The Air Force and its industry partners have completed an integrated sensor functional test for the Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload, SAIC announced last week. This was the first ground test demonstrating the high-level functionality of the CHIRP sensor, the company said. CHIRP is a staring, wide-field-of-view, overhead infrared sensor designed to peer at the Earth from its perch onboard a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. For the test, the CHIRP Mission Analysis Center interface, located in Seal Beach, Calif., commanded the sensor as it successfully passed test images. CHIRP is the first Air Force sensor that a commercial satellite will host as a secondary payload. The satellite’s launch is slated for the second half of 2011. SAIC is part of the industry team that includes Orbital Sciences and SES World Skies. SAIC delivered the sensor to Orbital in July.
An Active-Duty Airman set himself on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy this afternoon, the Air Force confirmed to Air & Space Forces Magazine. The man, who was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition, has not yet been publicly identified.