A lot of sensors have the wrong mass class. The resulting effect is that specialized scout / survey ships have an incorrect sensor range, because they now depend on the life support mass reducing techs.
If you have researched all life support and sensor mass reducing techs, then there is no difference because they both have 3 techs that reduce the mass by 20%. But at the moment the sensor mass reducing techs are quite useless.
The following sensors have "Life Support Mass" instead of "Sensor Mass":
- Navigational Sensors
- Interstellar Sensors
- Sensor Array
- Subspace Sensor
- Field Detectors
The Survey module also has "Life Support Mass", but whether that must be "Sensor Mass" or "Support Module Mass" is something that Paul will have to decide. Personally i lean toward the "Support Module Mass".
To correct this "<EffectType>ShipRangeMass</EffectType>" in the ShipComponentDefs.xml file should be "<EffectType>SensorRangeMass</EffectType>" for the sensors, or "<EffectType>SupportMass</EffectType>" in case of the Survey Module.