Ball Aerospace was selected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to conduct four, six-month study contracts that will inform mission, spacecraft and instrument concepts for future operational weather architectures and Earth observation capabilities, the company announced on Monday.
"Through close coordination with the broader weather community, Ball developed a series of innovative technology and mission solutions to meet NOAA's most critical space-based observational needs in an affordable and sustainable way, and these studies are a continuation of this effort," said Dr. Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager, Civil Space, Ball Aerospace.
Of the investigations, Ball has worked in coordination with Computational Physics to perform a trade study of cost and performance between two technology strategies for a dedicated auroral imager under the Auroral Imager in Tundra study. Ball’s research will advance space weather situational awareness for users of technologies affected by auroral phenomena.
Ball’s Operational Weather Instrument Evolution (BOWIE) Microwave concept study will evaluate the baseline design of Ball's BOWIE-M instrument and explore optimization of performance and cost. Ball is collaborating with Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), a Verisk business, that will lead a trade analysis of the instrument design and performance.
The BOWIE Compact Hyperspectral Infrared Observations (CHIRO) concept study will focus on technology and performance trades for a smallsat solution for hyperspectral infrared sounding from geostationary orbit and the BOWIE Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) IR Sounder will explore compact instrument designs to meet NOAA's atmospheric vertical temperature and moisture profiling requirements.
Ball Aerospace will also assist on a fifth study contract awarded to L3Harris Technologies. The Joint LEO Sounding Mission Study will also work in conjunction with PlanetiQ for this mission concept study.
The team will also explore how the mission can be optimized for cost and performance while meeting the LEO sounding requirements of NOAA's future operational weather architecture. Ball will perform an accommodation assessment of the baseline instrument designs, using a Ball small satellite for insertion in various orbits.
"Operational weather satellites are a critical part of the nation's infrastructure, playing a key role in keeping the public safe and the economy strong by enabling forecasters to predict and reduce the impacts of extreme weather events," added Lystrup.
About Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) supplies innovative, sustainable aluminum packaging solutions for beverage, personal care 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 more than 18,300 people worldwide and reported 2019 net sales of $11.5 billion.