'Drill-O-Matic' Mining Excavator

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'Drill-O-Matic' Mining Excavator
Part image

Radial size Radial mounted
Cost (total) 6 000.00 Funds
Mass (total) 1.25 t
Drag 0.2
Max. Temp. 2000 K
Volume  ?
Impact Tolerance 7 m/s
Research Advanced science tech.png Advanced Science Tech
Unlock cost 18 000 Funds
Since version 1.0
Part configuration RadialDrill.cfg
Electricity required 15 ⚡/s

The 'Drill-O-Matic' Mining Excavator is a resource harvester. The Kerbals can use this part to extract ore from the surface of a celestial body. The drill must be connected to a craft with an ore tank in order for it to be able to extract any ore.


Deployed and retracted state

The primary use for the Drill-O-Matic is for mining. If a player positions the drill on an area with a nominal amount of ore beneath the surface, which can be determined by completing planetary scans with resource scanners, the player can use the drill to collect ore that can be turned into liquid fuel, oxidizer or monopropellant with converters.

An engineer will increase the drill's output efficiency, according to their level (number of stars), while aboard the craft (including in an EAS-1 External Command Seat). However, more than one engineer will have no additional effect. Electricity consumption and heat production also scale up with the engineer bonus multiplier. Since version 1.0.1 the Drill-O-Matic will not produce overheating.

When deployed, the drill head and shaft pass through craft and bodies, but the drill housing at the top may collide with objects as it swings out. To harvest ore the drill head should be below (or slightly above) the surface of a celestial body. For asteroid mining, it must penetrate the surface by deploying it, rather than flying the whole craft into position with the drill already extended.

Ore extraction rate

While the drill is active, it extracts ore depending on the type of celestial body, the ore concentration in the area, the core temperature and the presence and level of an engineer on-board. The ore extraction rate is B·c·T·m where:

  • "B" is the base rate of 1.5 ore/s on a moon or planet surface and 5.0 ore/s on an asteroid.
  • "c" is the local ore concentration between 0 and 100%
  • "T" is the thermal efficiency displayed in the drill menu (100% at 500K, less at higher or lower temperatures).
  • "m" is the multiplier supplied by the level of the highest level engineer on-board. These are as follows:
Level Multiplier
No Engineer 5%
☆☆☆☆☆ 25%
★☆☆☆☆ 45%
★★☆☆☆ 65%
★★★☆☆ 85%
★★★★☆ 105%
★★★★★ 125%

The drill displays B·c as "Ore rate" and T·m as "X% load". The effective ore generation rate can be calculated by multiplying those two values.

Note: charge used = T·m·15 = "X% load"·15 ⚡/s. Hence it varies greatly, scaling up gradually with thermal efficiency (as the drill core warms up), then from 0.75 ⚡/s with no engineer to 18.75 ⚡/s with a 5 star engineer (while at 100% thermal efficiency, on a planetary body). Asteroid harvesting mode consumes a flat 1.5⚡/s under all circumstances (while there is space to store ore).

Practical details

This part needs 100kW of cooling, or it will overheat and go into auto-shutdown mode. You can also expect that it will need the equivalent output of one Gigantor XL Solar Array. For a very rough estimate, assume that one of these drills will produce .05 units of ore per second.

Prior versions required a long minimum duration (~6 hours) for unattended production, but 1.2.2 produces ore over smaller unattended periods.

Product description

Designed to help extract valuable resources from the crust of planets and asteroids, the Drill-O-Matic uses a rotary drill combined with an internal transfer auger to pull crushed regolith into holding tanks for later processing. When operated by a skilled engineer, you will be able to operate with better efficiency.



  • Replaced overheat mechanic with a skill-based mechanic
  • Initial release