion, does not release it all at once. 300-500 kpa at the output will be good enough.
- The fourth pump connects the ship's scrubbers to atmospherics. You should swap this out with a high-power gas pump. This works the same way the second pump does, so set pressure to maximum.
To replace the pumps, use a stasis clamp anywhere on the pipe. This will prevent gas from flowing out of pipe and over-pressurizing atmospherics itself. The scrubber pipes probably will not need them, assuming you do this at the start of a round.
Warning: Attempting to replace pumps without a stasis clamp can result in a gas leak.
Tip: Do not use a pressure regulator from the scrubbers to supply. It may seem like a better option, considering the pressure regulator has the highest flow-rate - but this is not necessarily correct when you are trying to take out pressure, whereas the supply to ship needs equal pressure.
Setup the Supply Computers
This is optional, but you may wish to setup the supply computers. Do not touch the output, but set all inputs to absolute maximum. This will ensure that filtered gases will enter the supply containers at the maximum rate.
If you are feeling experimental, you can try to modify atmospherics further and add some additional features. Below is a list of some ideas:
- An upgraded gas cooler to the scrubber system to prevent ultra-hot gas from entering the reserves.
- An emergency pump from the supply to prevent unwanted gases in the air system.
- Additional emergency reserve to exert more pressure in the event you need a quick room-refill.
Atmospherics is generally ignored until an emergency happens. Below is a list of emergencies you can encounter, and the steps to restore.
Depends on the severity of the leak.
- Remove crew members from the immediate area, apart from a medical team.
- Use any remote computer to activate the "filter" mode of the air alarm(s) effected. Assuming atmospherics is correctly setup, the toxins should dissipate quickly.
- Have medical check over crew members in the effected area.
Note: Any crew members in the room should don oxygen masks, instruct them to not open any emergency shutters.
- Immediately lock down the area. Instruct any crew members to avoid using open flames and immediately don oxygen masks.
- Setup an inflatable airlock system to access the area.
- Remove any crew members within the effected area and any immediate hazards.
- Find the source of the leakage and plug if possible.
- Use either scrubbers or air pumps to remove all air, or scrub the contaminants slowly.
- Immediately block off the areas and instruct crew to stay far away.
- Ensure you have a void-suit or hard-suit.
- Setup an inflatable airlock system to the first blinking-light emergency shutter.
- Find and plug the breach.
- Restore air using an air pump.
A severe fire happens when a large amount of flammable gas finds its way into a room containing oxygen. This is an extremely dangerous situation that will have to be dealt with quickly. Make absolutely sure you have a hard-suit. If it doesn't ignite, treat it as a toxin leak, but make sure crew are further away.
- Immediately stop any more oxygen or flammable gas from entering the area (if possible). Use inflatables, shut off supply vents, anything to stop the fire from eating the ship.
- Make sure crew members are not near the fire, as even being in its proximity can be fatal, if it's bad enough.
- Entering the area could be too dangerous. If fires reach extreme heat or pressure, they will melt through even reinforced walls and crush anyone wearing an atmospheric voidsuit.
- Using a cyborg or approaching the fire from space and causing a breach can be a good idea. This will make the area cool enough to work around.
- Find the source of the gas and make sure it can't cause any further issues.
- Make sure that there is no dangerous gas left before repairing your breach.
- Repair damages.
Substance in Air System
A rare event that Phoron, N2O or other substance enters the air supply.
- Make sure the crew is aware of the situation and to prepare oxygen masks.
- All air alarms should be set to "off."
- Head to atmospherics, reverse the air to supply pump by attaching it to the scrubber system instead. This will suck all air out of the ships supply system and back to their intended containers.
- Diagnose atmospherics and determine the cause of the substance intrusion.
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