Can we attach payload to communication satellite and detach it in space after having gained a specific altitude? What is probability that it will fail?
Large geostationary satellites often have a bit of space, power and bandwidth to carry secondary payloads.
For example, the recently launched Elektro-L 3 satellite carries secondary payloads:
The satellite also carries instruments to monitor space weather and a search-and-rescue communications payload, according to information published by Roscosmos.
But these typically stay attached.
At lower altitudes, it’s common for a launcher to carry multiple payloads, but they generally start and stay separate from each other.
The US Air Force has done quite a bit of work on secondary satellite buses that carry satellites for a while before dispersing them.
Another example of a piggyback payload is the Geostationary Lightning Mapper or GLM. I just ran across an image of the simulator (flown on an aircraft) as the banner for this page:
From the overview page:
The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) is a satellite-borne single channel, near-infrared optical transient detector that has been placed on the GOES-16 satellite in a geostationary orbit. This orbital position allows for GLM to measure a dedicated region that includes the United States with continous views capable of providing lightning detection at a rate never before obtained from space. GLM detects all forms of lightning during both day and night, continously, with a high spatial resolution and detection efficiency.
GOES-16 (formerly GOES-R) was launched in November 2016. GLM began operation in March 2017 after a dedicated satellite and instrument spin-up period. The use of a geospatial orbit provides increased severe storm warning lead time, earlier indication of impending lightning strikes to the ground, and total lightning detection with nearly uniform spatial coverage of approximately 10 km.
- webpage: INSTRUMENTS: GEOSTATIONARY LIGHTNING MAPPER (GLM)
- PDF Fact Sheet
- video: SatFC-G: Visualizing the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) on AWIPS 10 minute talk
- video: First Images from GOES-16 Lightning Mapper 30 seconds of images