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Ball Aerospace Completes NPP Instrument Verification and Test
February 9, 2006
The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft will employ a modified Ball Commercial Platform 2000 to accommodate NPP's four instruments.
BOULDER, Colo. - Ball Aerospace completed, ahead of schedule, the integration of the engineering models for three of the instruments scheduled to fly on the National Polar-orbiting Operational Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft bus. The models will test and verify mechanical and electrical interfaces between the instruments and the spacecraft before installation of the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CRiS) and the Ball Aerospace-built Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) is completed later next year.
In addition, Ball Aerospace helped to develop and qualify the first fault-tolerant, spacecraft-to-payload 1394 interface for use in space, and completed verification of the interface on NPP's instrument engineering models. The 1394 interface is used for high-data-rate applications and operates at 100 megabits per second.
The NPP Project is a joint effort between the NPOESS Integrated Program Office and NASA. Scheduled to launch later this decade, NPP is expected in orbit prior to the end of the EOS Aqua mission, as well as to provide data overlap with the NPOESS spacecraft.
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.' Ball Aerospace now develops spacecraft, payloads, systems and components for 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. The company employs more than 13,500 people worldwide.
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