SES Government Solutions (SES-GS) has begun its U.S. Air Force demonstration period for the Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP) after successfully completed initial on-orbit testing. CHIRP is housed on the SES-2 satellite, which was launched in September.
Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) designed CHIRP’s field-of-view sensor technology. Orbital Sciences Corp. built the SES-2 satellite that hosts the unit. CHIRP is the first commercially hosted payload delivered for the U.S. Air Force and the first government payload on an SES satellite. SES said the platform recently observed the launch of a NASA weather and climate satellite in an early test of its capabilities.
“Since completing initial on-orbit tests, we are pleased to share that the sensor continues to provide valuable insight into the potential for future wide field-of-view technologies and the benefits of this type of innovative arrangement,” SES-GS President and CEO Tip Osterthaler said in a statement.
SES also announced that it signed an agreement with U.K. networks systems integrator Rustyice Solutions for the distribution of SES’ satellite-based Astra2Connect broadband service.
Rustyice will market the service in packages of up to 10 Mbps through the company’s subsidiary, Apogee Internet U.K., and will be available throughout the United Kingdom to commercial and residential customers. Astra2Connect is an interactive broadband Internet service that is offered via distribution partners to consumers and businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Rustyice deal follows SES’ recent enhancement of the Astra2Connect service to 10 Mbps in Germany and the United Kingdom.
“This strategic partnership will further enhance our market position whilst enabling us to offer our customers a complete connectivity solution wherever they may be in the United Kingdom,” Rustyice Solutions Managing Director Paula Livingstone said in a statement. “As the network develops and the services it carries become increasingly fundamental to both residential and business customers, it will become an important element of our longer term strategy. We are convinced that this new agreement will be another chapter in the successful cooperation between Rustyice Solutions and SES.”