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- Type: VAB
- Class: satellite
- Part Count: 53
- Pure Stock
RA-2 3 Satellite Constellation
Ready to launch communications network for setting up equatorial comsats around the Mun or Minmus. It has enough fuel that you should be able to pump a little leftover fuel from the lifter into the 2 sats on top of the stack for a little extra dv in the main carrier (which is also the third relay). Pump leftover fuel to top 2 sats, jettison lifter, begin burn for Mun or Minmus.
It doesn’t take much fuel on the individual sats since the carrier sat will do most of the maneuvering, I recommend putting ¼th of tank or less in each sat (first sat maybe not even that much since it doesn’t even circularize itself). It’s budgeted with plenty of fuel, but it will look tight if you don’t pump some of it around, you can easily have enough fuel in each sat for deorbiting for retirement if you wish.
Kerbal Engineer Redux is STRONGLY recommended
Transfer in near the altitude you want to park at. I usually park between 450km and 550km, doesn’t have to be very exact as long as you keep the satellites very close in inclination and orbital period length. Correct inclination as close to 0 equatorial as you can, and circularize. Point retrograde and deploy top satellite. Check its orbital period down to the second, and use the engine on it to adjust inclination etc. if needed (decoupling perturbs the orbit slightly). Now do some paper math to calculate what 4/3rds of the orbital period is; for example if orbital period was 3h, you would set your pacing orbital period to 4h. Calculate it down to within 1s of your first satellite, you want them to be as equidistant from each other as possible. Burn prograde until you hit the pacing orbit.
On very next orbit at periapse, release second sat, circularize, fix inclination etc. and make sure you get within 1s of the first sat’s orbital period. I usually go as far as 0.05s precision (set thrust limiter to 0.5 on Spark engine for precision burns), to make sure drift will be a nonfactor for a VERY LONG TIME.
Switch back to the carrier, and on next orbit at periapse, circularize, fix inclination etc. and now you have a fully functional 3 satellite constellation to eliminate blackouts around Kerbin’s moons. These sats can also be used on other bodies, but I would recommend installing larger dish relays in polar orbits around the primaries first. Example: put 1-2 polar sats with bigger dishes around Duna before deploying these RA-2 sats around Ike.
Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.2.2.
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