The first flight unit to be produced is the so called Proto Flight Model (PFM), including both payload and Service Module PFMs.
This activity follows the positive conclusion of the Critical Design Review (CDR) of both HERMES-SP and HERMES-TP project during the last October and November 2020.
Most of the work of testing and verification will be concentrated on the PFM. After qualification and validation of the PFM it will become the Flight Model 1 (FM1). The other units will be realised by directly implementing the FM and will be submitted to a limited and targeted test campaign.
This approach, which concentrates the attention on a single vehicle up to the verification and validation phase, before realizing the remaining flight vehicles (FM2-3), allows to directly implement the flight models, submitting them to a limited and targeted test campaign, without reducing its reliability. For all these reasons the integration and test of the PFM is the most critical activity of the whole project.
Despite the Covid-19 sanitary emergency and the lockdown in most European countries, the integration and test activities on the PFM will start in the next few months at the laboratories of Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), INAF and Politecnico di Milano, and will proceed until the PFM Qualification Review (QR) foreseen after the summer 2021.
The payload PFM Detector System (DS), including the sensors, the Silicon Drift Detectors, the scintillator crystals and the front-end electronics to read out the SDDs will be integrated at FBK laboratories.
The full payload PFM including the DS and the electronic boards (back-end electronic, power-supply unit and Photon Data Handling Unit, PDHU, that is the payload-dedicated on-board computer) will be integrated and tested at INAF laboratories.
The SM will be integrated at POLIMI labs. Later, the full payload PFM will be integrated with the SM at the same site. End-to-end functional tests and environmental tests (vibration, thermal vacuum) will also be carried out at POLIMI.
Payload Demonstration Model Integration at INAF-IAPS
INAF-IAPS Lab Roma