What is a Hosted Payload?
The term Hosted Payload refers to the utilization of available power, mass and space on commercial satellites to accommodate additional transponders, instruments or other space-bound items. By offering hosted payload opportunities on board SES spacecraft, the U.S. Government is provided with consistent, dependable and affordable access to space.
Industry Leader: Three U.S. Government Hosted Payloads on Contract
Global-Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD)
Award date: April 2015
SES Government Solutions (SES GS) was awarded a five-year contract by the University of Colorado to host a NASA funded payload on board SES-14.The primary purpose of the Global-Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission is to revolutionize the understanding of the space environment by filling the critical gap in knowledge of Sun-Earth connections. The hosted payload will transmit data of the Sun’s impact on the Earth’s thermosphere and ionosphere from Geostationary (GEO) orbit. Both of these layers of the Earth’s upper atmosphere are very sensitive to space weather events and space climate, with potential societal impacts. Uncertainties in the thermosphere are a primary source of uncertainty for operating satellites in low Earth orbit. Fluctuations in the ionosphere interfere with signals from communications and global positioning satellites. Read more…
News on the GOLD Program:
Wide Area Augmentation Systems (WAAS)
Award date: March 2015
SES GS was awarded a 14-year contract by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems to host a payload on board SES-15. With the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as the US Government customer, the Wide Area Augmentation Systems (WAAS) hosted payload will serve as air navigation aid to augment the Global Positioning Systems (GPS), with the goal of improving its accuracy, integrity and availability. Read more…
News on WAAS:
- New Satellite Payload Ensures Safe and Efficient Air Travel
- Raytheon Wins FAA Contract to Field Satellite Payload, Improve GPS Accuracy
Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP) Flight Demonstration Program
Award date: May 2008
SES GS hosted the first ever experimental U.S. Air Force sensor on an SES satellite operating over the United States. CHIRP (Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload) was successfully launched on September 21, 2011 from Kourou, French Guiana. The CHIRP flight demonstration program tested a new type of infrared sensor from geosynchronous orbit. This sensor has been integrated onto a commercial satellite and the data it receives is transmitted to a ground station for analysis. This program illustrates how a commercial satellite operator can provide tremendous value to government customers looking for affordable access to space. SES GS also provides the services to determine the utility of the sensor in terms of data, performance validation and interoperability.
News on the CHIRP Program:
European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS)
Award date: October 2008
The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) contract was awarded to SES. It provides European navigation services, supplementing the American GPS and the Russian-led GLONASS navigation systems. It verifies, improves and reports on the reliability and accuracy of positioning signals in the European states area. In the future, it will also support the European GALILEO navigation system. Read more…
Missions Suited for Hosted Payloads:
- Risk Reduction Activities
- Technology Advancement
- Flight Qualification
- Operational Missions:
- Space Situational Awareness
- Tailored Communication Systems
- Space Environmental Monitoring
- Space Based Augmentation for Navigation
- Earth Monitoring
For other U.S. Government mission requirements, SES can apply its fleet and mission development skills to build, launch and operate dedicated spacecraft.
Timely and Affordable Access to Space
At a time where many government satellite programs have experienced schedule delays, cancellations and budgetary challenges, the use of commercially hosted payloads can help to maintain (or in some cases accelerate) program schedules, fill gaps in operational and proof-of-concept activities and provide a timely and affordable means of accessing space.
The frequency of commercially hosted payloads provides many opportunities for government payloads to reach orbit. SES currently has 5 spacecraft in various stages of development over the next three to four years, many of which are hosted payload opportunities. The robust launch pace and the strict schedule requirements of commercial spacecraft programs ensures efficient access to space with minimal chance for delays.
In recent years, commercially hosted payloads have received increased attention and interest from the U.S. Government as a means of accessing space. In particular, the U.S. Air Force has been on the leading edge of exploring opportunities with commercial satellite operators and embarked on an innovative approach with its Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP) flight demonstration program.
Advantages of Hosted Payloads:
- Accelerated time to launch
- Frequent launch opportunities
- Flexibility to accommodate a wide range of missions
- Full spacecraft partnerships and planning
- Shorter planning cycle
- Satellite construction 24 to 36 months
- Shared platforms = shared costs
- Customer operated, independent of the host satellite
- Custom designed transponders are included in the 24 to 36 month schedule
- Spacecraft infrastructure development
SES Government Solutions provides exclusive access to SES’ global fleet of geosynchronous satellites, and offers hosted payload opportunities with every launch. View the full upcoming launch schedule here.
More Information on Hosted Payloads:
Click the image below to read the article on CHIRP from the SES Beam Magazine.
To read the SES GS Hosted Payload Presentation click on the image below or the link here.