Limpets controlled by this module can be fired at the surface of a mineable [sic] asteroids to discover the composition of it, aiding in efficient mining. Once deployed the information about composition can [sic] be obtained via targeting the limpet and consulting the cockpit interface.
— In-game Description
Prospector Drones are used to scan asteroids for their composition. The composition of the asteroid and amount of resources remaining can be seen by targeting the drone attached to an asteroid. There can be between two or three different materials within one asteroid.
Prospector drones will double the quantity of fragments that can be obtained from an asteroid. This effect is not applied retroactively. For example: if an asteroid can produce 10 fragments normally and it is prospected from the start, it will now yield 20 fragments. If that same asteroid was mined for 5 fragments before using a prospector, the remaining 5 possible fragments will be doubled to yield 10 fragments for a total yield of 15 fragments. In general, a prospected asteroid will yield anywhere from 20 to 40+ fragments, a considerable difference from the yield without a drone.
A resultant technique involves chipping off a single fragment from an asteroid to determine its composition without using a prospector drone and then mining the rest of the asteroid with a prospector drone attached. This allows you to save limpet drones for only the asteroids you want to mine while only losing one fragment per asteroid.
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- Limpets are stored in the ship's cargo-hold.