In a recent podcast on the GovSat Report, experts from Leidos, Orbital ATK and SES Space and Defense came together to discuss the CHIRP program – the first ever U.S. Air Force Hosted Payload on board a commercial spacecraft.
The extremely successful CHIRP program was invaluable in that it illustrated how hosted payloads can be a viable and more cost effective path into space for government agencies and branches of the military. CHIRP provided a blueprint for saving money and expediting government initiatives.
And now, even more government agencies are hitching a ride to space by placing their payloads onto the satellites of commercial satellite services providers.
In early April, SES Space and Defense announced that the University of Colorado and NASA would fund a payload aboard the SES-14 satellite. This Global-Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission is designed to revolutionize the understanding of the space environment by filling the critical gap in knowledge of Sun-Earth connections.
Then, just a week later it was announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would pay to host a payload on board SES-15. This Wide Area Augmentation Systems (WAAS) hosted payload is designed to serve as an air navigation aid developed by the FAA to augment the Global Positioning Systems (GPS), with the goal of improving its accuracy, integrity and availability.
Why are hosted payloads such an effective and efficient alternative to building and launching dedicated government satellites? To get a detailed answer to that question, we sat down with Pete Hoene, the CEO of SES Space and Defense.
In the following video, Pete discusses why commercial satellite communications are so essential for the federal government and military today, how the CHIRP program was able to meet a majority of Air Force objectives for approximately 15 percent of the cost, and why hosted payload programs inherently deliver cost savings to the federal government.
Here is what Pete had to say:
For additional information on hosted payloads, their benefits to the federal government and how they can provide economical access to space for government agencies and branches of the military, download the SES hosted payload white paper by clicking HERE. Or, read the following hosted payload resources: