We are pleased to announce that in November 2018 we have started a H2020 project HERMES-SP!


HERMES (High Energy Rapid Modular Ensemble of Satellites) Scientific Pathfinder (HERMES-SP) is a mission concept based on a constellation of nano-satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), hosting new miniaturized detectors to probe the X-ray temporal emission of bright high-energy transients such as Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRB) and the electromagnetic counterparts of Gravitational Wave Events (GWE).


HERMES-SP main goal is to design and implement the first GRBs localisation experiment through a distributed space architecture realized by a 3 +3 CubeSat federation, each equipped with the novel detector to gain a wide deep space coverage and demonstrate capabilities in precisely localising the GRB event in space. HERMES-SP exploits synergies with an ongoing project funded by the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI). GRB localisation is gained by comparing time delays among the same event detection epochs occurred on - at least - 3 detectors spaced out on different satellites. Distribution in space and event detection are the fundamental ingredient to start building up the whole scientific experiment. HERMES-SP is aiming at demonstrating detection and localisation of high-energy transients feasibility with disruptive technologies and limited effort: simple payload on nano-satellites and a disruptive level of cost-effectiveness: 1-2 order of magnitude cost lower than that standard space projects (ESA class M mission, NASA Explorer mission), 1 order of magnitude lower lifecycle compared with 10-15 years for standard Space Science projects. The HERMES-SP represents also a step forward the HERMES Full Constellation (HERMES-FC), supposed to further increase the distributed detection points in space with several tents of detector-equipped CubeSats in LEO which timely and completely monitor the Universe listening for and chasing GWEs. It is, therefore preparatory for a proposal to European Entities (Commission, Space Agency), for the HERMES-FC implementation.


Aalta Lab will participate with expertise gained from previous ESA projects and will be involved in the optimisation of satellite position reconstruction and the development of algorithms for the scientific data analysis software.


HERMES-SP is a project funded by Horizon 2020, the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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