This mod is not known to work with the latest version of Kerbal Space Program. Proceed with caution.
Ever wanted to use one of those cool looking dish antennas, but the engineer in you just wouldn't let you spend the extra power and weight? Well, now you can force yourself to use them! Designed as a drop-in replacement for ModuleDataTransmitter, AntennaRange handles range-finding, power scaling, and data scaling for antennas during science transmission. Its functionality varies with three tunables: nominalRange, maxPowerFactor, and maxDataFactor, set in .cfg files. In general, the antennae are tuned as follows:
What It Does
AntennaRange specifies a nominal range at which the antennas work exactly as prescribed in Squad's .cfg files. Below that range, the data packet size increases up to a maximum, effectively increasing bandwidth and decreasing power cost. Above that range, packet size stays floored at Squad's value, and packet power costs increase. When power cost gets too high, the antenna no longer functions. Both values scale with the square of the distance. Finally, transmitter scoring has been adjusted so that the science subsystems will prefer the cheapest antenna in terms of charge/data.
AntennaRange also provides simple relaying support. That is, if your ship has a short range antenna, but is in range of a longer range antenna that can communicate back to Kerbin, it will do so. At this time, no attempt is being made to model electric use on the relay vessels; this mechanic is intended to feel rewarding for those interested in putting together a relay system (say, a flat dish antenna in orbit of Minmus so your probes can just use whips, or a big dish in high Jool orbit with a few flat dishes in low orbits, so once again your probes can use whips). Because of the limited number of antenna parts and because this mechanic is intended to be optional, range is not additive: if you want to use a whip from far away, you need a bigger antenna within whip range.
AntennaRange has a small handful of optional features to enhance gameplay: a line of sight requirement, a probe connection requirement, and a "fixed power cost" requirement. As its name implies, the line of sight requirement requires that antennas must have an unobstructed line of effect from their origin to their target, whether that's Kerbin or another relay. Only a planet or a moon can block line of sight at this time. The probe connection requirement will disable control of unmanned craft whenever no connection can be made from the active craft to Kerbin. Finally, the fixed power cost makes the "long range" penalty mirror the "short range" benefit -- slowing down data transmission instead of increasing power cost. This makes it simpler to design probes that will remain controllable while transmitting, at the cost of using up more of your time to do it.
What It Does Not Do
AntennaRange does not pretend to be any sort of "realistic" communication system. If you're looking for that sort of thing, look in to RemoteTech or kOS or something similar.
If you have craft outside of Kerbalsynchronous orbit with nothing but the whip antenna, they will be unable to transmit data until they get closer. Beware when installing this mod with an active career!
Released on 2016-09-12
Released on 2016-05-22
Released on 2016-05-03
Released on 2016-04-30
Released on 2016-04-21
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