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design by Kyle Platte
This is the RC's standard reconsat -- used to monitor nearby star systems and collect data on worlds within the AO. The are close-range satellites, designed to monitor a portion of a planet and the surrounding space. Typically several of them are placed in system with overlapping fields of view. The reconsats monitor continuously and store their reading in memory. The information can be downloaded manually or via the radio with a special code.
These satellites have no provision for movement or remote operations: they are designed for long-term monitoring of the planetary surface and nearby aerospace traffic. They have enough memory for 6 months of intermittent observation or three weeks of continuous observation. When the satellite runs out of space, it begins taping over its earliest observations, although it is able to store priority observations permanently (such as starships in orbit or nuclear detonations).
The computer is designed to operate the sensors and the radio: it has no other function. Price, volume, mass and power consumption are all 1/10 of a flight computer. The information must be processed through a flight computer or better to render the data legible to people. The reconsat has no inherent thrust or flight-correction ability.
The batteries supply about five hours of power to the sensors, computer and EMM. That power is reduced to three hours if the radio is operating. To counteract this power loss, captains frequently wash a ladar or similar light source across the solar panels to provide extra power for the data transfer. It takes 5.5 hours for the solar cells to recharge the batteries (in addition to operating the the aforementioned systems).
The satellitešs EMM masking is not used to hide the satellite from view but rather to disguise itšs appearance as useful equipment. Each satellite comes with a special shell used to disuse its appearance as something else: a broken weather satellite, starport wreckage or other piece of space-junk. The solar panels are especially designed to appear shattered and useless, although they operate normally. To represent this, the volume of the solar panels has been doubled. The disguise sheath is not represented in the total volume of the satellite and triples the satellitešs volume and weight (see below). This disguise is only effective against sensors: visual inspection will reveal that the equipment inside is new and operating.
Coalition Reconnaissance Satellite