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A Brief about the mechanics of Mining

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  • A Brief about the mechanics of Mining

    Recently we learned about the mining aspects, and somewhat what we might expect out in the PU. I really like the way it was detailed on the RSI website, but even then it was full of speculative ideas. So lets talk about what we know, and what we should expect.

    For starters mining is going to be a ubiquitous action in the PU, anywhere you see stations, you'll likely see mining freighters carrying ore to and from. Since I like to give an example to best elucidate my understanding of such things, we shall take up a role. Now maybe it has to do with the origin of my moniker, but I've often thought about things from the view of an up and coming pirate. Here goes, enjoy:

    That new ship smell, how it permeates through everything, right up till the atmospheric handlers have recycled it for the thousandth time, then it vanishes. This bucket of bolts was far beyond such olfactory pleasures when it fell into my possession. Aegis made a sturdy bird with this Avenger hull, and even though the exact date this one launched is unknown, it still can move. I've been biding my time, looking for just the right ship to pounce on, and I recently heard about a mineral rich asteroid field going public. Now I don't have the creds to buy such info, but I had an idea, I'll just wait till I see a laiden freighter come in, and follow it back to mining site. So far so good, I just hope there are some miners who have wandered away from the heavily trafficked zones. After a few minutes of low power maneuvers, and nearly slamming into the remnants of an Orion mining ship, I found a good line away from the crowd. A few minutes of observation showed there weren't any escorts or fighter patrols in the area, except for one PMC that was busy protecting the four Orion they were babysitting. After a thorough scanning, I felt the best idea was to find someone as far away from them as possible, and as luck would have it I saw a beat up Gladiator on the dark edge of the field.

    As I slowly made my way toward him, my eyes were drawn back to the four Orion, they had just started mining. The large drills on the front whirred to life, and small chunks of rock began to float away from the ships. I could make out the mining beams as they pumped energy into the asteroid, and watched as the cargo operator skillfully scanned and scooped the valuable ore. My target's ship lurched out of view, behind a small asteroid. I reacquired my lock once the rock floated by, and they had begun mining. Now usually I wouldn't risk attacking a ship that can take down an Idris in a few hits, no matter how beat up it looked, but this Gladiator had only two bulldogs on its wing mounts, the turret had been converted to a tractor beam and mining beam. I was closing in on 15,000 m when he spotted me. My heart raced, will they turn to run, or will they disregard my aging ship and continue mining. The nose of the ship turned to point towards me, scanning me on narrow beam. My hand hovered over the power switch for my weapons, just waiting to see what they would do. The pilot turned in his seat, and I guessed they were discussing what they were about to do, so I slowed to 100 m/s when I closed to within 3,000 m, and turned my starboard wing toward them. I flew up to some nearby asteroids, ran some scans, and slowly worked my way toward them, all the while trying to appear as a survey contractor. I passed within the magic range of 1000 meters, and visually looked at my prey, they had forgotten all about me, likely due to their finding a thick vein of uranium. I waited until they mined and collected it, and just as they began to plot their journey back to sell their newly acquired resources, I hit the switch.

    Two dominator missiles shrieked away, the first exploded prematurely, barely scratching their shields, the second hit home, right on their port weapon. The repeater hung by a few bolts, sparking and bouncing off their hull. I pulled the trigger, unloosing my 25mm cannon, ripping chunks out of the cockpit. They never had a chance, as I approached to begin the cargo recovery I could see frozen blood rolling around the front canopy. After a short eva I had their mined cargo loaded, and set a course out of the field. Now to get this refined, in the mean time I'll start looking for a prospective buyer. My Q-Drive began to hum, as I rocketed toward a colleague of mine's independent refinery, no mining papers required. As I began to near the coordinates for my rendezvous I noticed a small signal coming from my six.
    Murray

  • #2
    Re: A Brief about the mechanics of Mining

    Now for a closer look at the mining aspects. I will be discussing the roles associated with mining, which are: Pilot, Scan Operator, Beam Operator, Cargo Operator, and Refinery Operator*. First we shall discuss the role of Pilot.

