[SatNews] Space Systems/Loral (SSL) has been selected by the Department of the Air Force Headquarters Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) as one of three companies to study ways to accommodate an instrument to monitor air pollutants over North America on a commercial satellite.
The Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) Mission Study is the second Delivery Order to be awarded under the U.S. Air Force Hosted Payload Solutions (HoPS) contract.
“Through its HoPS Indefinite-Delivery-Indefinite-Quantity contract vehicle, the Air Force has streamlined the process for NASA and other government agencies to leverage the value of hosted payloads on commercial spacecraft,” said John Celli, president of SSL. “The TEMPO study gives us the opportunity to help our government find a very cost-effective solution for monitoring the health of the planet from space.”
Earlier this month, SSL announced that it was one of the companies that was eligible for U.S. Air Force contracts related to hosting government payloads on commercial satellites through a new streamlined contracting vehicle known as the HoPS IDIQ. With its track record in manufacturing geostationary satellites, including 16 GEO observatories, and with 74 commercial satellites currently on orbit, SSL is particularly well-positioned to help government agencies find rides for instruments, sensors and other small missions on commercial spacecraft.
“NASA is looking forward to working with the commercial satellite industry to identify a host system and define an interface for the TEMPO instrument,” said Alan Little, TEMPO Mission Project Manager, NASA Langley Research Center. “Their creative ideas will help make this important pollution monitoring system possible.”
TEMPO’s hourly measurements from geostationary orbit have the potential to create a revolutionary dataset that provides understanding and improves prediction of air quality in North America. If NASA decides to proceed with the launch of the TEMPO payload, it could be the first NASA Earth Science payload to be hosted on a commercial communications satellite.
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