Ball Aerospace OMPS Instrument Delivers 2012 Ozone Measurements

BOULDER, Colo., Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.'s Ozone and Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) has made its first ozone measurements of the Antarctic ozone hole since launching aboard NASA's Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite on Oct. 28, 2011.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121024/LA98688)

According to NASA and NOAA, the 2012 satellite measurement map of the Antarctic ozone hole shows that it is the second-smallest in 20 years since it appeared in the early 1980s. This is the first year Ball's OMPS instrument is providing the ozone data, continuing a satellite record dating from the early 1970s.  

Under contract to NASA, Ball Aerospace designed and built OMPS and the Suomi NPP satellite, and integrated all five of the satellite's instruments. Suomi NPP orbits Earth every 102 minutes, and to date has completed 5,000 orbits capturing data from the Earth's land, oceans and atmosphere. Currently Ball is building Suomi NPP's successor, the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) satellite and its OMPS instrument, to maintain continuity of weather and environmental observations into the 2030s by providing a daily map of the entire globe's ozone.

"Science and society are greatly benefitting from the successful delivery of data from the new set of instruments aboard Suomi NPP as it prepares our nation for the next-generation of polar-orbiting weather satellites,"  said David L. Taylor, Ball Aerospace president and CEO. "Suomi NPP and JPSS-1 allow more accurate global environmental predictions and improve weather forecasts for millions of people."

Ball's OMPS instrument measures atmospheric ozone and how ozone concentration varies with altitude.  The three-part instrument includes a nadir profiler, to help scientists better understand ozone destruction in the middle and upper stratosphere; a limb profiler, to discern lower stratospheric ozone variations; and a nadir mapper to analyze daily global total ozone maps. Ball's OMPS is based on its previous instrument, the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet instrument (SBUV/2).

This year's Antarctic ozone hole size reduction is attributed to warmer conditions over that continent. The average size of the 2012 ozone hole was 6.9 million square miles, compared to 11.5 million square miles in 2000. Even though it is smaller than in years past, the ozone layer above Antarctica is not expected to return to its early 1980s state until about 2065. The NASA/NOAA collection of ozone data contributes to fulfilling the monitoring requirements of the Montreal Protocol, a 1989 international treaty.

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 www.ballaerospace.com.

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) is a supplier of high quality packaging for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2011 sales of more than $8.6 billion. For the latest Ball news and for other company information, please visit http://www.ball.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains "forward-looking" statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as "expects," "anticipates, " "estimates" and similar expressions are intended to 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 99.2 in our Form 10-K, which are available on our website and at www.sec.gov. Factors that might affect our packaging segments include fluctuation in product demand and preferences; availability and cost of raw materials; competitive packaging availability, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; crop yields; competitive activity; failure to achieve anticipated productivity improvements or production 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 rates or tax rates. Factors that might affect our aerospace segment include: funding, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts. Factors that might affect the company as a whole include those listed plus: accounting changes; changes in senior management; the recent global recession and its effects on liquidity, credit risk, asset values and the economy; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including U.S. FDA and other actions affecting products filled in our containers, or chemicals or substances used in raw materials or in the manufacturing process; governmental investigations; technological developments and innovations; goodwill impairment; antitrust, patent and other litigation; strikes; labor cost changes; rates of return projected and earned on assets of the company's defined benefit retirement plans; pension changes; uncertainties surrounding the U.S. government budget and debt limit; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or other effects.

SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.



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