This mod is not known to work with the latest version of Kerbal Space Program. Proceed with caution.
Example SAR scan of Kerbin at 1000x and then 10,000x warp
This add-on is a work-in-progress.
This means you should expect that it may not work, and you should be unsurprised if it does not progress.
Disclaimer aside, this add-on is widely used and it usually works just fine.
Maintainers are the people who you should complain to if there is something wrong.
Complaints in various forms are prioritized as follows:
If you submit a well-reasoned pull request, you may even trigger a new release!
As of August 2014, the vast majority of code is damny's and DMagic's; and technogeeky and is slowly helping out here and there.
In addition to the authors, the following people have contributed: + (Models, Graphics, Textures) Milkshakefiend
For licensing information, please see the included LICENSE.txt file.
Source Code is available, as some licenses may require.
For some basic scanning strategies, as well as a description of resource scanning, check out the SCANsat wiki
What does SCANsat do?
S.C.A.N. is proud to collaborate with other KSP mods and modding teams. Following is a table of all of the mods, add-ons, or software that we interoperate with.
MM, RPM, MechJeb, and Toolbar are all soft dependencies. This means your experience with SCANsat will be enhanced if you are using these mods, but they are not necessary.
SCANsat supports several different kinds of scans (as opposed to scanning modules or parts).
Other parts and add-ons are free to include one or more of these kinds of scans. In general, we would request that similar (same order of magnitude) scanning parameters and limitations are used on custom parts, but this is not a requirement.
SCANsat can scan for a few basic types of data. All of these (non-resource) scans are shown as indicators on the Small Map. For more information about basic SCANsat scanning checkout the wiki
SCANsat will scan celestial bodies for resources using the new stock resource system. For a full description of both stack and SCANsat resource scanning methods check out the SCANsat wiki.
With default resource scanning options enabled the SCANsat resource map will automatically update as soon as a stock resource scan is completed.
No further resource scanning is necessary while using stock scanning mode.
There are two levels of SCANsat Scanning Mode:
Resource scans are initiated in the same way as any other scan. In this case they use the stock M700 Orbital Survey Scanner.
Resource scanning proceeds the same way as standard SCANsat scanning instruments do. The grey scale color option generally works best when viewing resource overlays.
The resource system can be enabled through the SCANsat Big Map:
The M700 Orbital Survey Scanner provides a low-detail resource map for all available surface resources. For high detail maps a specific scanner is needed for each different resource. For stock Ore the M4435 Narrow-Band Scanner is used; high detail scanner modules are added to other parts for addon resources as needed.
The examples below show the difference between high (top) and low (bottom) resolution resource scans
Zoom map resource overlays require that a vessel with a narrow-band scanner be present in orbit and at an inclination high enough to cover the area in the zoom map.
If a vessel with a narrow-band scanner is not present, or its inclination is not high enough, the zoom map will not display the resource overlay. The same restrictions apply to overlay tooltips and the instrument window resource readout.
Resource overlays will work in IVA, too:
A number of options are available in the Resource Settings Menu for SCANsat resource scanning; this window has an in-game help function activated by selecting the ? icon in the top-right corner.
Put scanner part on rocket, aim rocket at sky, launch. If your rocket is not pointing at the sky, you are probably not going to map today, because most sensors only work above 5 km.
You can start scanning by selecting a SCANsat part's context menu, enabling the part. Here, you will find a small map.
Watch the data indicators on the small map to determine how well your scanners are performing. The right-click context menus also contain indicators for the proper scanning altitude.
Solid ORANGE means you're too high (and therefore no data is being recorded):
Flashing ORANGE/GREEN means you're too low (and therefore you have a FOV penalty):
Solid GREEN means you're in an ideal orbit. Notice the larger swath width on the right:
In these examples, the SAR and Multi sensors are not very well matched. Because the SAR sensors is ideal above 750km, and becuase it has a large field of view penalty if it's down near the ideal for Multi (250km), these sensors probably should not be used on the same scanner.
BIO and ANOM are ideal, but HI is not! | HI is ideal, but BIO and ANOM are off! ---|--- |
SAR (HI) has thin swaths due to low alt. | Multi and RADAR have similar ideal swaths --- | --- |
The mapping interface consists of a small-ish map of the planet, as far as it has been scanned in your current game. It scans and updates quickly and shows positions of the active vessel, as well as other scanning vessels in orbit around the same planet. Orbital information is also provided. For a slower but more detailed view, see the big map.
Note that the indicators flash blue when the gray-scale color option is selected on the big map.
