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Author Topic: How do you deploy satellites?  (Read 1926 times)

Frabby

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How do you deploy satellites?
« on: 01 January 2022, 15:27:10 »
Maybe I'm overlooking something glaringly obvious, but… are there any actual rules for deploying satellites?

Imagine a situation like the Dragoons at Misery: You've got a planetary combat theater and you want to cover the planet with your own satellite network for communication and surveillance. How do you deploy the satellites?

First off, how big is a satellite? By modern real world standards, a commsat can be tiny, as in a couple of kilograms. Going by Sarna, canon communication satellites mass 1.3 or 3.3 tons, while most sats are in the 45-65 ton range and go up to 200 tons. Not sure if there is an upper limit and when a large satellite gets classified as an automated space station instead. In any case, the mass range is very large.

So, how do you deploy a satellite from your DropShip?
Do you carry sats in cargo and lauch them from a regular cargo bay as per unloading rules? Or from the standard docking adapter every BT spacecraft has?
Do (can) you lauch them from a small craft bay, ASF bay, vehicle bay? Do (can) you launch them from mass drivers, capital missile launchers, regular missile launchers, naval or regular ballistic weapons?
Can DropShips and ASF carry and deploy them like bombs?

How many satellites can you deploy in one turn?

How/where do you store satellites, can you store them in cargo and still deploy them or need they be carried in bays or magazines of some sort?
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Daryk

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Re: How do you deploy satellites?
« Reply #1 on: 01 January 2022, 15:55:29 »
I would think you simply kick them out the cargo doors while on a roughly similar orbit, maneuver away from them, then let them course correct on their own.  So the number you could launch would be limited by your door count.

AlphaMirage

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Re: How do you deploy satellites?
« Reply #2 on: 01 January 2022, 15:58:13 »
I would probably use aerospace or small craft bays as I don't think there are rules for it. Biggest satellite is the Cassion which is 200 tons so it would fit in a SC bay. I'd say you carry them as cargo and move them like any other unit to the bays.

The basic Starcomm sat is also only 20 tons so you can easily fit it in another small craft to deploy as cargo. It would just take longer

VhenRa

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Re: How do you deploy satellites?
« Reply #3 on: 01 January 2022, 18:42:23 »
Shame we can't load them onto an ASF for deployment.

Daryk

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Re: How do you deploy satellites?
« Reply #4 on: 01 January 2022, 19:35:58 »
Well, ASFs CAN carry cargo...  8)

Frabby

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Re: How do you deploy satellites?
« Reply #5 on: 02 January 2022, 02:26:58 »
Imagine i brought to the AeroTech gaming table a Mule loaded to the gills with armed satellites. 83 Haruspex satellites for example, with 2 ML and a Thunderbolt-15 missile each…
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AlphaMirage

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Re: How do you deploy satellites?
« Reply #6 on: 02 January 2022, 09:43:04 »
They are still pretty vulnerable and slow compared to aerospace fighters, nice for a surprise attack but like mines need to be used at a far to high density to be effective

Goose

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Re: How do you deploy satellites?
« Reply #7 on: 03 January 2022, 17:58:49 »
But how about conventional fighters?

A guerilla force could use a comm sat of it's own, and I think we have some fluff, somewhere, on how almost all planets are mostly unpopulated outback …
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AlphaMirage

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Re: How do you deploy satellites?
« Reply #8 on: 03 January 2022, 18:24:46 »
Conventional fighters cannot make it to orbital space, they can however fire missiles at objects in low orbit.

You certainly can utilize a communication satellite as a guerilla but it is potentially exposed to anyone that can make it to space. Since small craft are relatively cheap I'd say its not a great idea, better to use signal boosters.

SlightlyIrritatedCat

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Re: How do you deploy satellites?
« Reply #9 on: 03 January 2022, 18:46:59 »
There are circumstances where as a guerilla you might use a satellite.  But those are situations where the satellite is itself a PR thing for you and the people you are rebelling against destroying it would anger the population and turn more of them to your side.  Say for instance a guerilla organization putting up a weather satellite that freely provides storm warnings to everybody, it legitimizes your group as a source of stability and if your opponents destroy it they are harmed because their action hurts the common person.  Or putting up a free communication repeater satellite up over some part of the outback the central government ignores.  Sure they can take it down, but that looks bad for them.

AlphaMirage

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Re: How do you deploy satellites?
« Reply #10 on: 03 January 2022, 19:44:46 »
I wasn't actually thinking of destroying it but you certainly could hijack it and use it against the guerrillas.

SlightlyIrritatedCat

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Re: How do you deploy satellites?
« Reply #11 on: 03 January 2022, 20:42:18 »
Which is why you don't put up a satellite that can be used against you as guerillas.  Maybe you put up a cheap communications or weather satellite as a PR thing to bring people to your side but you don't use it.  A weather satellite for example is not useful for surveillance, so it can't really be used against the guerillas as it's designed to watch stormfronts the size of a continent and doesn't have the resolution for that kind of work.  Or you put up a cheap radio repeater for the outback people ignored by the government to communicate with and gain legitimacy as you are providing things the government is supposed to.  But you don't USE that satellite because it's a major security risk.  You put it up there to show your potential supporters that you are more legitimate than the central government you are fighting against.  Then when the central government messes with it and denies or hinders the ability to use that service it turns people against them.

pokefan548

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Re: How do you deploy satellites?
« Reply #12 on: 02 February 2022, 02:23:32 »
If you're using Advanced Movement in space, simply have a carrying unit "launch" them from one of the bays mentioned above while under the effect of gravity and while having a velocity of 1 in directions E or F on the advanced movement compass (assuming you're using a map wherein the planet is on the "East" side).

The launched satellite will inherit the velocity of the parent it launches from, and will enter into a stable orbit if going by tactical-scale rules.

Of course, this requires using Advanced Movement on the High-Altitude Map which... it really isn't meant for at current, but that's about as close as you're going to get to a hard-numbers satellite deployment rule that makes a lick of sense. Aside from that, at a campaign scale, just call it a procedure that takes some time, maybe a Control Roll to see if one or two are damaged or enter a sub-optimal orbit. GM's call, there is no exact RAW on the subject.
« Last Edit: 08 February 2022, 04:43:59 by pokefan548 »
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