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inigma

Decouplers...

Question

Ok, so I'm trying to get a communications satellite into 350km orbit...

I circularize the orbit to within a few hundred meters, and then I get ready to separate the last stage from my satellite. Knowing there's a bit of explosive force involved I wait until Periapsis and orient for retrograde and hit the decoupler.

BAM!

I find my AP and AE off now by 23,000m!

Is there a better way to decouple once you've circularized your orbit? I want to avoid putting rcs on my satellite. Is there a less pushy way of decoupling?

Edited by inigma

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Just docking ports really.

I generally like to put some Xenon and an Ion engine on any of my sats to allow for any changes needed in the future.

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Moar struts

No seriously, struts bridging the two parts being separated by decoupler will result in zero decoupling force.

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The stack seperators provide less force, but introduce more spacejunk, though as said docking ports are the way to go. My satellites almost always have a manoeuvring engine, if liquid with typically ~1k delta V, 4k if ion. Normally use liquid, ion only if it's going a long way.

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As Temstar said, the easiest way to get around it is to put two or three struts (at least two, i usually use three), put the "base" end of it on the section you're breaking off and connect the top to literally anywhere on the satellite. When you blow the decoupler, the sat will go absolutely nowhere because the struts "disappear" after the decoupler force is expended.

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I just made my own custom part to get around that (the Stack Splitter, a mini-decoupler with only 1/10th the decouple force) :P

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When you're in rome, do it like the romans...

Or in other words: Do it like in real life, give the Sattelite an engine.

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i never put up anything without an engine. Partly this is because of orbiter, where everything is always falling out of orbit, and also because you might want to move it later. Adding an ant engine and an oscar b fuel tank, or an ion engine, or some rcs can give you a ton of maneuvering for such a small probe.

For less decoupling, put stuts on it(they absorb the decoupling force), or use docking ports.

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I use a docking ports myself for light components. Also note that I believe there is lower force satellite decouplers as well. At altitudes as high as that, it takes very little force to change altitudes.

For a more stable coupling, you can use stuff like the tricoupler for added rigidity.

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Docking ports or struts, as mentioned above. Then use sepratrons to make sure the unneeded parts moves away from your satellite. I always use sepratrons on stages I suspect that I will abandon in a position where they might follow the main ship. I once had a nasty incident when burning retrograde with a trailing stage ripping off a radially mounted nuclear engine...

Just in case, put a small tank and a small engine on the satellite.

Problem solved.

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