Ball Aerospace Completes Ozone Mapping Suite Milestone

BOULDER, CO /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has completed risk reduction testing of the Protoflight Model (PFM) Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) that will fly aboard the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP).

NPP is a joint effort between the NPOESS Integrated Program Office and NASA. Ball Aerospace is part of the NPOESS team led by prime contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE:NOC) .

Risk reduction testing of the OMPS Integrated Sensor Suite marks a major milestone in validating the OMPS design which consists of a hyperspectral UV, visible and near IR limb sensor, a wide-field hyperspectral UV nadir sensor, and a dual-redundant main electronics box. OMPS PFM delivery to NPP is scheduled for August 2008. The successful testing also enables progress on the current build of the OMPS Flight Model 2 for the first NPOESS spacecraft.

"The ozone monitoring sensors developed by Ball Aerospace including SBUV/2, SAGE III and now OMPS, demonstrate our commitment to advanced atmospheric science research," said Cary Ludtke, vice president and general manager for Ball's civil and operational space business unit. OMPS is one of four sensors that will fly as part of the NPP risk reduction mission and one of nine sensors currently manifested for the operational NPOESS system. NPOESS is the nation's next generation low-Earth orbiting operational environmental system for civilian and military applications.

OMPS will measure how much ozone is in our atmosphere and how the ozone concentration varies with altitude. OMPS data will also be used to determine if synthetic chemicals are affecting the Earth's climate and its habitability. NPOESS will measure, on a global basis, atmospheric, land, and ocean environmental conditions. The system will provide weather and environmental data to weather forecasters, military commanders, civilian leaders, and the scientific community.

Ball Aerospace is also building the NPP spacecraft, a modified Ball Commercial Platform (BCP) 2000 under a contract to the Goddard Rapid Spacecraft Development Office.

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.

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