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Ball Aerospace's GMI Instrument Arrives in Japan Onboard NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement Satellite

November 25, 2013

Boulder, Colo. – A Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. instrument essential for a new era in precipitation measurements has arrived in Japan where it will launch aboard NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission.

Ball’s GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) is a multi-channel, conical-scanning, microwave radiometer that is part of an international satellite mission led by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Following launch in early 2014 aboard the spaceborne GPM Core Observatory, the radiometer is part of an international satellite constellation that will capture next-generation observations of rain and snow worldwide every three hours, as well as unprecedented 3-D views of hurricanes and snowstorms. GPM data will also contribute to the monitoring and forecasting of weather events such as droughts, floods and hurricanes.

“Ball is proud to be part of an international satellite mission that has advanced microwave sensor capabilities to set a new standard of calibration for the scientific community,” said Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager of Ball’s Civil Space and Technology business unit.

Roughly ten-and-a-half feet tall, the GMI instrument is a powerhouse of radiometry. Rotating at 32 revolutions per minute, it will use four very stable calibration points on each revolution to calibrate the data it has scanned. Ball Aerospace designed, developed and fabricated the GMI which is central to the mission’s success because it provides temporal sampling of rainfall accumulations and more frequent and higher quality data collection than currently available. With less than two percent of the Earth’s total water volume being potable, the scientific community has long been committed to acquiring more precise and complete precipitation information.

GMI, along with the JAXA-provided Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar, will make radiometric and radar measurements of precipitation around the world and will provide the comprehensive data needed for global rain maps and climate research products. These instruments will also provide an accurate reference for calibrating other microwave radiometers in the GPM constellation.

GMI’s design is based on successful microwave sensors built previously by Ball Aerospace, including the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C (SIR-C), the GEOSAT Follow-On (GFO) and the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS).

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions for 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 information, visit www.ballaerospace.com.

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) supplies innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, food and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 15,000 people worldwide and reported 2012 sales of more than $8.7 billion. For more information, visit http://www.ball.com or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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 on our website 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; 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; mandatory deposit or other restrictive packaging laws; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or loss of a major customer or supplier; political instability and sanctions; and changes in foreign exchange rates or tax rates. 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; the recent global recession and its effects on liquidity, credit risk, asset values and the economy; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including U.S. FDA and other actions affecting products filled in our containers, or 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; uncertainties surrounding the U.S. government budget and debt limit; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or other effects.

 

 

 

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