The main mission segment is scheduled to begin, at longest approximately 3 months, after launch and last for approximately 18 months. During this mission phase, TheMIS, HERMES, Mercury, NAIGS and the Thruster module will each have a proportion of the 18 month segment in order to carry out their individual experiments.
The TheMIS module will carry out experimental operations to quantify the performance of the following:
- Thermal conduction materials
- Thermal rejection materials
HERMES will observe multiple successive GRB events via X-ray detection. TheMIS will also be used here to test increasing the HERMES detector sensitivity under high-radiation environments.
The thruster will undergo periodic checks to quantify and performance change over the lifetime of the thruster.
It may also provide drag compensation burns, to ‘boost’ SpIRIT back to the desired orbit.
Mercury will undertake a number of experiments to quantify the performance of commercial SATCOM networks in space, as well as optimal switching between the various SATCOM networks given transient operating conditions on-orbit.
Mercury will also demonstrate the autonomous modification of short-horizon scheduling without ground intervention.
While SpIRIT is orbiting, the NAIGS segment on the ground will test autonomous spacecraft tasking by generating simulated schedules with varying user priority and demands, and selection between SpIRIT and simulated alternatives to demonstrate the autonomous tasking in action.