Press Release

Hosted Payload Alliance Holds Capital Hill Event

By SpaceRef Editor
August 12, 2013
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The Hosted Payload Alliance held an outreach event for Congressional members and staffers on July 24 in the Capitol Visitor Center. The event featured a facilitated panel of industry experts who each tackled a hosted payload related topic of interest to legislators.

The panel featured Janet Nickloy, Director of Strategy and Business Development at Harris Corporation; Dave Anhalt, Vice President, U.S. Government Solutions at Space Systems/Loral (SSL); and Jim Simpson, Vice President, Missions & Programs, Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. The panel was moderated by J.R. Jordan, Senior Manager, Strategy and Business Development, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems.

Although a variety of discussion points were covered during the event, the theme that tied the panelists’ talks together is that hosted payloads are achievable and deserve further investigation, and the space industry stands ready to work with the US government in this worthy endeavor.

“Traditionally, hosted payload programs consisted of government payloads on government satellites,” said Nickloy during her remarks. “In this environment of tough choices and tight budgets, innovative solutions such as commercially hosted payloads (government payloads riding on commercial satellites) can deliver cost-effective benefits and enable unique mission solutions.”  Hosted Payloads are not a solution for all space applications; however, when investigated as part of a complete mission architecture solution, this business model may provide the right mix of capabilities to build  resilient capabilities and leverage the cost benefits of the commercial marketplace in a way that provide for operational advantages.

Government agencies in both the civil and national security arena are examining commercially hosted payloads as a means to improve access to space.  Anhalt’s remarks focused on examples of commercially hosted initiatives already underway in the Air Force, NASA and DARPA. “These departments and agencies have recognized the value of leveraging the commercial space sector,” said Anhalt. “They have initiated space programs designed from inception to be commercially hosted and are working with commercial industry to create the interface definitions and contracting mechanisms necessary to synchronize government procurement processes with the streamlined management practices of commercial space ventures.”

Anhalt added that what we are now witnessing is the economic convergence of the three great sectors of space:  commercial, civil and national security. And the commercial space sector stands ready to expand from solely commercial endeavors to adjacent markets directly serving military and civil customers with affordable hosting solutions.

Simpson pointed out that there have been demonstrable successes with hosted payloads in recent years: the Commercially Hosted Infrared payload is a prime example of success at hosting a government instrument on a commercial satellite; another is the Federal Aviation Administration hosting of GPS augmentation (Wide Area Augmentation System or WAAS) on several commercial satellites. “Along the way to these successes, there arises a unique set of technical, contractual and operational challenges,” said Simpson. “Technical challenges are typically addressable through proven engineering practices, whereas contractual and operational challenges require creativity and a revisit of industry paradigms. Communicating what has and hasn’t worked in all phases of the process is vital in ensuring the success of future collaboration between government and industry.”

HPA’s Executive Members are: Arianespace, Boeing, EADS North America, Harris Corporation, Inmarsat, Intelsat General Corporation, Iridium Communications Inc., Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, SES Government Solutions, and Space Systems/Loral.

Established in 2010, HPA represents satellite operators, satellite manufacturers, system integrators and launch service providers, as well as other interested parties, and focuses on education, awareness and developing solutions to common challenges.

SpaceRef staff editor.