23 October 2012 FD-CHIRP: hosted payload system engineering lessons
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The Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP) Flight Demonstration (FD-CHIRP) launched 21 Sept 2011 was designated a "resounding success" as the first Wide Field-of-View (WFOV) staring infrared (IR) sensor flown in geostationary earth orbit (GEO) with a primary mission of Missile Warning (MW). FD-CHIRP was an Air Force research and development project initiated in July 2008 via an unsolicited industry proposal aimed to mature and reduce the risk of WFOV sensors and ground processing technologies. Unlike the Defense Support Program (DSP) and the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) which were acquired via traditional integrated sensor and satellite design, FDCHIRP was developed using the "commercially hosted" approach. The FD-CHIRP host spacecraft and sensor were independently designed, creating significant development risk to the industry proposer, especially under a Firm Fixed Price contract. Yet, within 39 months of contract initiation, FD-CHIRP was launched and successfully operated in GEO to 30 June 2012 at a total cost of $111M including the $82.9M CHIRP commercial-hosting contract and a $28M sensor upgrade. The commercial-hosting contract included sensor and spacecraft modifications, integration and test, design and development of secure Mission Operations and Analysis Centers, launch, and nearly a year of GEO operations with 70 Mbps secure data acquisition. The Air Force extended the contract for six months to continue operations through the end of calendar 2012. This paper outlines system engineering challenges FD-CHIRP overcame and key lessons to smooth development of future commercially hosted missions.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Carl F Schueler, Carl F Schueler, } "FD-CHIRP: hosted payload system engineering lessons", Proc. SPIE 8516, Remote Sensing System Engineering IV, 851607 (23 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.942539; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.942539

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