Ball Aerospace-Built Radarsat-1 Far Outlives Mission Expectations
May 09, 2013
BOULDER, Colo., May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Earth observation satellite built for the Canadian government has concluded its mission after serving the organization for more than 17 years—12 years longer than its mission life. Radarsat-1 launched in 1995 for an expected 5-year mission. It was Canada's first and oldest Earth monitoring satellite and conducted the first complete radar survey of Antarctica.
Ball Aerospace built the spacecraft bus and a portion of the ground station for the advanced operational synthetic aperture for Spar Aerospace and the Canadian Space Agency. Ball also provided technical services to Spar (MacDonald Dettwiler), including system engineering and system integration planning. Radarsat-1 represented several firsts for Ball Aerospace:
- First fixed price and commercial spacecraft bus, introducing a cost-effective solution for Earth observation and remote-sensing missions
- First Ball Aerospace international spacecraft, which expanded the company's profile into new markets
- Inaugural satellite bus for the company's successful Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) line of spacecraft
"Radarsat-1 set the bar high," said Cary Ludtke, vice president and general manager for Ball's Operational Space business unit. "It was a great learning experience in principal areas of the company's evolving business approach, particularly in developing the know-how to execute on commercial, fixed-price programs."
By circling the Earth once every 101 minutes, Radarsat-1 relayed images for use in resource management with details about the Earth's geologic features, oceans, ice, weather and vegetation. The satellite's powerful synthetic aperture radar instrument acquired images of the Earth, day and night, in all weather and through cloud cover. Radarsat-1's legacy included mapping regions of the Earth never mapped before including areas in South America, Africa and Asia; and completing a survey of the Antarctic continental ice shelf that helped monitor the effects of global climate change.
Ball built the Radarsat-1 spacecraft bus based on technical experience gained developing the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment for NASA and the Relay Mirror Experiment satellite for the U.S. Air Force. More recently, Ball continues its contributions to NASA's Earth science program with the launch of the Operational Land Imager aboard the Landsat Data Continuity Mission to extend the 40-year record of continuous land surface observations.
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 www.ballaerospace.com.
Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) is a supplier of high quality packaging for beverage, food, and household products, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ approximately 15,000 people worldwide and reported 2012 sales of more than $8.7 billion. For the latest Ball news and for other company information, please visit http://www.ball.com.
This release contains "forward-looking" statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" and similar expressions are intended to 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 our packaging segments include fluctuation in product demand and preferences; availability and cost of raw materials; competitive packaging availability, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; crop yields; competitive activity; failure to achieve anticipated productivity improvements or production 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 rates or tax rates. Factors that might affect our aerospace segment include: funding, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts. Factors that might affect the company as a whole include those listed plus: accounting changes; changes in senior management; the recent global recession and its effects on liquidity, credit risk, asset values and the economy; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions and divestitures; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including U.S. FDA and other actions affecting products filled in our containers, or chemicals or substances used in raw materials or in the manufacturing process; governmental investigations; technological developments and innovations; goodwill impairment; antitrust, patent and other litigation; strikes; labor cost changes; rates of return projected and earned on assets of the company's defined benefit retirement plans; pension changes; uncertainties surrounding the U.S. government budget and debt limit; reduced cash flow; ability to achieve cost-out initiatives; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or other effects.
SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.