The first thing you need to do when using RemoteTech and you plan to get some probes usable in orbit and beyond is to set up a basically communications constellation with three satellites.
Ideally, in a 3-satellite constellation, you want to be at 777 km with identical velocities, and a separation of 120 degrees per sat. This allows simple Communotron-16 broadcast antennas to reach each other and the ground station without additional configuration.
Use resonant orbits to adjust your separation between Kerbin-orbiting communication relays.
- Select one of your satellites, and target the next comm relay “ahead” of you in orbit.
- In Flight Engineer/RDZV mode, look at the phase angle.
Let’s say the angle is 232 degrees.
The ideal Phase Angle for the target sat should be 240 degrees.
- The difference between your ideal angle and your current angle is 8 degrees.
Calculate the difference from 360 (degrees), and input this as your orbital period ratio.
- In MechJeb, use the Maneuver Planner to adjust your resonant orbit.
Set a new orbital period ratio of 352/360 at the next apoapsis.
- Execute the maneuver.
- Once the maneuver is complete, plan a new maneuver node to circularize at the apoapsis.
- Check your phase angle. It should now be 240 degrees.
- Be sure to check your apoapsis and periapsis, they should both be 777km. If not, fix that. 🙂 If you check the relative speed with your target, it should be in the mm/sec range. (As close to zero as you can get)
To move away, the number will be greater than 360 (ie, 372/360) and you will circularize at the periapsis instead of the apoapsis.
Fun note: In orbital mechanics, you burn retrograde (go slower) to catch up to something ahead of you in orbit.
(Yes, I know this is possible using only MechJeb, however this teaches players how to use two tools. 🙂