Guide to Atmospherics
Atmospherics (or Atmosia) is the land of pipes and air, a peaceful place often left to its automatic work. To the untrained eye, it might appear to be entirely impenetrable and useless, just a mess of pipes that should be left alone to do their own work while the Atmospheric Technicians goof off in the break room. But this is far from the truth.
- 1 Atmosia
- 2 Setting Up Atmosia
- 3 Air Alarms
- 4 Pipe Dispensers
- 5 Pipe Prospecting
- 6 Notes about Pressure, Temperature, Volume and Heat Capacity
- 7 Things to Do in Atmosia
- 8 Tips and Trivia
Atmosia contains several notable things that every Atmospheric Technician should know about:
- Monitoring Computers that allow the Atmospheric Technicians to check the atmospheric, fire, and power condition of the entire station
- The Atmospheric Pipe System that takes in waste air from the rest of the station, filters it, and gets it ready to be used again
- The Distribution Computers that allow control of the composition of the atmosphere station-wide
- Reserve air tanks that can be filled in case Atmospherics' reserve tanks are destroyed
- Fire-fighting equipment that enables Atmospheric Technicians to survive easily for extended periods in difficult atmospheres
- Portable air pumps that can be used to repressurize or depressurize areas of the station
- Portable air scrubbers that can be used to clear toxins from the air
- Portable space heaters that can be used to keep an area from freezing
- Pipe dispensers that allow repair of disposal and air distribution pipes
- Fuel and water tanks for use when fighting fires or other hazards
- Freezer and Heater that can heat or freeze the gas in the pipes
Atmospherics is pretty simple, but the pipe layout makes it slightly confusing for the untrained eye. It consists of four pipe "loops", which are color-coded for easy checking:
- The dark blue loop is the distribution loop. It sends air to all the vents on the station, and is fed by the cyan and orange loops
- The cyan air mix loop, which contains mixed air to feed into the distribution loop
- The red/green loop, which retrieves (red) and filters (green) waste air from the rest of the station
- The yellow/orange loop, internal to Atmospherics, which is used for custom air mixes
If you are confused on how each of these things work, this may be a helpful way to think of the pipes: every section of pipes is like a tank that holds gas. The pumps will simply move gas from that "tank" to another "tank", or another section of pipes. There is not a flow through the pipes, just the pumps, filters, and other devices. Opening a valve will link two tanks together to be one tank, and closing it would make them go back to two separate tanks.
The arrows on the image indicate the direction of flow of various pipe systems. The dark blue arrow indicates the distribution loop carrying gas out to the rest of the station. The red arrow shows the waste intake. The yellow arrow shows both the direction of mixed air flow and points towards the portable air pumps that are outside Atmospherics.
The air breathed by humans on Baystation 12 is made out of oxygen and nitrogen, and is mixed on the south end of Atmosia (Air Mixing). The gasses are pumped through the cyan tubes from their respective canisters (N2, O2) and are mixed in the air canister (Air). The breathable gas is then pumped through the cyan loop to the north of Atmosia, where it is then pumped into the blue loop and out to the station.
The filtering loop basically runs the gasses through the filters along the green piping and injects all gas not filtered into the mixing canister.
The "canisters" of the station's Atmospherics network are actually rooms filled with the appropriate gas. The output of these rooms are controlled by their respective Supply Control Computers, a small valve that allows the gas to be injected into the pipes, and a filter pump that moves the gas through the pipes.
To create a custom mix of gas, turn on the output of the supply control computers, open the manual valves, and turn the output of the pump to what you wish it to be. The gas will travel through the orange pipes into the mixing chamber. The air mix is pumped into the mixing chamber via a pump north of the orange loop. The mix obtained can then be pumped into the distribution and filtering loop. Remember to open the hand valve south of dark blue t-shaped valves and turn on the pumps or your custom mix will just be redistributed through the red loop.
- N2: One of the components of the Air mix. N2 soaks up heat in the air, and lowers the temperature of a fire. By association, it can very quickly lower the temperature of a fiery rupture to the point where the flames self-extinguish.
- O2: You probably breathe this. Running out of O2 will cause your slow death by suffocation damage. It is also required for a fire to even start, and hold, ending the fire when the O2 or phoron is depleted. Having less than 16 kPa of O2 flowing into your lungs chokes you.
- Air: The gas mix that is distributed in the station. It is composed of 79% N2 and 21% O2.
