Hosted Payload Alliance Raises Awareness at National Space Symposium


File photo.

Despite anxiety regarding the effect on attendance because of the recent government sequestration, the HPA proceeded as planned with its Key Issues Workshop on April 8 at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs during the National Space Symposium (NSS), and the result was a better-than-expected turnout.

The Workshop facilitated open interaction between government and industry, tackling key issues that are potential obstacles for more widespread use of hosted payloads. In addition, the HPA presented a one-hour panel discussion on April 10, which also saw strong attendance.

The format of the workshop demonstrated both industry's and the U.S. Government's ingenuity at finding cost-effective solutions in the face of budget cuts. Despite current restrictions on travel, officers at the Air Force Space & Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, and NASA officials at both headquarters in Washington, DC and at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, were able to participate in a lively discussion, together with attendees on site at NSS, by two-way video teleconference.

The program included keynote addresses by individuals leading the way in hosted payloads: Lt. Gen. John Hyten, Vice Commander, Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, who attended the Workshop in person; NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, addressing the audience from Washington, D.C.; and Col. Scott Beidleman, Director, Development Planning Directorate at Space and Missile Systems Center, who addressed the audience from the Los Angeles Air Force Base.

The success of the Air Force Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP) was frequently cited during the workshop. Hosted on the SES-2 satellite, CHIRP has proven highly beneficial in demonstrating the potential for future wide field-of-view technologies and the benefits of hosted payload arrangements.

Despite the recent hosted payload successes discussed and the strong attendee turnout, a cautionary note was sounded at the conclusion of the Workshop regarding the future use of hosted payloads. Leaders noted that the practice is still far from commonplace, and there are still only a handful of pending procurements.

"The Alliance will continue to work hard to uncover and mitigate deterrents that continue to prevent more widespread use of hosted arrangements," said HPA Chair Janet Nickloy. "The Key Issues Workshop at the National Space Symposium was another step in the effort to tackle these obstacles."

On Wednesday, the Hosted Payload Panel featured experts discussing the growing trend toward leveraging hosted payloads to increase accessibility to space. The panelists were Maj. Gen. Martin Whelan, Director of Requirements, Headquarters Air Force Space Command; Steven M. Kaufman, Partner, Hogan Lovells US LLP; Charles L. Beames, Principle Director, Space and Intelligence, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; and Douglas L. Loverro, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy). Mr. Beames and Mr. Loverro attended by two-way video. The panel was very well attended, and the interaction between panelists and the questions from the audience provided for a lively interchange.

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