SES Government Solutions (SES-GS) has been awarded a two-year contract extension with U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. The contract allows the Air Force to continue its research and development mission through the use of the Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP) aboard the SES-2 satellite.

This extension will allow the Air Force to explore additional operational scenarios and understand the mission utility of different approaches to operating the wide-field-of-view infrared sensor payload.

The original five-year term contract was signed in July of 2008 with the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. The primary purpose of the CHIRP experiment was to test a new type of infrared sensor from geosynchronous altitude. After successful integration of the CHIRP payload onto the SES-2 commercial spacecraft, the satellite was launched on September 21, 2011 from Kourou, French Guiana. Since the launch, the sensor’s performance has met many milestones and exceeded estimated life expectancy on orbit.

SES-GS President & CEO, Tip Osterthaler stated that, “CHIRP truly illustrates how a hosted payload aboard a commercial satellite can go above and beyond in providing the U.S. Government with reliable and affordable access to space.”