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Ball Aerospace Wins Contract for Key Weather Instrument
March 20, 2006
BOULDER, Colo. – Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. was recently awarded a $2 million formulation phase contract for the Geostationary Lightning Mapper, or GLM, which is designed to measure lightning from space. The instrument will fly aboard the next generation of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, or GOES-R. The goal of the 12-month contract is to identify possible technological risks before the hardware integration phase begins. The contract was awarded by NASA which manages the GOES-R instrument contracts for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The Geostationary Lightning Mapper is expected to provide data necessary to improve safety warning forecasts. The instrument will also deliver continuous measurements for thunderstorm and tornado warnings for the National Weather Service.
Ball Aerospace has extensive environmental and weather spacecraft and sensor experience, including a series of instruments (Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Radiometers) used by NASA and NOAA to monitor ozone depletion. The company built the spacecraft designed to measure winds over the Earth’s oceans, and is currently awaiting launch of a spacecraft (CloudSat) and sensors (CALIPSO) for two NASA missions to evaluate the three-dimensional global distribution of clouds.
Ball Aerospace also has been selected by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center to build the Global Precipitation Measurement-Microwave Imager in support of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. Managed by NASA, GPM is a joint effort with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and other international partners to build a constellation of spacecraft to improve climate and weather predictions through more accurate and frequent precipitation measurements.
Ball Aerospace also won a significant contract to develop the Hyperspectral Environmental Suite, or HES, which will fly on the GOES-R system, scheduled for a 2012 launch. The HES is an infrared sounding, visible imaging instrument suite that will enhance weather forecasts and climate prediction.
In addition, Ball Aerospace was awarded a program definition and risk reduction contract last year for the next-generation GOES-R system. Ball Aerospace will lead the Payload Instrument Accommodation effort, and was chosen for the team, in part, for its extensive history of providing and accommodating spaceborne remote sensing instruments.
The company is building the spacecraft for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project, and is building the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite instrument for NPOESS.
Ball Aerospace celebrates its 50th year in business in 2006. The company began building pointing controls for military rockets in 1956, and later won a contract to build one of NASA’s first spacecraft, the Orbiting Solar Observatory. Over the years, the company has been responsible for numerous technological and scientific ‘firsts’ and now acts as a technology innovator in important national missions.
Ball Corporation is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products and owns Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., which develops sensors, spacecraft, systems and components for government and commercial customers. Ball reported 2005 sales of $5.8 billion and the company employs 13,100 people worldwide.
This news release contains "forward-looking" 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. 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 in Exhibit 99.2 in our 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 and preferences; availability and cost of raw materials, including 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; changes in foreign exchange rates, tax rates and activities of foreign subsidiaries; and the effect of LIFO accounting. Factors that might affect our aerospace segment include: funding, authorization, availability and returns of government contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts. Factors that might 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; 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; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or other effects.