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DARPA Selects Ball Aerospace for XNAV Interstellar Navigation Program
November 3, 2005
BROOMFIELD, Colo. –– The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. to lead the Phase I development of its X-ray Source-based Navigation for Autonomous Position Determination (XNAV) program. XNAV is designed to provide precision navigation of vehicles traveling in deep space within hundreds of meters. It is also designed to provide a GPS back-up for space systems such as low-earth orbiting spacecraft.
XNAV’s Phase I is expected to determine the feasibility and viability of the use of celestial sources, including pulsars, for position, attitude and time determination of both deep space and spacecraft in low-earth orbit. Ball Aerospace will conduct research and development of an autonomous position, attitude and time determination system using celestial sources in the X-ray band of the electromagnetic spectrum. The associate contractors selected by DARPA to join Ball Aerospace in Phase I include Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
“We have a great collaborative team with LANL, APL and NIST,” says Mike Cerneck, vice-president and general manager of Ball Aerospace defense operations group. “XNAV is a perfect match with Ball Aerospace’s pointing and tracking technology base and fits our strategy of developing, demonstrating and deploying advanced technology systems."
Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) is a supplier of metal and plastic packaging products, primarily for the beverage and food industries. The company also owns Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., which develops sensors, spacecraft, systems and components for government and commercial markets. Ball Corporation employs more than 13,500 people and reported 2004 sales of $5.4 billion.
The information in this news release contains "forward-looking" statements and other statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” and variations of same and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking 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 the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, especially in Exhibit 99.2 in the most recent Form 10-K. These filings are available at our Web site and at www.sec.gov. Factors that might affect our packaging segments include fluctuation in consumer and customer demand; availability and cost of raw materials, including due to the effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as recent significant increases in resin, steel, aluminum and energy costs, and the ability to pass such increases on to customers; competitive packaging availability, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; fruit, vegetable and fishing yields; industry productive capacity and competitive activity; failure to achieve anticipated productivity improvements or production cost reductions, including those associated with our beverage can end project; the German mandatory deposit or other restrictive packaging laws; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or loss of a major customer or supplier; international business risks, including foreign exchange rates, tax rates and activities of foreign subsidiaries; and the effect of LIFO accounting on earnings. Factors that might affect aerospace segment include: funding, authorization and availability of government contracts and the nature and continuation of those contracts; and technical uncertainty associated with segment contracts. Factors that could affect the company as a whole include those listed plus: acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental and workplace safety; governmental investigations; goodwill impairment; antitrust and other litigation; strikes; boycotts; labor cost changes; rates of return projected and earned on assets of the company's defined benefit retirement plans; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or management’s evaluation of the company’s internal control over financial reporting.