A Survey Satellite or Sursat are cheap, small research satellites that planetary survey teams will often deploy.
With a stored volume of 0.25 cubic meters and a mass of 50 kg, over a dozen may be stored in the hold of a typical ship for a multisystem survey team.
When deployed from an airlock, sursats used a built-in fusion plant to maneuver into the desired orbit, and begin cataloging data based on survey team needs. Typical information gathered include meteorological data, geography, radio and radiation emissions, electrical power use, and major urban areas or apparently non-natural structures of significance. In addition, surstats can receive signals from comm boosters and relay them elsewhere on the planet or in orbit. And they can act as planetary positioning system, provided at least six sursats are in proper orbits.
Sursats cost about Cr100,000 each, and are not designed to be stealthy or take much damage. They are not used for clandestine missions or deployment in hostile environments of any kind.
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