Media Contact: Roz Brown or call 303-939-6146
Ball Aerospace Readies VCA for Kepler Mission
April 9, 2007
BOULDER, CO – The Vertical Collimator Assembly (VCA) built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is now operational and has been delivered to Ball’s Optical Test Facility. The VCA will provide a means of testing large optical systems in a space-like environment.
Designed to support system-level testing under vacuum and at extremely cold temperatures, the collimator accommodates optical systems with apertures up to 1.5 meters (59 inches) in diameter. In addition to providing a vibration isolated optical bench for mounting the instrument under test, the VCA optical metrology system provides independent focus control throughout extended testing periods. The first instrument supported by VCA is the Kepler Photometer currently being developed by Ball for NASA Ames Research Center.
“The new VCA represents our commitment to ever-larger aperture optical systems as Ball Aerospace continues to provide sophisticated, modern instrumentation to NASA and the military,” said David L. Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Ball Aerospace.
The VCA’s counterpart, the Ball-built Horizontal Collimator Assembly (HCA), was completed in 2005. In the horizontal position, optical instruments up to 0.76 meters (30 inches) in diameter can be successfully tested. The completed VCA/HCA dual system is called the Universal Collimator Assembly.
Ball Aerospace supports critical missions of important 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. Over the past 50 years, Ball Aerospace has been responsible for numerous technological and scientific “firsts” and now acts as a technology innovator for the aerospace market.
Ball Corporation is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products and owns Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Ball reported 2006 sales of $6.6 billion and employs 15,500 people.
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 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; crop 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; and changes in foreign exchange rates, tax rates and activities of foreign subsidiaries. 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; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; integration of recently acquired businesses; 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; pension changes; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or other effects.