CHIRP, the Air Force’s wide-field-of-view infrared sensor experiment, is one step closer to its anticipated launch next year. The SAIC-developed sensor has been delivered to Virginia-based satellite manufacturer Orbital Sciences Corporation for electrical interface testing and eventual integration with SES-2, its host satellite, according to an SES World Skies release. SES-2 is currently in production. “Wide field of view sensors improve detection and collection by continuously staring over a wide area of interest, which is key for meeting future [overhead persistent infrared] requirements,” said Maj. Craig Phillips, USAF’s program manager for CHIRP. Air Force officials say CHIRP will be used on orbit to evaluate future space-based IR technologies. The launch of SES-2 is expected to occur in the second half of 2011. CHIRP stands for commercial hosted infrared payload.
As the Pentagon increasingly pivots its focus to strategic competition with China, the U.S. will look to expand its partnership with South Korea to increase security across the entire Indo-Pacific region, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said Dec. 2 during a visit to the northeastern Asian nation.