Lessons learned from hosting an Infrared Payload on a communications satellite
This paper highlights salient lessons learned from the United States Air Force s (USAF) Commercially Hosted Infrared Program (CHIRP) and discusses how they may apply to future hosted infrared (IR) payloads on geostationary orbit communication satellites (comsat). The primary goal of the CHIRP program is to perform a technological demonstration to advance the Technological Readiness Level (TRL) of staring Wide Field of View (WFOV) IR sensors and associated data processing. Its secondary goal is to show that commercially-hosted ¿rideshares¿ are a viable way to test experimental payloads in general. The primary challenges relate to integrating up-front systems engineering with a particular payload and satellite on a commercial provider s launch schedule and field of view. In particular, we highlight how these observations will affect the analysis of trade-offs when choosing between free-flying and commercially-hosted, staring IR missile warning payloads in the future.