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Environmental Domes are set up on non-core planets where you have a deed. They allow you to establish and manage a habitable environment for colonists and colony buildings on planets or moons that have not yet been terraformed.
These colonies can produce food and/or minerals which can supplement the resource supply available within the core as well as meet the needs of local expansion. Once sufficient numbers of colonies are established, options will be made available to allow colonies to trade amongst each other.
Stellar Credits (SC) are acquired by purchasing premium content via the options button. SC are awarded at a rate of 100/month/premium. Deeds require 80 SC to claim and 80 SC per month to maintain.
Before claiming a deed on a planet that you intend to colonize, you should have already acquired (from Deep Six) the blueprints for Environmental Domes and Automated Fission Power Plants.
You will also need the blueprint for the traditional Transport Grids, substantial reserves of minerals for construction, as well as Graphene and Superconducting Coils. You will also need a ship with a large passenger and cargo capacity, and a suitable Hyperdrive fitted.
Before claiming a deed, ensure that the land under the deed is mostly flat, and has suitable resource levels. Colonies should not be placed on extra-hilly moons at all, and you should also avoid building on hillsides except where absolutely necessary.
Use the show mb.coresample command on various plots (colored part of a show mb.samplemapoverlay) to determine a good place for the center of the deed. Beware that actual deposits of minerals do not completely correspond to the mb.samplemapoverlay. There is always some overlap. You do not want to invest your limited supplies of Graphene, Superconducting Coils, Titanium, Carbon and Aluminum on a dome when the land under the dome lacks development potential.
Claiming a deed-
While in EVA there will be a button that says Claim Deed. Once you are in the position that you want to be your colony center, just press this button, and accept the confirm popup.
Claiming a deed does not require purchasing a deed, and has no prerequisites other than the 80 SC.
Upon claiming a deed, you will want to place your first dome. Ensure the land it is being placed on is flat, or close to flat, and be absolutely sure that it has minerals present under substantial parts of the dome, if not the entire area.
Upon placing your dome, you will notice a structure at the centre of the dome, at ground level. This is the dome control tower. The commands you can use with the dome control tower console can be found in the latter part of this article.
On worlds with oceans the dome may be built either above or below sea level. However, the dome control systems will not work correctly if the dome is built partially underwater. Your dome should be either entirely underwater or not in the sea at all.
Note that in a H2O-only ocean, you will have difficulty finding sufficient nitrogen for your undersea dome atmosphere. Nitrogen will have to be "unloaded" from a ship into the dome.
Transport Grid Placement-
After placing your dome and supplying its materials, the first thing you will want to build are Transport Grids. Keep them three squares apart on one axis, and combine them at least once, preferably twice, on the other axis. The three square separation allows for two squares of land to be developed inbetween each Transport Grid. The intersecting grids can be located within the dome boundary, but they do not necessarily have to be.
Beware that nothing can be successfully built on square 0,0. This square is either unusable due to a bug, or it may be reserved for the future construction of a statue in your honour.
The next thing to build are your Automated Fission Power Plants. You will need approximately 2-3 power plants before construction is finished to manage the dome's atmosphere, approximately 6 power plants for a single dome farm colony, and substantially more power plants for mining colonies.
Energy Supply Tips-
As these power plants are designed for rough environments, they can and should be built outside the dome, though they must be connected using Transport Grids.
For obvious reasons there should be two independent paths for energy to reach the dome control tower from your power plants. This may mean building power plants on two sides of your colony, or by adding a transverse grid alongside the dome control tower. When deleting and adding buildings, any interruptions to supply of energy to the dome control tower (if you accidentally remove a critical transport grid section while attempting to remove a building) could have catastrophic consequences for your dome's residents.
Click on the dome control tower to manage the dome's computer. You will see a console. Commands that you can use to set up your dome's atmosphere are listed below.
You will want the Radiation, Gravity and Pressure as close to 1 as possible. The Radiation and Gravity are managed in their own right. The pressure is a function of the quantities of gases present within the dome. You will need the gas amounts and water vapour (N2, O2, CO2 and H2O) to sum up to approximately 430,000 tons. They will need to be at proportions similar to Earth's atmosphere.
Deletes the specified command line. Each line is numbered. Syntax: del 12 (where 12 is the line to be deleted).
Sets the level of radiation shielding occurring within the roof glazing of your Environmental Dome. This prevents the radiation, where applicable, from cooking your dome's residents. The number can also be set to increase the amount of radiation received by your dome, in low radiation environments.
To calculate your polarization number, divide 1 by the radiation your dome receives. You will not be able to find the Radiation level until you have a completed dome. When you click on a completed dome the first line will show base radiation.
Changes the level of gravity within the dome. Ideally this should be set to the difference between external gravity and 1.
Heats the air/gases within your dome. Can and should be made conditional. All temperatures are in degrees Kelvin. This value should be the coolest you want your dome to get during the night.
Cools the air/gases within your dome. Can and should be made conditional. All temperatures are in degrees Kelvin. This value should be the warmest you want your dome to get during the day.
Separates and expels specified gas (including NH4 and CO2, as well as useful gases such as Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide etc) out of the dome atmosphere. Can and should be made conditional, so that these gases are only expelled above your preferred upper limit for each gas.
All Carbon must be vented. The dome's computer does not do a very good job stabilizing the carbon in its molecular form. The technology to achieve this is unlikely to ever be developed during our lifetimes.
All surplus gases must be conditionally vented above the levels you want in your atmosphere. Where a gas is also needed for split or combine functions, make the vent command conditional at a slightly higher quantity than the condition set on the split or combine function.
Stores a quantity of unwanted gases from the dome into a warehouse, once the dome is habitable and has a warehouse.
Separates out the molecular bonds between various atmospheric gases, to yield potentially useful gases. For example, you can create a conditional rule to split NH4 into Nitrogen (required for atmosphere) and Hydrogen (can be stored and/or vented and/or recombined into water) when your level of Nitrogen is too low, or when your level of water is too low (though not both).
Recombines split gases or gases obtained using intake. For example, if you have H2 from an intake or a split command, and you have O2 from another split command, you can combine the two to make water. Can and should be made conditional.
Sets the dome controls to retrieve a specific gas from the atmosphere. Can and should be made conditional.
Allows a player to drop Hydrogen, Oxygen, and any other atmospheric elements, directly into the dome from your ship's cargo hold. Most domes will not use this feature as it's infinitely more efficient to intake and use gases that are present locally. You would normally only use this command if your dome is on a planet with no atmosphere or where a specific element is missing from the atmosphere. This is a one-off feature: it will not continue to raid your ship's hold for atmospheric gases the next time you visit your dome.
Colony Buildings and Colonists-
You will already have blueprints for colony buildings such as Water Tower, Residential Tower, Warehouse, Entertainment Complex, Mines and Farms, if you have built successful settlements on core planets and moons. Dome colonies are larger and slightly harder to build versions of these, though dome colonies are potentially far more lucrative.
All buildings must adjoin at least one transport grid section to operate correctly.
All buildings must have workers to operate correctly. In the core there are millions of unemployed residents, and thus finding labour is not difficult. On dome colonies you will only have workers present if you transport them to the dome yourself. Unemployed refugees from the core systems may be resettled via the UNRC.
You should request an allocation of colonists (by clicking Manage Settlement -> Recruit Colonists), while within 100,000km of your colony, once your dome is habitable and you have completed buildings for colonists to work, rest and play. You will be told which system you need to go to upon each allocation, and how much you will need to pay the UNRC for that allocation.
You should continue to recruit and transport more colonists until your colony has reached full employment.
A typical dome full of mines or farms and a few towers will require approximately 2,000 colonists. Spaceships can expand passenger space by attaching Passenger Quarter modules. A Class 7 Passenger Quarter module can fit an additional 107 passengers and you can fit as many Passenger Quarter modules onto your ship as long as you have cargo space. Higher class Passenger Quarter modules carry more passengers on your ship.