Atmospheric Technician

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ENGINEERING STAFF
Generic atmos.png AtomsTech.png
Atmospheric Technician
Alternative Titles: Life-support Technician, Fire Suppression Specialist, Atmospherics Trainee, Environmental Maintainer, Fusion Specialist
Access: Atmospherics, Maintenance
Additional Access: Engineering, Power Equipment, Tech Storage, External Airlocks
Difficulty: Hard
Supervisors: Chief Engineer
Duties: Ensure the air is breathable on the station, fill oxygen tanks, fight fires, purify the air because jerks release toxins, do the job of the always incompetent engineers.
Guides: Atmospherics items, Guide to Atmospherics, Guide to Construction,Guide to Atmospheric Synthesis
Minimum Age: 24
Quote: Approaching the Last Frontier of Atmos.
Atmospherics
Welcome to Atmosia.


What you do is rather simple, if there is any sort of environmental disaster, head off and fix it! You have your tools, your engineering headset, pipe, space heaters, and atmospheric survival equipment. When things get quiet, sit back and start building an on-station super slide. Alternatively, make wacky engine designs, produce death mixes that almost instantly kill or internals that grant superspeed and stun immunity, or ship super high-value gas and make cargo jealous! Atmospherics is a job for those who want to explore and have the time and autism to do so, just when you think you've discovered everything, you'll find something new to keep you busy until eventually, you burn out.

Bare minimum requirements: Fight fires, restore the atmosphere in rooms that can't support life. Know how to fix sabotage to Atmospherics.

Atmosia

The enormous city-state of pipes, it is used as a jet pack recharge station for Syndicate Agents, a hideout for Wizards, a breeding ground of Xenos, and has a general alert computer that will tell if any place is messed up.

People rarely come here, but it is possible to do a lot of harm to the station if you know how.

What you Can do to Pass the Time

Atmos Techs usually have no clue what they can do, and often drift into a spiral of depression and suicide. Fret not! Here are some suggestions for you to do.

Repressurization and Filtering

After the Engineers have taken care of a hull breach (read: if), or after Toxins floods the place with plasma, it'll be your job to refill the area and make it breathable.

This can be done by using the Atmosphere Alarms mounted in most areas, along with the vents and scrubbers in the area.

The primary utility of the Atmosphere Alarm in refilling an area involves the vents. Each vent has a pressure check value on it, and is by default set to pressure check externally - this means that the vent attempts to bring the tile it's on to the listed pressure. A rapid manner of refilling an area is to remove the external pressure check, switch it over to the internal check - this attempts to regulate the pressure in the pipes of and running to the vent below, which is directly fed by the distribution loop pump in the north end of Atmosia. Setting the "pressure bound" variable to zero with internal pressure checks attempts to void all air in the pipes, effectively reducing their pressure to zero and, in the process, flooding air at an alarming rate into the area. Given the impractically slow pace at which the air alarms usually fill the area, this can be a very expeditious way to work. Pressure is dangerous, so don't simply leave the vent alone for extended periods of time, as you can, eventually, turn smaller areas into death-traps if there is enough pressure in the distribution loop.

The alarms can be set to a number of modes:

  • Filtering - The default setting. Note that most scrubbers won't filter out plasma or other gases unless you set them to, so do that!
  • Contaminated - Quickly scrubs out anything that is not oxygen or nitrogen.
  • Draught - This filters out air slowly, creating a draught. Useful if you need to drain a small amount of air due to overpressurization.
  • Cycle - Drains all the air, then replaces it. Try not to use it if there's nothing toxic in the air.
  • Siphon - Drains the air in a room. Not as fast as a panic siphon.
  • Panic Siphon - This drains all the air quickly. Most of the time used to remove all plasma very quickly, or by a malfunctioning AI.
  • Off - Turns off all vents and scrubbers.

Normally the vents will fill the room slowly by default, though by using some filled Portable Air Pumps or Air Canisters, you can refill the area much more quickly.

BE THE FIRE FIGHTER THE STATION DESERVES

A fire is easily the most fun thing that can happen in a round (for you anyway); successful firefighting requires a real understanding of the atmospheric system. At all times, wear necessary tools in a toolbelt and carry your firefighting gear in your backpack. When the call goes out, don your fire suit and gas mask, get yourself running on internals, put your oxygen tank on your back, and carry your fire first aid kit, extinguisher and reinforced glass in your backpack (carried in a hand slot).

Drag a water tank behind you and get to the fire. With AI cooperation, have the burning area bolted or welded off, save one access point the AI can monitor. This keeps the fire from spreading and chucklefucks from wandering into a fiery doom. Once inside, you must quickly determine the sort of fire you are dealing with. Pressure tanks of plasma can release massive amounts of fuel (or even burst!) and must be shut off or isolated immediately, while the best way to isolate broken pipes is to box them in with reinforced glass until a proper repair can be done. With fuel shut off, find the atmospheric alarm and set it to Panic Syphon.

