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Please note: none of the core CVEL team post to the OrbiterSim (M6) forums. Please direct support requests to the #orbiter IRC channel.

What is CVE-lite?

CVE-lite is a programming library to aid developers of  add-on vessels for Orbiter. It extends the native Orbiter VESSEL class with additional functionality for multiple payloads, enhanced mesh handling or scenario-file based multistage support. It has evolved from Dave Rowbotham's CVE library, cutting down on some of the internal complexity to allow for easier maintenance, and adding some new functionality.

What does CVE-lite do for the user?

A vessel built with CVE-lite can be configured in the Orbiter scenario file to carry multiple payloads specified using the Generic Payload Description System (GPDS), first introduced in the standalone Ariane 5 addon and now finding support across such addons as Proton-K, Energia/Buran, Aircraft.dll and the CEV, and even allow fully user-specified multiple upperstaging support straight from the scenario file with any CVE-lite compatible vessel.

What does CVE-lite do for the programmer?

With CVE-lite the Orbiter add-on developer can construct quick and easy single and multistage vessels with a minimum of effort by following existing templates. The library extends the stock VESSEL class to allow an array of existing or programmer-defined inter-vessel communications including the seemless integration of multi-payload and multiple upper stage support using the GPDS system.

What existing CVE-lite vessels are there?

The author's CVE-lite add-ons will be made available on the ProjectGanymede website, but others may be distributed by their respective authors elsewhere. Orbital Hangar Mods is a good place to start. An incomplete list of  known CVE-lite compatible vessels and their websites may be found in the links section.

What does multi-payload, multiple upper-stage and GPDS mean?

Ever flown the stock Atlantis with the Carina onboard? Wanted to put in a custom payload instead? It's a pain configuring the payload to have attachment points and then making sure they line up with Atlantis' bay. GPDS was designed to replace the payload launching functionality yet be simple and easy to change quickly using nothing more than the scenario file. Furthermore, whereas Atlantis can carry one payload at a time, CVE-lite vessels can carry many! But let's say you want not only to launch a payload, but also add an extra stage to your Ariane 5, Proton, or even Shuttle. Any CVE-lite compatible vessel can be mounted on any other one, and carry off the remaining payloads as if it were another stage on the vehicle! Fregat on Ariane 5? No problem. Briz-M in the Shuttle-bay? Let's do it.

Contacting the author

CVE-lite and these webpages are © 2004 D Henderson. Please direct any queries to the forums, or to