Press Release

(MCLEAN, VA – March 18, 2009) – Satellite solutions provider AMERICOM Government Services (AGS) and its partners Orbital Sciences Corporation and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) successfully completed the Space Segment Critical Design Review (CDR) for the Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP) program. The CHIRP Flight Development program is designed to reduce risks in the development of wide field-of-view starring infrared sensors to meet the needs of the US government. The program includes the hosting of the sensor on board a commercial communications satellite, a sensor operations center and a data analysis center.

The CDR delivery included a draft Concept of Operations (CONOPs) which provides for operating the sensor 24 hours per day and delivering data to the analysis center for processing. The data analysis center will post process data on a priority scheme established by an experimental plan which is still under development.

The AGS team successfully completed the CDR within seven months of contract award and is on target for launching the CHIRP sensor on board an SES AMERICOM spacecraft scheduled to launch in 2010. The three-year, $65 million firm fixed price contract was signed on June 30, 2008 with the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) in Los Angeles, CA.

Tim Deaver, Director of Air Force Programs at AGS and Program Manager for the CHIRP program noted, “The successful completion of the Space Segment CDR keeps us on schedule for a launch in 2010. We could not have successfully completed this milestone without the hard work and dedication of both our contractor and government teammates.”

Major Craig Phillips, SMC/XR CHIRP Program Manager noted, “We are pleased with the progress the AGS team has made in maturing the design of the spacecraft accommodation for our wide field-of-view sensor.”

AGS has subcontracted with Orbital Sciences for the integration of the sensor to the spacecraft. The wide field-of-view sensor is being developed by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as a subcontractor to Orbital Sciences.


AMERICOM Government Services, Inc. (AGS), an independent corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of SES AMERICOM, Inc., is exclusively focused on meeting the satellite communication needs of the U.S. Government. Leveraging more than three decades of experience in the government SATCOM market, AGS offers robust and secure satellite-based communications solutions. By integrating hybrid telecommunications and information technology systems, including leading-edge IP platforms and applications, AGS provides secure broadband communications in support of mission-critical needs as well as day-to-day operations. As part of SES’s fleet of 40 satellites offering comprehensive global coverage and bandwidth portability, AGS’s solutions including highly reliable fixed, transportable and on-the-move services can be provided on a global basis. AGS’s reputation as a provider of high-value end-to-end solutions has been validated by long-term relationships with diverse customers, including DoD, Department of Commerce/NOAA, Department of Justice, Department of the Interior, Department of Transportation, NASA, and other civilian and defense-related agencies.


As the leading supplier of satellite services in the U.S., SES AMERICOM serves broadcasters, cable programmers, aeronautical and maritime communications integrators, internet service providers, mobile communications networks, government agencies, educational institutions, carriers and secure global data networks with efficient communications and content distribution solutions. The company, recognized as a major innovator of advanced satellite communications services, operates a fleet of 16 spacecraft in orbital positions predominantly providing service throughout the Americas.

SES AMERICOM is an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG). SES wholly owns three market-leading satellite operators, SES ASTRA in Europe, SES AMERICOM in North America, and SES NEW SKIES which provides global coverage and connectivity. The company also holds 90% of SES SIRIUS in Europe as well as strategic participations in Ciel in Canada and QuetzSat in Mexico. SES provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 40 satellites in 26 orbital positions around the globe. Additional information on SES is available at

#  #  #

Nicole Robinson, 703-610-0972

Share the Post: