2014

Ball Aerospace-built GMI Instrument Begins Operations Onboard NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement Satellite

BOULDER, Colo., March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager started to spin at its normal rate today and collect science data on Earth's rain and snowfall.

Launched aboard NASA's GPM Core Observatory on February 27, GMI's electronics have been turned on and all seven launch restraints released, deploying the instrument. GMI, a multi-channel, conical-scanning microwave radiometer built for NASA, began spinning today collecting the first science data of the mission.  The GMI will complete several additional check-out procedures during the commissioning process.

"GMI is on the way to setting a new standard for data accuracy that will provide more timely, detailed information forecasters need to track extreme weather events," said Ball Aerospace President Rob Strain.  "Using GMI's data, the world's scientists will have a more accurate picture of the world's precipitation dataset."

The Ball Aerospace-built instrument will deliver more frequent and higher quality data collection than currently available. The eight-foot tall GMI radiometer rotates at 32 revolutions per minute and uses four extremely stable calibration points on each revolution to calibrate the data it scans. The instrument minimizes solar intrusion for added accuracy and features higher frequency channels to measure smaller particles of precipitation such as light rain and snow. 

GMI is an essential part of an international satellite mission that will capture next-generation observations of rain and snow worldwide every three hours. The GPM Core Observatory will deliver unprecedented 3-D views of hurricanes and snowstorms and contribute to monitoring and forecasting weather events such as droughts, floods and landslides.

GMI is one example of Ball's long support of the country's weather and climate monitoring efforts.  The GPM constellation includes the Ball Aerospace-built Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite which launched in 2011 and the first Joint Polar Satellite System, currently in development at Ball, both of which will enable faster, more accurate weather forecasting.  GPM, along with these two satellites, will significantly enhance our nation's ability to prepare for severe weather events.

GMI's design is based on successful microwave sensors built previously by Ball Aerospace, including the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C (SIR-C), the GEOSAT Follow-On (GFO-2) and the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS).

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions for national agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA and other U.S. government and commercial entities. The company develops and manufactures spacecraft, advanced instruments and sensors, components, data exploitation systems and RF solutions for strategic, tactical and scientific applications. For more information, visit http://www.ballaerospace.com/.

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) supplies innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, food and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2013 sales of $8.5 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains "forward-looking" statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Key risks and uncertainties are summarized in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Exhibit 99 in our Form 10-K, which are available on our website and at www.sec.gov. Factors that might affect: a) our packaging segments include product demand fluctuations; availability/cost of raw materials; competitive packaging, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; crop yields; competitive activity; failure to achieve productivity improvements or cost reductions; mandatory deposit or other restrictive packaging laws; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or loss of a major customer or supplier; political instability and sanctions; and changes in foreign exchange or tax rates; b) our aerospace segment include funding, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts; c) the company as a whole include those listed plus: changes in senior management; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions and divestitures; regulatory action or issues including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including U.S. FDA and other actions or public concerns affecting products filled in our containers, or chemicals or substances used in raw materials or in the manufacturing process; technological developments and innovations; litigation; strikes; labor cost changes; rates of return on assets of the company's defined benefit retirement plans; pension changes; uncertainties surrounding the U.S. government budget, sequestration and debt limit; reduced cash flow; ability to achieve cost-out initiatives; interest rates affecting our debt.

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SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.



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