Media Contact: Roz Brown or call 303-939-6146
Ball Aerospace Wins NASA Earth Science HAWC-OAWL Research and Development Contract
May 19, 2014
BOULDER, Colo., May 19, 2014 –Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has received a contract from NASA to build a High-spectral-Resolution-Lidar for Aerosols Winds and Clouds - Using the Optical Autocovariance Wind Lidar (HAWC-OAWL) to help scientists better understand how the wind transport of aerosols and water vapor affect air quality and cloud formation.
The existing OAWL technology has successfully flown on NASA-funded test flights. The three-year, $4.3M contract award for HAWC-OAWL will allow Ball Aerospace to adapt OAWL to measure profiles of aerosol properties simultaneously with profiles of wind speed and direction, and to demonstrate the full system performance with additional airborne flight testing.
“Ball has been developing this type of lidar technology since 2002 and we’re eager to see it matured and flown again,” said Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager for Ball’s Civil Space and Technology business unit. “This program will advance the instrument technology for future space-based global Earth system studies.”
HAWC-OAWL is one of 17 technology proposals selected under NASA’s Instrument Incubator Program for further development to enable Earth observation measurements while reducing risk, cost, size, volume, mass and development time. The instruments and instrument subsystems chosen will enable future Earth science measurements and visionary concepts through the Earth Science Technology Office in support of NASA’s Earth Science Division.
“The HAWC-OAWL measurements will help scientists better understand how co-located aerosols and winds interact in cloud formations,” said Ball’s Principal Investigator Sara Tucker. “Understanding this interaction is critically important for predicting cloud properties and brightness.”
The first OAWL system was demonstrated and validated in comparison ground tests with a NOAA wind lidar in 2011. In 2011, test flights at NASA Johnson Space Center demonstrated and validated the original, autonomous, airborne OAWL on the NASA WB-57 aircraft. Ball will reconfigure the existing OAWL technology to add a second laser wavelength and enable HAWC-OAWL to point in two directions at the same time. The system will then be able to characterize airborne particles, while simultaneously measuring wind profiles to provide information that is critical to the Earth’s energy and water cycles, air quality and climate.
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 http://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 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2013 sales of $8.5 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
This release contains "forward-looking" statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" and similar expressions 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 in our Form 10-K, which are available on our website and at www.sec.gov. Factors that might affect: a) our packaging segments include product demand fluctuations; availability/cost of raw materials; competitive packaging, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; crop yields; competitive activity; failure to achieve productivity improvements or 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 or tax rates; b) our aerospace segment include funding, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts; c) the company as a whole include those listed plus: changes in senior management; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions and divestitures; regulatory action or issues including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including U.S. FDA and other actions or public concerns affecting products filled in our containers, or chemicals or substances used in raw materials or in the manufacturing process; technological developments and innovations; litigation; strikes; labor cost changes; rates of return on assets of the company's defined benefit retirement plans; pension changes; uncertainties surrounding the U.S. government budget, sequestration and debt limit; reduced cash flow; ability to achieve cost-out initiatives; interest rates affecting our debt.