News Releases

Media Contact: Roz Brown or call 303-939-6146

Ball Aerospace's CALIPSO Lidar Passes One Billionth Milestone

February 13, 2008

Click here for a high-res image.

A Ball Aerospace technician inspects the CALIPSO lidar prior to the 2006 mission launch.

BOULDER, Colo., – Feb. 13, 2008 – The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. free-flying atmospheric lidar aboard NASA’s Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) mission, fired its one billionth laser pulse over the Ivory Coast on Sunday, Feb. 3., making it the longest lasting, most powerful on-orbit space laser.

In congratulating NASA’s Langley Research Center and the Centre National d'Etudes spatiales for CALIPSO’s on-orbit milestone, Vice President and General Manager for Ball’s Civil and Operational Space business unit, Cary Ludtke, said, “Exceeding one billion laser pulses is a significant milestone and validates the early risk reduction investments made by NASA and Ball Aerospace.”

The Cloud-Aerosol LIdar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) instrument aboard CALIPSO was developed by Ball Aerospace, its Virginia-based subcontractor, Fibertek, and NASA Langley. CALIOP is a two-wavelength polarization-sensitive lidar that provides high-resolution vertical profiles of aerosols and clouds. The CALIPSO mission is providing new insight into the role that clouds and atmospheric aerosol (airborne particles) play in regulating Earth’s weather, climate, and air quality. CALIOP is the longest lasting, most powerful lidar on orbit.

CALIPSO’s technical and scientific success leveraged many innovative technologies including never-before-flown lasers, optical coatings and filters, computers, digitizers, pointing mechanisms, low-noise power supplies and microbolometer arrays. The flight risks associated with the laser were then managed jointly by Ball, Fibertek, and NASA to methodically bring spaceflight design, screening, environmental qualification, and contamination management disciplines to the early development program. NASA’s Langley Research Center brought forth a solid history of lidar system design, low-noise receiver design practices, and calibration methods from the shuttle-based Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE), and numerous aircraft-based and ground-based lidar projects.

In 2007, the Ball Aerospace CALIPSO team received a NASA Group Achievement Award for its significant contributions to the mission. CALIPSO was launched on April 28, 2006, with the cloud profiling radar mission CloudSat. CALIPSO and CloudSat fly in formation with three other satellites in the A-train constellation to enable an even greater understanding of our climate system from the broad array of sensors on these other spacecraft.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. 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. For more than 50 years, Ball Aerospace has been responsible for numerous technological and scientific ‘firsts’ and acts as a technology innovator for the aerospace market.

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products 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 15,500 people worldwide and reported 2007 sales of $7.4 billion.

 

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 product 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; competitive activity; failure to achieve anticipated productivity improvements or production cost reductions, including our beverage can end project; 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; changes in senior management; 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.

 

 

 

 

Media

News Releases

Print Materials

Flickr Image Gallery

Trade Show Schedules

Uplink Newsletter

Multimedia

Media Kits

Advertisements