In reflection of its
primary science mission, the project is named after Hermes, the
Greek messenger god. One overwhelming deficiency with CubeSats
that have been launched to date is the low data-rate of their
communication systems. While current systems work fine for the
uplink of commands to the satellite and the downlink of basic
health and status information, it is not possible to downlink
large quantities of data, such as that associated with imaging
or high-data science experiments. Hermes plans to improve
CubeSat communications through the on-orbit testing of a high
data-rate communication system that will allow the downlink of
large quantities of data, making CubeSat imaging or high-data
quantity science easily feasible.
Another objective of the project is to
create a reproducible and extensible spacecraft bus in the
support of future missions. This will allow future CoSGC CubeSat
teams to focus more on the science aspects of low-earth orbit
spaceflight, rather than the logistics of designing a
Similarly, the final specified mission
objective is to characterize the typical CubeSat environment.
This will occur through the gathering of temperature and
magnetic field data throughout the flight.