Late this year, the Air Force intends to place “CHIRP,” a staring wide-field-of-view infrared sensor, in orbit to conduct an evaluation of technology that may be used on future space based infrared system satellites, says Gary Payton, USAF’s deputy undersecretary for space programs. He said CHIRP, which stands for commercially hosted infrared payload, will reside on an SES Americom commercial imagery satellite. “This is one of the first times sensors used by the US government will be hosted by commercial satellites,” reads the CHIRP description in one Air Force budget document for Fiscal 2011. (See Making Space above)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.