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Ball Aerospace Wins NASA Earth Sensing Contracts
May 5, 2008
BOULDER, Colo., May 5, 2008 –Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has been awarded two NASA contracts that support the agency’s Science Mission Directorate 2007 Instrument Incubator Program (IIP) in developing Earth science instrument subsystem technologies. Ball will also participate in a third contract as co-investigators on a study led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
Ball Aerospace technical manager and systems lead engineer for the CALIPSO mission, Carl Weimer, was awarded a contract as principal investigator on the Electronically Steerable Flash Lidar. The contract demonstrates that flash arrays can be used to profile vegetation canopies from space, designated for the proposed Deformation, Ecosystem Structure and Dynamics of Ice Mission.
Ball staff consultant, Christian Grund, was awarded a contract as principal investigator for Development and Demonstration of an Optical Autocovariance Direct Detection Wind Lidar (OAWL). Operating from a WB-57 aircraft, the program will demonstrate OAWL’s viability to fulfill the needs of a direct detection wind mission, currently projected to measure global tropospheric wind profiles from Low Earth Orbit in the 2015 timeframe. According to NASA and NOAA, tropospheric wind measurement is critical to improve weather forecasts.
On the third winning effort, Ball Aerospace supported a JPL team led by William Folkner on the Laser Ranging Frequency Stabilization Subsystems for the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) – II Mission. As co-investigators, Ball principal engineers, Michelle Stephens and James Leitch will build and test the opto-mechanical assembly and test the laser stabilization subsystem.
The NASA IIP provides instrument and instrument subsystem technology developments to enable the National Research Council’s Earth Science decadal survey mission. The program focuses on technologies that lead to future flight instruments that are smaller, less resource-intensive, less costly, and require less time to build. NASA reviewed 71 proposals for this technology solicitation before awarding 21 contracts.
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.
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, health and workplace safety, including in respect of 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; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or other effects.