Satellites are unmanned space platforms which can be used for a variety of purposes, including defense. Satellites can mount many starship-sized components, including weapons, armor, and sensors.
Satellites can be built at any colony, and do not require a spaceyard. Also, colonies can launch satellites into their own sector without help from starships.
Satellites are commonly used to provide sensor coverage of areas to which it is not practical to permanently deploy a starship. Satellites can also be used to provide additional defense at key locations, such as at planets (although it could be argued that weapon platforms are more efficient for planet defense) or warp points.
Satellites can be transported by any starship with sufficient cargo capacity. However, a starship cannot deploy satellites into space unless it has the Satellite Bay component. Once deployed into space, satellites can later be recovered by a starship (or a colony, if one exists in the sector).
By default, a ship with a satellite bay will automatically deploy its satellites in combat. (Can this behavior be disabled?) This is of questionable use during offensive actions, since the satellites are completely immobile and will remain at whatever spot they were deployed.
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