Press Release

(MCLEAN, VA – July 8, 2008) – Satellite solutions provider AMERICOM Government Services (AGS) announced today that it has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Air Force to host an experimental sensor on board a commercial spacecraft.

The three year $65 million firm fixed price contract was signed on June 30th with the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) in Los Angeles, CA.  AGS will host the experimental sensor on board an SES AMERICOM spacecraft scheduled to launch in 2010 and operate over the United States.

The program is known as the Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP) Flight Demonstration Program.  The primary purpose of the CHIRP experiment is to test a new type of infrared sensor from geo-synchronous altitude.  The passive infrared sensor will be integrated onto a commercial satellite so that it can be launched into orbit and the data can then be transmitted to the ground for analysis.

Tip Osterthaler, President and Chief Executive Officer of AGS noted, “We are honored to have been chosen by the U.S. Air Force to participate in this groundbreaking effort.  We believe that the commercial satellite industry can provide tremendous value to government customers who are looking for affordable access to space for experiments such as CHIRP.”

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

In addition to hosting the experiment, AGS, Orbital and SAIC will provide validation and assessment services to determine the utility of the sensor in terms of data, performance validation and interoperability.  This experiment is designed to help the SMC reduce technology risk for the Third Generation Infrared Surveillance program earlier than what would be possible with a dedicated satellite.


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 38 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 15 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 38 satellites in 25 orbital positions around the globe.

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Nicole Robinson, 703-610-0972

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