This drains air out of the room completely. With this process started, check for survivors or bodies and either apply burn patches and epinephrine or simply remove them from the compartment via your access point. Next, seek out any ignition sources such as lit Zippo lighters and disable them, reporting them to Security for their forensic investigation. Then proceed with extinguishing any remaining pockets of flame. Once the fire is out, focus on clearing any remaining plasma from the atmosphere by dragging in a scrubber.

Finally, set the atmosphere alarm to pump in fresh air. It may take several cycles of filling and draining the room to clear all plasma and make larger areas inhabitable again, but once you are done, head to the bar and score some babes while Engineers clean up the mess.

(Note this lengthy guide is only handy for those significant "Research done herped-a-derp" fires that engulf Med/Sci or are caused by very skillful arsonists. Smaller fires, such as the sort chemists who just learned the napalm recipe cause, really only require some fire-extinguisher blasts and setting up a room's scrubber to remove plasma and CO2. Never presume, however, that you won't need your full toolkit. This author spent well-nigh an hour in the fiery bowels of med-sci on one occasion, but not only did I never have to leave after I stepped in and sealed it off, but I had the situation so well under control that after five minutes healthy shipboard life resumed and admins eventually had to spawn facehuggers to return a sense of danger to the crew.)

Total Emergency: The Fire Axe and you

The Fire Axe is your tool during emergencies (because you can use it like a crowbar to open the door when the power is off) and your weapon (traitors, revolutionaries, and cultists usually try to steal the axe because you can kill a person in seconds). The fire axe is protected with a Fire Axe Cabinet. To open it, you can use an Atmos Tech ID to unlock the cabinet, or use a multitool to force the unlocking. If all else fails, grab something and beat the cabinet open.

Window Repair

An excellent way to be proactive within your job is fixing the broken windows that occur every round. Gird your loins with a toolbelt if you can, grab some metal and glass, and patrol the outer passageways. Almost always, the task requires a low-pressure or no-pressure exposure to the great beyond. By creatively rotating and moving surviving windows, you can lock in your precious atmosphere, then replace the broken glass and grill. The genuinely hardcore technicians do minor spacewalks with only the flame of their welding torch for heat, sipping sweet oxygen through their breath masks behind a welding helmet. Are you hardcore? No, you're not. Go back to being a hardsuited engineer who can't find a hull breach without a pair of mesons and never bothers to fix them anyway.

Life Sucks and Blows

You can purge the air of rooms using an emergency siphon or change the air filter controls by deal with the air alarm attached to walls! Just take your ID in hand, and click to un/lock it and play with the controls. Setting up the pumps in Atmos now allows you to pump any gas to any point in the station!

Protip: Pure oxygen lets people survive in a breached compartment much longer.

Protip: Pure oxygen makes plasma fires much, much worse.

Protip: Since you're in charge of both breathing and firefighting, Murphy's Law says you're screwed.

Laying Some Pipe

You have two machines! One Machine is for gas pipes, and one for disposal pipes. To install gas pipes, simply click on them in your hand until they are correctly aligned, drop them on the tile they are needed, and use the wrench on them. For disposal pipes, one must drag them into position, wrench them in place on the subfloor, then weld them to seal it all together. A personal locker makes an excellent method to haul all the air pipes you'd ever need between job sites, but disposal pipes must be dragged one at a time. Expect Security to frequently and irrationally demand the locker be checked for bodies, usually three or four times a minute, if you use the main hallways.

Ascending to Godhood

Silly things like setting up Atmospherics is for puny mortals and chumps. After doing the absolute bare minimum of your job, you can go and do the most high-risk project on the station: Fusion engines. A starter atmos tech may make large amounts of tritium and ship it to cargo and be happy he made 20k credits. An atmos god at the higher ends of the autism spectrum can make canisters worth several million, or special internal tanks that give super speed and complete stun immunity for maximum greytide, or infinite electrical power with more energy than the big bang. Atmospherics is about experimentation and making new things, unlike regular engineers who do the same thing over and over again. Be warned, however, that the process of discovery is particularly arcane, and the guidance of an atmos elder makes it much, much more manageable.

Tips

  • Firesuits protect between 60 to 30,000 kelvin.
  • Setting air vents to 0 kPa internal check (or just turning off the check) will make them pump out air like crazy, which makes it excellent to restore air to an area quickly.
  • When maximizing vent outputs Set the vents to internal and desired pressure 0 instead. Maxed vents at 5000 KPA in a 100 KPA room will output 2450 KPA in the first tick, then 1225 KPA, 612.5 KPA, 306.25 KPA, 153.125 KPA, etc. (assuming vents are always provided with max air). Zero'd vents will output 5000 KPA, then 5000 KPA, then 5000 KPA, etc.
  • N2O makes people laugh in small amounts, knocks out in low amounts and suffocates in high amounts.
  • When a room is breached, it will suffer decompression and instantly vent all of the gas out into space. Air systems are smart enough to automatically turn off once this is detected and will resume regular function once the breach is sealed.
  • Atmos tech is actually an interesting job; disposal tubes give such wonderful opportunities for killing people, however it takes shitton of time to build everything you need.
  • Any sort of air mix is survivable as long as it has at least 16 kPa of oxygen on the output. This means you can efficiently compute the release pressure you'd need for a given air mix by dividing 16 by the percentage of oxygen in the mix, i.e., for 20/80 O2/N2 air mix you'd need a release pressure of 16/0.2 = 80 to be okay.
  • You can rotate a pipe in your hand by click on it.
  • Fire extinguishers fit in firesuit suit storage.
  • The Fire Axe Cabinet can be opened with a multitool. One usually is nearby.
  • You can disable fire alarms by multitooling them.
  • You can trigger fire alarms by shooting them with a projectile. ADDED: Or hitting them with anything.

