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HyperScout H Readies for ESA's Hera Mission
In preparation for the ESA's Hera mission launching in October 2024, the HyperScout H hyperspectral imager has achieved significant milestones, marking a crucial step in planetary defense technology.
HyperScout H Readies for ESA's Hera Mission
by Robert Schreiber
Berlin, Germany (SPX) Dec 07, 2023

HyperScout H, developed by cosine, has a rich history in Earth observation, but its origins lie in planetary science. Now, it's returning to its roots as an integral part of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Hera mission. The HyperScout H hyperspectral imager has reached a series of significant milestones, signifying its readiness for the mission.

The HyperScout H imager has successfully completed its environmental testing at payload level, ensuring its reliability and functionality in the harsh conditions of space. These tests included thermal vacuum and vibration testing, which evaluated its thermo-mechanical behavior and optical performance. The results met the stringent specifications required for this mission.

Following the successful payload-level testing, HyperScout H was delivered to ESA on June 15, 2023. It was then integrated into the OHB satellite without any issues and is currently undergoing environmental testing at the spacecraft level.

Rigorous Testing for Space Readiness

The spacecraft-level testing has been rigorous, involving both vibration and acoustic tests. The vibration testing was carried out at the ESTEC Test Centre's 640kN QUAD shaker, ensuring that HyperScout H can withstand the mechanical stresses of space travel. Meanwhile, the acoustic testing was conducted at the Large European Acoustic Facility, Europe's largest and most powerful sound system.

Pierluigi Foglia Manzillo, cosine's project manager, expressed his pride in the successful delivery and integration of HyperScout H into the HERA spacecraft, crediting the dedication of a talented team of professionals. The intense testing campaign at the spacecraft level is ongoing to prepare for the scheduled launch in October 2024.

Planetary Defense and HyperScout H's Role

The Hera mission holds great significance as it follows NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which intentionally changed the trajectory of asteroid Dimorphos in September 2022. Hera's mission is to perform a detailed post-impact survey of Dimorphos, turning this groundbreaking experiment into a well-understood and repeatable planetary defense technique.

In this context, HyperScout H plays a crucial role. It will provide hyperspectral measurements that will help characterize the composition of Dimorphos' surface and analyze the impact dynamics. This data will enhance our understanding of asteroids and improve asteroid deflection techniques.

Dr. Marco Esposito, Managing Director of cosine Remote Sensing, commented on the significance of the Hera mission, stating that it will allow HyperScout H to demonstrate its capabilities and gather vital scientific data. This data will aid scientists and future mission planners in better understanding asteroid compositions and structures.

Related Links
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology

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