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Ball Aerospace-built GMI Instrument Launches Aboard NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement Satellite

Companies mentioned in this article: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

BOULDER, Colo., Feb. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI) successfully launched on NASA's GPM Core Observatory satellite from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan at 1:37 p.m. EST on Feb. 27, 2014. The satellite flew onboard an H-IIA launch vehicle.

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Built for NASA, Ball's GMI is a multi-channel, conical-scanning microwave radiometer that flies aboard the GPM Core Observatory. GMI is an essential part of an international satellite mission that will capture next-generation observations of rain and snow worldwide every three hours. The GPM Core Observatory will deliver unprecedented 3-D views of hurricanes and snowstorms and contribute to monitoring and forecasting weather events such as droughts, floods and landslides.

"GMI will provide significantly more accurate data to forecasters tracking extreme weather," said Ball Aerospace President Rob Strain. "GMI's greater accuracy will also enhance the global precipitation dataset used by the world's scientists."

The Ball Aerospace GMI, will deliver more frequent and higher quality data collection than currently available. The eight-foot tall GMI instrument rotates at 32 revolutions per minute and uses four extremely stable calibration points on each revolution to calibrate the data it scans. The instrument minimizes solar intrusion for added accuracy and features higher frequency channels to measure smaller particles of precipitation such as light rain and snow.

GMI will fly aboard the GPM Core Observatory satellite with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA-s) Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instrument. The GMI captures precipitation intensities and horizontal patterns, while the DPR provides insights into the three dimensional structure of rain, snow and other precipitation particles. Together, these two instruments will provide a database of measurements that will be used with observations of other partner satellites to upgrade the quality of all collected data and to provide uniform precipitation estimates everywhere in the world every three hours.

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-2) and the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS).

The company is currently performing risk reduction work for the U.S. Air Force on the Defense Weather Satellite Follow-On microwave sounding and imaging instrument. This sensor will greatly leverage the advanced design and hardware of the GMI instrument to measure tropical cyclone intensity, sea ice, soil moisture and ocean surface vector winds for military forecasting.

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.

Forward-Looking Statements
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.

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SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.