Optimizing atmospherics

  1. Grab your gear from the lockers. The crucial pieces of equipment are the Rapid Pipe Dispenser and the holofan projector. The former is your primary instrument of the trade, the latter is your quick method of isolating breaches. Turn off and unwrench the pressure pumps that feed distro and pull from waste, replace them with volume pumps and turn them on. This step is not necessary most of the time, but does help when a breach occurs.
  2. For AIs, if no organics are around competent/willing to do this manually and your Engiborgs (if you have any) are busy, which is like a guarantee, you can do a simpler version of this; just turn Air to Distro and Waste In up to 4500 kPa and set each scrubber station to 4500 kPa too. It won't be as effective, but it's so much better than nothing. Cranking up the air available in the distro loop poses no threat to safety, and in fact, makes it harder to start up destructive floods since there's so much good air in the way in there.
  3. Minor addendum: A maxed volume pump and a maxed regular pump at the same rate given ideal circumstances. The difference is the volume pump won't stop pumping once its output end is at 4500 kpa or more. This makes it excellent for waste in, where no matter how much gas the previous fire/atmos experiment clogged the filtering loop with, Waste In is still pumping waste out of the scrubbers pipes, and by extension, helping keep the scrubbers from getting clogged to the point of uselessness.
  4. Setting up atmos doesn't really matter that much anyway as long as you give the distro loop some pressure. The entire supply and equipment are designed for a space station that's supposed to last month. There are about two instances in which a proper setup is useful: massive hull breaches which will drain a lot of air and station-wide plasma fires which might fill the waste loop (in which case you're at fault as an atmos tech for not keeping an eye on the system in the first place).
  5. If you are an atmos tech and want to reduce significantly the possibility of harmful atmos manipulations, or if you are an AI and you spotted a guy just turning valves to release plasma into distro:
    • Open the atmospherics console for the specific chamber from which the gas is being pulled from and toggle power on the output, or set output to 0kpa. 90% of players don't check this console and will usually take a while to figure out why their gas isn't flowing. When they do figure it out and cut cameras, simply turn off the APC to buy more time, and hope that security is competent enough to make good use of the time you've bought.
    • If (and only if) you have good reason to suspect that the AI might be subverted, malfunctioning, or is otherwise likely to flood the station with harmful gases from the reserve tanks, you can place manual valves in front of all the outputs and distro inputs to ensure it can't do so. Note that you need to have very good reasons for suspecting the AI of being an antagonist and that doing this before any prompting is considered metagaming and liable to investigation by the admins.

Tips for Traitoring

  • The incinerator can easily be used to create canisters of pure death.
  • Plasma + N2O is exceptionally deadly if you can get someone to use it as internals/force them to use it. They won't even be able to scream.
  • Wielded fire-axes break grilles and reinforced windows in one shot.
    • And open unpowered doors and kill people reasonably reliably.
  • You can change sensor settings on air alarms, so it doesn't cause an alarm by setting the value to -1, which turns that sensor off. Do it for all sensors, and you can get rid of pesky alarms that are pretty much already fixed, or hide atmos fuckery.
  • Flamethrowers are incredibly devastating weapons when used correctly. A mix of fuel, fuel accelerant, and knockout gases in a chilled flamethrower setup allows you to selectively flood an entire room and reliably kill everyone inside. Make sure to protect yourself beforehand, however.
  • Radiation is an invisible threat; in low amounts, it causes annoyances. At extremely high levels, it instantly husks anyone close by. Make sure to be immune to radiation in the first place before doing this.
    • Note that radiation by its nature is highly contaminating, and if a husked irradiated corpse is dragged to medbay for cloning, there's a very high chance that half of medbay dies and cloning becomes inoperable. This is a very messy method that will not just raise the ire of Security, but also of the watchful gods. Tread carefully.

Oxygen is Overrated

Traitor atmos techs have the potential to become one of the most devastating forces on the station. If you know what you're doing, you can pretty much flood the station with whatever harmful gas you want. If you do, remember to take measures against the AI messing with your work, and always keep your internals on. This means either subverting the AI or cutting its access. If you're feeling particularly daring, you can unwrench the pipes and rearrange them, ensuring the AI cannot fix it. Bolt the doors or set the room on fire to prevent humans from fixing it too. Depending on how bad it's going to be, you might want to procure a space suit to escape the hell you've created.

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