- CO2: An invisible, heavy gas, CO2 is one of the first and fastest gases the scrubbers suck out of the air. It chokes people effectively and quickly, and if you can be bothered to set the alarms up, will result in a invisible room that kills those in it. Takes some setup and can be very, very annoying. The emote for this at low levels is (gasps alone? chokes and gasps?)
- N2O: A white-flecked gas. Makes you laugh at low doses and at higher ones puts you to sleep. Scrubbers don't deal with it too well and portable scrubbers just choke on it. If using this as a sleep gas mix do *not* forget the O2 at at least 16 kPa, or you will kill someone.
- Phoron: The one truly flammable gas on the station, phoron is orange and highly toxic. Of note is the fact that in the presence of any oxygen at high pressures, phoron pumped into air can and will spontaneously ignite on turf at high pressures.
Setting Up Atmosia
Properly initialized, Atmospherics, or "Atmosia", can keep the station aired-up through nearly any emergency. Improperly initialized, it's a waste of space at best and an outright fire hazard at worst.
Here's how to do it the right way:
- Go to every green-circled pump and filter. Make sure they're all on and set to max pressure, so gas will actually be moved.
- Go to the red-circled pump in the top right corner of Atmospherics (the one feeding air into distribution from the cyan air mix loop) and set its output pressure to around 300 kPa (So that pipes around the station can be edited without too much trouble).
- Go to every yellow-circled valve and make sure they're turned on. You can tell if it's on by looking at the small light on its side; if it's green, it's on.
- Go to every computer at the edge of the room and click "Search" so that the computer will register the gas inside of the tank. Use the O2 and N2 computers and set their vents to the maximum pressure.
- Go into the engineering hallway where the external ports are and make sure the portable air pumps are connected to the gas ports so that they'll fill.
Now that Atmosia is set up, there is a short list of things which fall under your stead:
- First and by far most important: make sure pipes don't get broken and if they do, fix them.
- Go around swiping your ID on air alarms, setting phoron and N2O to filter automatically, and then re-swiping to lock it. You can ask the AI to do this as well, and probably should.
- Least importantly, maintain the disposals system. You can generate pipes with the disposal pipe dispensers.
Air alarms are the central tool of an atmos tech outside setting atmospherics up. To use an air alarm, simply swipe your ID across it. Here's the different options:
Panic Syphons: They turn all vents off and set all scrubbers to syphon.
Vents: you control vents through the air alarm. There are the following settings:
- External on, Internal off: will drain/add air from the tile the vent is on to make it the correct amount. All air being moved goes into/comes out of the pipe the vent is attached to. Set to 0 to drain air, or pressurise to specific levels.
- Both on: completely useless. Don't bother.
- External off, Internal on: Drains/adds air to the tile to get the pipe attached to the correct level. Setting a vent to internal and the desired pressure to 0 causes ALL gas which enters the pipe to be shunted out onto the tile.
Scrubbers: two settings, scrubbing and syphoning.
- Scrubbers will slowly drain any gasses set to scrub in the air of the tile they are on, and transfer it to their pipe. Really, really slow with N2O.
- Syphons will do the same, except indiscriminately and drain all gasses on their tile.
After you've set up Atmosia, you can go around and configure the various air alarms on the station to filter out toxins, NO2, and CO2. They default to filtering only CO2, but the other two are just as dangerous. You can get the AI to help you with this, though, so it's not that difficult.
There are a few different pipes and devices that you can get from the dispensers, each with specific uses.
- Regular pipes - The station is infested with these thing.
- Insulated pipes - Keeps the cold out if you're placing pipes out in space. (Regular pipes don't transfer outside heat at all from the environment, so these are pretty much regular pipes without the luxury of manifolds.)
- Connector - Used to attach canisters, pumps or scrubbers to a pipe network. If you can't get a pipe network easily to the filter loop, an empty canister can be a good substitute.
- Unary vent - See: Vent. Once placed down it will have to be turned on by activating it at an Air alarm terminal.
- Gas pump - The basic pumps you'll find all over Atmospherics. This is how you will move most gasses. Maximum flow rate of 200 L/s
- Pressure Regulator - Lets you limit how much of a gas flows into a pipe, either by limiting its flow rate in liters per second, or by maximum pressure. You can also set it to have no limit, and it will act as a one way valve.
- Scrubber - Self explanatory, scrubs the nasty out of things, or acts like a vacuum. Like unary vents, needs to be turned on by an air alarm terminal after being wrenched into place.
- Meter - Wanna know how much gas is in a pipe? Wrench these onto the pipe and you can see its pressure and temperature. (Helpful hint: In a room with the default 101.3 kPa atmosphere pipes < 303.9 kPa pressure can be unwrenched.)
- Gas Filter - Filters out a selected gas, while pushing the filtered gas mix out of the output. These are used at each of the gas tanks to separate waste into each individual gas.
- Gas Mixer - Like a filter, but mixes gasses instead of filters. There is one in Atmospherics that mixes nitrogen and oxygen to create the station's air mix.
- Omni Gas Filter - Like a Gas Filter, but can filter up to two gases, customize the location of the input, output, and filter ports, and in general are just better than normal filters.
- Pipes - H/E pipes transfer temperatures between the environment and gas within'. Besides looking spiffy, you can place some in space to cool gases, or create a burning length of death pipe.
- Junction - Turn that regular pipe network into a H/E network, and back again! After all, you have to get that gas safely into space somehow!
- Heat Exchanger - These strange and esoteric devices equalize the temperature between two pipe networks without actually mixing the gases. To use, place them facing each other. (So you're going to need at LEAST a 1 X 4 area to set this up.)
Disposal Pipes are made through the disposal pipe dispenser; use them to fix or expand the disposals system on the Exodus.
Atmospherics isn't the only place with pipes, the entire pipe system is there to explore.
- Officially, Atmospherics has one other official room on the station, a small room in maintenance just north of the Fitness Room and just east of the Detective's Office. This room can isolate the Security wings distribution system with its own feed of gas, canister of air mix included within.
- The Incinerator provides a good off-site burn room.
- The Construction Area is a oft disused little haven that's just asking for some pipes, it even comes with an Air alarm that controls nothing that you don't build yourself! This place provides a great blank canvas for any sort of atmospheric experimentation outside of Atmosia. However, it's a little far from any distribution pipes.
- The Vacant Office is also a prime location for Atmospherics, though there already is a vent system in place as well as plenty of annoying desks to dismantle, it can be a place to practice your pipe skills.
- By Arrivals and also the airlocks leading to the Toxins Test Chamber in the maintenance tunnels are two large cans of emergency air mix that can be put into the system with the turn of a valve.
Finally, the entirety of the maintenance system itself is a giant playground of pipes. Try using your T-ray to explore the vast pipe systems.
Whatever you do, be responsible with your experiments. When in doubt, adminhelp what you're going to do.
Notes about Pressure, Temperature, Volume and Heat Capacity
PV=nRT where R = 8: The following are linked by this equation. Sadly, without either Volume or Moles, it's not useful in game and is here for the theory.
Pressure (P): Measured in kPa, kiloPascals, Pressure is lethal above 750 kPa's.
Temperature(T): Measures in K, Kelvins, Temperature above x and below y causes burn damage. Bomb making usually relies on a temperature at or in excess of 90 kK. Floors and walls melt at a temperature of z.
Moles(n): While not a variable that can be seen, Moles are the amount of particles of a gas in the air. It is moles that cause odd effects with a certain chemical. As it dumps so many moles to a turf, to keep the pressure acceptable, the moles have to be very, very cold, causing the infectious effect.
Volume(V): Another unseen variable, Volume is the size of a turf, or a canister, tank or piped tank. This helps dictate how much gas it can hold. (Potential list of volume for a tile, pipe, airtanks, etanks, canisters, ect?)
Heat Capacity: A gasmix has heat capacity, and it is calculated by taking into account the quantity of all of the gases in the air and their specific heat. Oxygen and Nitrogen have a specific heat of 20, CO2 has 30, and phoron has 200. The higher the specific heat, the more energy required to heat up the mixture, meaning that with an air mix vs. pure O2 mix, it takes much more energy to heat the air than the O2, and the increase in energy required also decreases how much the fire spreads. Simply slowing it down means that heat energy will be 'soaked up' by the air instead of super-heating everything extremely quickly.
Fire: An effect usually caused by burning phoron, fire comes in two different forms of hotspot. It causes massive burn damage, and a strong fire will not be stopped by standard firesuits. Plumbing N2 into a room might work, but heavy firefighting is not the point of this section. Fire will ignite any form of combustibles in near tiles. Sufficiently hot fires use less oxygen as they rise in temperature. This is due to the fact that fires remove X phoron and X*(1.4-Y, Y< or = 1) oxygen. X CO2 is produced.
Things to Do in Atmosia
- The Atmospherics system is far from optimal, and I'm talking about just the pipe configuration! Break out that wrench and start experimenting! (Just make sure you know what's what.)
