I've dived into unmanned exploration with RemoteTech mod for added challenge. I am at an early stage in the Career mode and my core communications constellation is 3 satellites at 700km orbit with a Communotron 16 for inter-constellation relays and LKO service and a pair of Comms DTS-M1 on each craft aimed at Mun an Minmus respectively.
The first step for unmanned probes beyond Kerbin SOI was a Munar free-return fly-by which was an easy step given there's no need to stay in communication throughout the flight and, particularly, on the dark side of the Mun. For science sake I just scheduled experimentation to be performed by Flight Computer at point in time after SOI change (Space high above Mun) and at Mun PE (Space near the Mun).
Trouble came when I was returning to Kerbin to aerobrake and land. My probe has Communotron 16 & Reflectron DP-10 on board. The first one snaps under dynamic pressure and the latter is out of range of KSC and comm-sats.
So, how do I not loose the probe to lithobraking given antennas & relays that I have?
Some options are:
- figure out timing for FC to extend/retract antena during re-entry
- figure out timing for FC for parachute deployment and just pickup uncontrolled probe after it lands
- learning & using kOS to script above actions based on altitude/speed
What I ended up doing was binding Communotron to an action group and schedule two action group toggles in the Flight Computer (one to extend and one to retract) the antenna. Figuring out the proper timing for these actions involved lots of trial and save/load.
Is there a better way?