Guide to the INDRA

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The INDRA is a port of the Baystation 12 R-UST with modifications for the Aurora server. For those who know the R-UST, many things should be familiar.

The INDRA is an experimental fusion reactor that acts as an alternative power source on the Horizon. It consists of a fusion core, fuel injectors, a gyrotron and a few control consoles. Fuel comes in two forms, as a fuel rod that is injected directly or by gas injection into the chamber via an injector pump. If mismanaged the INDRA can cause extreme amounts of destruction to the adjacent decks and surrounding area. As for what INDRA stands for, that's a subject of much debate. Some say it stands for INDependent Reactor, Aneutronic. Others say it stands for INDRA. Who knows, really?

Priming, starting, and maintaining the Horizon is the job of the engineering department. However, some scientists may be brought in for certain collaborative efforts with the permission of the engineering department.

Basic operating principles

The INDRA is about as complex as the Supermatter Engine. The basic operating principles are as follows:

The Fusion Core

The fusion core is the centerpiece of the INDRA, all reactions take place there and it is where the power is generated.

First a note on safety - the reactor may produce large quantities of radiation when operational depending on the reaction. At least, it's supposed to; the reactions often seem to produce none at all in practice. Check with a geiger counter to see. Ensure that you wear appropriate protective gear if necessary.

The INDRA is capable of creating a devastating EMP if operated improperly. Do not exceed the limits specified in this guide, or it will instantaneously destroy itself.The INDRA will create this EMP when its instability reaches 100% or if it is turned off without being allowed to cool below 1000K first. Instability will be discussed below.

INDRA Control Interface

INDRA control console interface.

The fusion core is controlled by the INDRA core control console in the control room. As you can see from the image, this tracks many properties of the fusion core.

  • Power Status - This tells you the current power output and power draw of the Fusion Core. Power draw is dependent on the field strength, and power output is dependent on the fusion reactions taking place within the core.
  • Field Strength - This determines the field size of the fusion core; this is important for catching fuel pellets and can be set to 20 or higher for the default INDRA configuration. If any object besides the core is inside the INDRA chamber while it is online, it will interfere with the magnetic field, causing a catastrophic rise in instability and near-instantaneous destruction of the INDRA. Increasing the field strength makes the INDRA take more power, but this is negligible compared to the INDRA output when it is operating.
  • Instability - Instability is raised by two things, the fusion reactions taking place and the fusion core field touching machinery or objects. It is controlled by using the Gyrotron to fire a beam of energy into the fusion core field that maintains its containment. If your instability is steadily rising despite the gyrotron then you must immediately adjust the Gyrotron settings and/or reduce the amount of reactants being added to the field.
  • Plasma temperature - This determines the reactions that can take place. Initially your fusion core will be at room temperature, and it will take some time to warm up. Once it is above a few thousand kelvin the rest of the reactions will kick in and it will keep itself stable. When turning off the fusion core this value must be below 1000K or it will cause an EMP and destruction of the INDRA containment, likely flooding engineering and research with extremely hot gas. To cool this down stop adding reactants and turn the gyrotron power up, then wait.
  • Reactants - This is a list of all current reactants in the field. Every tick of the INDRA, it will try and react these reactants together and create some radiation, instability and power based on what reactions are possible. Reactants exceeding 10,000 total reactants will be removed and turned into radiation (this is not something to worry about, just don't try to add more reactants if you are consistently hitting this threshold).

The Fuel Injectors

These are used to add solid fuel into the INDRA. They are controlled using the Fuel Injection Control Computer within the control room. They must be provided with a fuel rod that can be created by putting solid fuel types into the Fuel Compressor, and then toggled on from their control computer. They will then start firing pellets through the glass into the fusion core field and be absorbed. There are a few different types of fuel materials, but the most common are tritium and deuterium. Iron may be used for other purposes, and there are various other rarer materials not worth covering here.

The setup process

Now that you understand the important components of the INDRA, we will discuss how to set it up at the start of the shift. It is initially in a completely inert state.

  • The fusion core and gyrotron have a heavy power drain when operational. If the round start SMES are not producing enough power, you may need to use a PACMAN in to jumpstart it. Alternatively, letting it draw on SMES power directly from the main grid may be enough to jumpstart it if you're quick.
  • Create five deuterium and one tritium fuel rod using the fuel compressor and insert these into the fuel injectors, one per injector. Be wary of radiation.
  • Set the gyrotron to fire delay 2, power 50. There may be an initial burst in instability when turning the reactor on - if you have allowed fuel to build up. So we set the gyrotron to a high-power mode for the initial startup. If you're not getting enough power to the gyrotron, it should generally be okay to start at 10 power 2 delay or so, but keep an eye on the instability.
  • Turn on the fusion core and adjust the field strength to 60 tesla.
  • Turn on all the fusion fuel injectors.
  • Watch the temperature and power rise on the fusion core console. Make sure that the instability is being managed by the gyrotron (less than 1%).
  • Once the power output is 250kW or higher, return to the INDRA room and turn off the PACMAN-generator, if applicable. It may explode if you leave it running for too long.
  • You can now adjust the gyrotron power to a lower setting, such as fire delay 3, power output 3. Check that the instability is staying low after adjusting the gyrotron.

You have now set up the INDRA for a deuterium-tritium reaction, which is the simplest power-positive reaction.

The power from the INDRA will not be fully utilized until you adjust the SMES. Make what upgrades you desire, but if nothing else at least make sure input and output are maximized.

Emergency Shutdown Procedures

In the event that you need to shutdown the INDRA quickly follow these steps:

  • Set the gyrotron to maximum power and minimum firing delay.
  • Turn off all fuel injectors.
  • Turn on the PACMAN generator to make sure that the gyrotron keeps operating.
  • Turn off the gyrotron when there are no more reactions taking place.
  • The INDRA will now start to cool over time. Once it is below 1000K it can be switched off on the fusion core control console, then turn off the PACMAN.

It may be prudent to open the core vent located at the back of the INDRA reactor room, but typically this suffers from a bug where it does nothing. If you've got a gas in the core chamber somehow that hasn't already been absorbed in to the magnetic field, it'll remove that at least.

More Power!

There are several possible fusion reactions in the INDRA and the output can be raised to approximately 2-3MW with the right setup. Not all of these reactions produce positive net power.

The setup above uses the basic deuterium-tritium reaction, which follows this path:

  • Deuterium + Tritium -> Helium + 1 Power + Radiation
  • Deuterium + Helium -> Nothing + 5 Power

A more productive setup involves adding hydrogen gas to the fusion core. The procedure for this is as follows:

  • Allow the fusion reactor to reach >10,000K temperature with a deuterium-tritium reaction.
  • Turn on the pump on the side of the fusion reactor, setting it to around 10kPA and add a full hydrogen canister.
  • Turn off the tritium fuel injector now. You can replace the fuel rod in this injector with a deuterium one if you wish.

Your fusion reaction now follows this path:

  • Hydrogen + Hydrogen -> Helium + 2 Power
  • Deuterium + Helium -> Nothing + 5 Power

You will need to check up on the hydrogen canister and replace it occasionally, depending on the pressure you set the pump to.

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