Tutorial:Deployable Science

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A small caveat

The science rewards are fairly low for the time invested, trickling in over a long time period, and there is currently a bug that will log a new notification for very frequent and insignificant science amounts that can lag your game and takes a lot of clicking to dismiss (we're talking about individual messages in your inbox for .04 science points); if you decide, despite the low value, buggy setup (I lose deployed science units through the ground or they just roll away after deploy all the time), and not at all designed balance and messaging you still want to go forward, read on!

Elements

  • Control: every setup requires a control station; all linked units must be within a short (configurable) range around the control unit, default is 50m; no bonuses applied when deploying a control unit
  • Power: Solar Panels will provide power while on the sunny side of body, RTGs will work day and night; by default they provide 1 power unit; an engineer will add another power unit by deploying them and another additional power unit for every 2 stars they possess (i.e. 0⭐=2, 2⭐=3, 4⭐=4); you require 1 power unit for everything that isn't a solar panel or RTG
  • Comms: the control setup provides short range comms but you'll usually want to send along a Communatron to extend the range just to reach a relay in many cases (I think the control station has a range analogous to a probe core without additional antennae); expect frequent comms blackouts if you don't have a communatron (which will create more spam messages); no bonuses applied when deploying a comms unit
  • Experiments: Most of the experiments are passive but there's an impact one that you need to ram a craft into the body at high speed in order to collect, this is actually the best experiment because it's fairly instantaneous (and very kerbal); the weather one requires atmosphere, all of the others work wherever; If a 5⭐ scientist deploys one of these experiments, they can be completed in 160-320 hours (~27-54 kerbin days, 100% rate), and a non-scientist will take 3200-6400 hours (~533-1067 kerbin days, 5% rate)
  • Collection: the default rate of collection beams up science very 60 seconds (if connected via commnet) and leaves a message in your messages app, given that none of the experiments have a base rate (before body multipliers) above 1 science per hour, you can imagine how little science you'll be getting per message, you can change this by editing config files in new games and with save file editing in the current game (search these directories for ScienceTimeDelay = 60 to find the line to change, this answer is already long), recommend a value around 21,600 (1 day in seconds)