Experimental Sensor Delivered for Satellite Integration

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.