Ball Aerospace has successfully completed the critical design review (CDR) of the flight system and advanced spectrometer instrument that will be integrated onto a 350-kilogram satellite for MethaneSAT, a subsidiary of the non-profit Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Ball Aerospace reported on Monday. The completion of CDR has enabled Ball to move into part fabrication and assembly.
"MethaneSAT aligns with Ball's commitment to earth science, sustainability and delivering science at any scale," said Dr. Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager, Civil Space, Ball Aerospace. "We have worked closely and collaboratively with the customer and other partners to develop extremely sensitive sensor technology critical to spotting methane emissions that previously would have gone undetected."
The Ball-designed MethaneSAT Instrument will measure a narrow part of the shortwave infrared spectrum where methane absorbs light, allowing it to detect concentrations as low as two parts per billion.
From Low-Earth Orbit, the satellite will locate and measure emissions of methane sources across the globe with precision and at fine enough detail to identify these sources. The mission is expected to launch in 2022 to support EDF's stated goal of achieving a 45 percent reduction in methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 2025.
Ball recently built LIDAR and wide-field camera instruments for NASA's Cloud-Aerosol LIDAR and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) mission and the Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollutions (TEMPO) instrument to measure air quality for a NASA mission.
"This is a complex, technically challenging mission driven by the profound urgency of climate change. An intensive design process up front ensures that we can move quickly from here. The result is a more powerful measurement tool than even we thought possible," said Cassandra Ely, director at MethaneSAT.
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.