Ball Aerospace Selected by NASA for TEMPO Air Pollution Mission
BOULDER, Colo., Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is part of a team selected to build the first space-based instrument to monitor major air pollutants across the North American continent for NASA's Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) mission.
Led by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Mass., the TEMPO team will build a geostationary ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS) spectrometer to continuously measure ozone, aerosols and other trace gases over greater North America. The geostationary position of the instrument will allow delivery of regional, hourly readouts of atmosphere data during daylight hours. This data will advance air quality research on how air pollution affects climate change and air quality on a continental scale.
"While Ball is at the forefront of low Earth orbit instrument development, the TEMPO spectrometer will be the company's first geostationary instrument for NASA," said Cary Ludtke, vice president and general manager for Ball's Civil and Operational Space business unit. "TEMPO takes advantage of our expertise and technology developed for previous ultraviolet-visible instruments that have already flown or are currently on orbit."
Those instruments include the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) flying aboard the nation's newest climate and weather satellite, Suomi NPP, and the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE). The sophisticated optical system built by Ball Aerospace for the James Webb Space Telescope relies on the same UV-VIS heritage.
NASA anticipates the TEMPO instrument will catch a ride on a commercial communications satellite as a hosted payload when it is completed in September 2017. Mission costs will be capped at $90 million, excluding the launch vehicle and integration to the selected satellite platform.
"With TEMPO's assistance you may eventually check your smart phone, for example, to obtain a read-out on your city's current air quality information before you lace up your sneakers and head out for a run," said Ludtke.
Led by the Smithsonian's principal investigator, Kelly Chance, TEMPO is part of NASA's Earth Venture Instrument program that includes small, targeted science investigations designed to complement NASA's larger research missions. TEMPO is NASA's first Earth Venture Instrument award under the agency's Earth System Science Pathfinder program. In addition to Ball Aerospace, the TEMPO team includes NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.; NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park, N.C.; and several U.S. universities and research organizations.
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.
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.