    Mining Pilot - This isn't your standard piloting job, for this position you need to be more experienced than your regular "pilot needed to fly" or even "fighter pilot needed." Your job is to fly close to, and in some cases into asteroids to begin the extraction, where you will be constantly making small corrections as the asteroid reacts to the mining process. A good pilot knows that he's only one misadjustment away from disaster, and standing by to pull away from the asteroid quickly and safely in the event of a catastrophic asteroid eruption. Once the mining is done, if all goes well, then the Pilot will have the added fun of taking the ship out of the field, which may be disturbed by said mining.

    Beam Operator - Again this won't be the run of the mill bridge officer position you might expect it to be. The BO often serves as the second in command of mining operations. This is the job that has the most variables, and needs a clear flow of information during mining. Firing the beam into the asteroid will have different effect depending on the type of asteroid, and knowing when to stop the beam is paramount. While mining the BO will also be monitoring the Exothermic Reaction Detector, The Laser Seismometer, and Analytical Materials Processor. These three screens will show if the asteroid is nearing explosion (the ERD,) watching internal and surface vibrations (LS,) and scanning the asteroid to find the most valuable ore (AMP.)
    Murray

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    • #3
      Re: A Brief about the mechanics of Mining

      Oh, grasshopper this is where the BFG comes in:

      We were in route to Orion when we got the distress call and, being only 4 parsecs out took the call.
      I had been flying escort as our flagship Connie had the assignment and Reinhold in his Hornet had been escorting several diplomats to a conference.

      Dredge took the call and left Chief with the bridge and had Reinhold assist. Dredge in the M-50, myself in the 325A, Reinhold in his militarized Hornet prepared to intercept the bandit. We had also sent out a dispatch for a medic ship as we had reports of casualties and the 5 Ghosts responded.

      As we approached the debris field we could see the bandit pulling away. We were in an attack pattern delta and when Dredge ordered us to engage I pulled from the left wing and set a near intercept course, Dredge pulled to get above as Reinhold gave chase. I got to him first but as I came in he manged to evade a missile lock (really need an AI upgrade) and a short burst managed to take out my starboard stabilizers. underestimated that ragged Avenger. The maneuver though had turned him and Dredge and Reinhold opened fire taking out his weapon packages and engines. Chief had manged to bring the Connie up and readied a boarding party as he tractored the disabled ship into the docking port.

      I could go on but you could finish this story.
      Forewarned is Forearmed




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      • #4
        Re: A Brief about the mechanics of Mining

        The first two roles covered, are what the bare requirements, for smaller ships and mining operations, however the Orion needs a few more crewmembers to operate at 100%. To that end, I shall describe the last three positions: Scan Operator, Cargo Operator, and Refinery* Operator.

        Scan Operator - Here you man a console on the Orion, but this task will need to be done regardless of the ship you're in, with a crew of two in a say a Gladiator, this task will fall under the purview of the Pilot. With the larger ships, a probe known as a remote material analysis packages (RMAP's) will be piloted into the targeted asteroid. These probes allow for deep material scans, so the best location to engage the asteroid can be determined. The RMAP's also allow for enhanced resolution of the interior (seismic and chemical reactions) of the targeted asteroid. It is unknown if the smaller ships can have these probes loaded on them, I'm not sure, but I don't see why they couldn't.

        Cargo Operator - This task falls under the purview of the Beam operator for smaller ships, but on board the purpose built mining ship, this is it's own task. The simplest way to explain this is such, the Beam Operator is in charge of collecting ore, and directing it into the cargo bay. A scanner will be used, and a tractor beam, to facilitate the selection of the most valuable asteroid chunks, and push the lesser value chunks away from the ship. The system used to scan the chunks is called the integrated Fragment Scanner, and it works much like the AMP.

        Refinery* Operator - This position is almost certainly not something that has to be done during the extraction of materials, but the Orion comes with an onboard refinery, and if you have the crew it can increase your ROI. Otherwise this should be done during the return trip, to utilize your time effectively. This task is rather self explanatory, where the operator selects the most important collected ore to refine into more valuable ingots and the like. I expect the refinery to take a good deal of energy, and may leave you even more vulnerable during the mining process, so unless you have an escort or two, I advise operating the refinery (as mentioned before) on the return trip.

        *The Orion is currently the only ship known to contain a refinery, but given the push to more modularity, it seems feasible that it will be something the larger ships will be able of having installed.

        So ends this brief describing the positions and basic practices of mining, if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. I look forward to serving with you all, see you in the 'Verse.
        Murray

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