I finally finished my "proof" of concept for VB.NET where I added vectors together.
So, the first vector is "Where is the ship now relative to the Star Mass" - this gives us where the current position of the ship is.
Second Vector is "What is the built up velocity relative to the Ship itself" - this gives us the next turn's future position should the ship not accelerate
Third vector will be "What will the ship accelerate by and in what heading" - this will give us the final location of the ship when added to the future position.
Now the problem becomes one of "What is the new built up velocity" as well as what is its bearing. My gut instinct is that if a ship accelerates at 10 m/sec for 400 turns, the BEST velocity it can achieve is if it heads on the same bearing for those 400 turns. Its built up velocity then, would be 10 km per turn x 400 turns or 4,000 km per turn. If I were to make a right turn against that built up Velocity of 4,000 km per turn, my new built up velocity will be (4000^2 + 10^2)^.5 or 4000.012499 km per second. That's not much of a change in built up velocity.
If I'm making a mistake here, now is the time for me to catch it (hopefully you don't mind my asking for the help!!!).
Ultimately? If I can accurately add all three vectors - I will have a virtual table top that spans the entire Star system - since units of measure can be miles (for 93,000,000 miles per AU) or Km (for 150,000,000 Km Per Au). It can track missile locations, it can track ship locations, and if it can determine distances between two objects being tracked, it can also determine range between the two items.
I had looked for an algorithm for calculating the location of a planet on an elliptical orbit - but I'm not finding anything that I can use thus far. I think I saw a method that required the use of an actual circle inside of the elliptical, and the true location on the elliptical was based on the inside circle, but I am likely mis-remembering it. The thing is? Even if the method is "Slightly" flawed, the same level of flaw will apply to all ships trying to navigate to that present planet based upon where it will be in a given time frame.
If I had the means to calculate planetary locations, ship locations, missile locations etc - then in theory? I could write a subroutine where it would have a range from the ship, and be able to display all "discovered" items within a circle radius of the ship. In theory? I could make a "radar blip" type screen showing where things are, what their observed built up velocity vector is, etc.
Then, over the internet - or perhaps via FANTASY GROUNDS - I could run a ship to ship combat for the players on a mostly text based set up - but all computer generated.
The "Basic' application would be "Game system neutral" as far as movement goes. It would be system dependent for sensor information (whether CT, MT, TNE, T4, GT, MgT or what have you. I am NOT going to try and figure out T5 rules.
So technically? Being able to add vectors together was the primary hurdle. If I simply cheat and use strictly circular orbits, then I have planetary motion as well.