- Extremely high temperature gases (Like those from a panic siphoned fire.) can really clog the waste loop. Can something be done to correct that?
- No one uses the ports outside of the 'refilling' station, but that doesn't mean that functionality can't be added onto them!
- Speaking of EVA suits, your engineering buddies can potentially help you with anything you might want to do in space, be it adding or modifying pipes.
- The main cargo area inside Cargo has a laughably small number of vents, and how many times have those geniuses sent the shuttle off while the doors are open?
- The brig's distribution system is set up to be potentially independent of the rest of the stations distribution loop; maybe other places can be set up like this as well?
- The mining station doesn't have air recycling. Very long rounds might make this a problem for any miners working there.
Being a Traitorous Bastard
- Open valves connected to harmful gas you want to add to the station.
- Set pumps to the distribution loop to maximum pressure output (4500 kPa)
- Set filters to not filter harmful gasses you want to add to the station
- Open valve from custom mix chamber
- Turn on pump leading to distribution loop
- Wait for vents to slowly kick out your deathgas mix as regular atmos drains out through the inevitable hull breaches. (Alternatively turn off pressure checks on atmos alarms vents)
- If you need to kill someone for your objective, and you want to be more proactive, the Fire Axe mounted in the wall is surprisingly effective. Just don't leave it lying around, because it's one of only two on the entire station.
To hurry this process up, you can set the air vents at local control panels to maximum output pressure. Not doing so gives the AI and atmos techs more time to notice what you've done and shut it off before it takes effect.
Crafty atmos traitors will want to cut cameras, replace pumps with pipes, and use tricky pipe configurations to avoid the AI interfering or the detective trying to fix it.
Warning: If you plan on using any dangerous gas as a traitor, adminhelp first. Say what you're planning and wait to get approval. Do not act without an admin greenlight.
Tips and Trivia
- Air Filters on currently burning mixes can siphon out heated but PURE O2 and Phoron. Do the O2 first then the phoron, as there is less O2 in a fire and thus it functions faster. This (and H/E) allow you to reach really obscene temperatures.
- Air Filters and H/E allow you to expose gasses to the heat of fires (or their CO2 product) but keep/make them pure, allowing for hot N2O or similar.
- Canister bombs are heated Phoron in a canister, with a O2 tank placed in the canister, and then open the valve between them. You will also need to run very, very fast.
- You can hack an air alarm to use it as a non-atmostech.
- Any time chemistry sets off an air-affecting grenade (Think Welderfuel/Ground Phoron), the particles spread themselves as part of an air mix. This can be annoying because, though the Air Alarms pick them up as "High Concentration of Unknown Particles Detected", they are impossible to suck down to Atmos. Spacing the entire affected air is, as far as I know, the only real "cure". There is a viable way to clean this, if you can safely cordon off the area. Detonating a welding fuel tank usually (always?) cuts a hole to space on the tile beneath it, and thus if you set your internals on and wear a fire suit, is a highly unsafe but effective way of draining the air. It is also one of the few ways to destroy pipes which are at a high pressure and thus can be a useful emergency cut-off if there is phoron irrevocably linked to distribution. It does KO you, do damage, and can make a space tile, which means without internals and a fire suit it can kill you. Caution is advised.
- Pipes at higher than 300 kPa pressure cannot be unwrenched; keep this in mind when building or repairing any pipe systems.
- If there is a large area that has a fire and is at sweltering pressure and temperatures, siphoning, filtering, and cooling will take a lot of time, power, and will clog the waste loop beyond imagination. Rather than using this method for large fires, It may be more advisable to vent the area to space, either by opening a hole in the floor, or opening a wall to space, which will empty the room of air and put out the fire. It would be VERY advised to have magboots on before you do something like this, as the change in pressure will send you flying.
The Lesser-Known Hazards of Gas
- N2O is invisible at low pressures. If you start giggling, put on your internals to avoid passing out.
- Any gas can displace O2, and less than 16 (also useful for optimizing internals) kPa of oxygen starts the Oxyloss. CO2 can be removed with the scrubbers, but to get rid of N2 simply apply some way of removing gas from the air and adding O2. My personal favorite is 2 air pumps, 3 connectors and a Air Filter and a canister: 1 pump draws in, goes through the connection and filters N2 into the canister, and the rest to the other pump, which expels it. Can also be used for N2O which is only sluggishly scrubbed otherwise.
- Pressures above 750 kPa do 10 brute damage per second plus 5 damage per second for every extra 375 kPa above that mark, rounded off. Space suits completely block it all, but there is no other defense.