Be sure to remember to pack enough batteries, radioisotope generators, and solar panels. If you forget, you'll run out of electricity, you'll stop recording data, and you'll see useless static:
The Biome/Terrain button in the top right corner can be used to toggle between the standard terrain map and a biome map * When in biome mode, the current biome of each vessel will be displayed if it has been scanned
When activated in the settings menu, ground track indicators are drawn for vessels around the current planet.
A bigger map can be rendered on demand. Rendered maps are automatically saved to GameData/SCANsat/PluginData. Note that position indicators for vessels or anomalies are not visible on exported images (but they may be a future release).
You can mouse over the big map to see what sensors have data for the location, as well as terrain elevation, and other details.
Right-clicking on the big map shows a magnified view around the position where you clicked. Mouse operations work inside this magnified view just like they work outside, meaning the data displayed at the bottom window applies to your position inside the magnified view, and right-clicking inside it will increase magnification. This can be useful to find landing spots which won't kill your kerbals.
There are four drop-down menus along the top of the big map. These control, from left to right:
The icon in the center of the upper row regenerates the map.
The toggle icons along the left side of the map control the various overlays and the color mode.
The four buttons in the bottom-left open and close the other SCANsat windows.
The camera icon in the lower-right exports a copy of the map.
The re-size icon in the lower-right corner can be dragged to re-size the map.
A separate window is used to control planetary overlay maps. These maps are drawn directly over the surface of the current planet; they use the same system as the stock resource overlays and will replace those maps if both are opened at the same time. Map coverage is dependent upon SCANsat data; only scanned areas will be displayed on the map.
SCANsat terrain maps can be displayed with the overlay window. These maps use the same height map data as the small SCANsat map and generate very quickly.
Tooltips can be activated to show data for the location under the current mouse position while in map mode.
SCANsat biome coverage can also be displayed using the overlay window.
Each available resource can be selected for the planetary overlay maps, along with biome maps and terrain maps. Biome maps are currently limited to the stock color scheme without borders.
A separate, small map can be opened from the big map by right-clicking somewhere within the big map. This new window will be centered on the mouse cursor's location and zoomed in by a factor of 10. Icons on the zoom map can be used to zoom in or out, to a minimum of 2X zoom. The terrain coloring limits will are modified to use the local minimum and maximum terrain height within the zoom map's field of view; the full color spectrum will always be used in zoom maps.
The zoom scale and map center can be controlled by clicking within the zoom map.
The vessel orbit overlay, waypoint icons, and anomaly locations can be toggle on and off independently of the big map settings.
The zoom map also features mouse-over information for the cursor location similar to that shown on the big map.
Different map types, resource overlays and polar projections are all applied to the zoom map as well.
Parts with the stock ModuleHiDefCamera (i.e. the Narrow-Band Scanner) have a special SCANsat module that opens a modified zoom map.
The Hi Def map shows all standard SCANsat map overlays
The Hi Def map is limited to show only low quality terrain maps that are not dependant on SCANsat coverage
The zoom map features an option to select and display a target site for each planet. Toggle Target Selection Mode by clicking on the target icon in the upper left, then select a sight in the zoom map window. The icon will be displayed, along with standard, FinePrint waypoints, in the zoom window and the big map.
While in map view the target site will be overlayed on the planet's surface; shown as a matching, four-arrow green icon.
To clear an existing target, activate Target Selection Mode by clicking the target icon, then click somewhere inside of the zoom map window, but outside of the map itself.
If MechJeb is installed and an additional option is available in the settings menu to activate MechJeb Landing Guidance Mode
The zoom map can be used in the same way described above to select a landing site for MechJeb's Landing Guidance module. The current vessel must have a MechJeb core and the MechJeb Landing Guidance module must be unlocked in the R&D Center.
Landing sites selected through MechJeb will automatically show up as a waypoint on SCANsat maps.
The instruments window provides a readout of several types of data based on current scanning coverage.
The RADAR Altimetry sensor can be unlocked in Basic Science.
The SAR Altimetry sensor can be unlocked in Advanced Science Tech.
The Multispectral sensor can be unlocked in Advanced Exploration.
The BTDT sensor can be unlocked in Field Science.
Once you scan at least 30% of a particular map, you can use Analyze Data to get delicious science:
Between 30% and 100%, you will get a number of science points proportional to the percentage. Really, the upper cutoff is 95% in case you didn't scan the whole map.
Career mode contracts are supported through third party addons.
SCANsat includes Contract Configurator contracts for scanning each planet.
SCANsat provides multiple options for map color configurations and terrain level changes; this window has an in-game help function activated by selecting the ? icon in the top-right corner.
The color management window can be accessed from the big or small map with the color palette icon, or from the toolbar menu.
On the left are the various color palettes available; there are four different styles that can be selected from the drop down menu. Palettes can be customized by changing the number of colors in the palette, reversing the order, or making the palette use discrete color transitions, rather than the smooth gradient used by default.
Changes to the color palette are reflected after selecting Apply, the big and small maps will automatically refresh using the newly selected color palette. Note that only the altimetry map is affected by color palette selection.
There are several terrain height options available as well.
All stock KSP planets have default color palette and terrain height values appropriate for the planet's terrain. Standard default values are used for any addon planets.
Biome map colors and options can be controlled in the Biome tab of the window
Biomes can also be displayed using the stock color maps.
Resource overlays can also be adjusted, using the Resource tab
Unlike some other KSP scanning systems, SCANsat allows scanning with multiple vessels. All online scanners scan at the same time during any scene where time progresses; no active SCANsat parts are necessary.
SCANsat does not interpolate satellite paths during time warp; nevertheless, due to the relatively large field of view of each sensor, it's still possible to acquire data faster by time warping. The maximum recommended time warp speed is currently 10,000x. Scanning at this warp factor should allow identical scanning performance (in terms of swath width) as scanning at 1x.
As an example of speed, here is a BigMap rendering of a scan at 100x:
And this is a BigMap rendering of the same orbit, but later in the scan. It starts at 1000x and then speeds up to 10,000x:
Notice that the only gaps in coverage are those at the poles (ie, the selected inclination was not high enough to capture the poles).
The settings menu has a various general options; this window has an in-game help function activated by selecting the ? icon in the top-right corner.
All data this mod shows you is pulled from your game as you play. This includes:
SCANsat can't guarantee that all anomalies will be found; in particular, some are so close to others that they don't show up on their own, and if the developers want to be sneaky then they can of course be sneaky.
Released on 2019-07-03
Allow for detection of Breaking Ground DLC surface features
Add auto-refresh toggle for the zoom map
Add French translations - by don-vip
Fix a bug related to flags that was preventing the zoom map and big maps from functioning correctly
Released on 2018-12-31
Released on 2018-12-05
Performance improvements for background scanning
Fix Metal Ore resource scanning support for Extraplanetary Launchpads
Allow for deeper layers of sub-moons in all celestial body menus
Fix Jool science report localization tag type
Released on 2018-10-25
Updated for KSP 1.5
Additional Spanish translations by Fitiales
Released on 2018-07-27
Update for KSP 1.4.5
Fix for lat/long coordinate display
Add Russian translation for contract text
Released on 2018-04-30
Update for KSP 1.4.3
Significant performance imrovement for the background scanning algorithm
Reduce garbage allocation
Some UI related performance improvements
Fix some typos in science results localization files
Released on 2018-03-14
Update for KSP 1.4
Update shaders and asset bundles to Unity 2017
Released on 2018-02-09
Released on 2018-02-08
Updates to localization files
Calculate scanning coverage based on approximation of actual spherical surface area instead of simple rectangular area
Fix bugs related to some resources for the big map
Released on 2017-11-22
Overhaul of all SCANsat contracts
Improvements made to slope maps
Fix some potential bugs when survey contract waypoints are updated
Released on 2017-10-11
Update for KSP 1.3.1
Terrain color palettes defined in new config file
Fix bug with big map celestial body list
Released on 2017-07-08
All aspects of the SCANsat UI have been replaced with the new Unity UI
New stock toolbar menu
New settings window
Released on 2016-11-04
Update for KSP 1.2.1
Disable window dragging for big map and zoom map when in IVA
Released on 2016-10-24
Released on 2016-10-13
Updated for KSP 1.2
Adjust Ore concentration cutoff values
Only show the manual map width input field in flight scene
Changes from 16.8
Released on 2016-08-18
Released on 2016-08-11
Released on 2016-08-09
Released on 2016-06-27
Adds new resource types and Module Manager scanner configs for KSP Interstellar Extended Version 1.9
Updated for Mechjeb 2.5.8
Released on 2016-06-22
Update for KSP 1.1.3
Updates and minor changes to KSPedia entry
Released on 2016-05-02
Update for KSP 1.1.2
Update API for Kerbalism support
Released on 2016-04-19
Update for MechJeb 2.5.7
Add science experiment for low resolution resource scan (M700 scanner)
Add window scaling function
Misc and Bug Fixes
Released on 2016-03-06
Improved zoom map functionality
Added slope cutoff slider to color management window
Color Management window button removed from small map and big map in flight scene
Added GeoEnergy resource support for PathFinder
Raw stats are from the beginning of time until now. Each follower and download entry represents one hour of data. Uneventful hours are omitted.