Ball Aerospace wins US meteorology award for its weather satellites

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The American Meteorological Society (AMS) has honored the weather satellite manufacturer Ball Aerospace for its work for the US government and military.

The Colorado-based company will be presented with the 2020 Award for Outstanding Services by a Corporation at the AMS’s annual meeting in Boston in January. The event also marks the annual gathering’s 100th year.

“Ball Aerospace instrumentation and spacecraft has supported science and services in the atmospheric and related sciences, and many individuals at Ball have given generously of their time and talent through volunteer service in scientific organizations like AMS,” said AMS president Professor Jenni Evans, announcing the award.

“Thought leadership and service from Ball and its people, including as underwriters of the AMS policy program, has enriched the meteorology community in many ways.”

Ball produces advanced operational weather systems for civil and military customers. It has a long-standing relationship with NASA, NOAA and the US military and has been building spacecraft since the US’s earliest forays into space in the 1960s.

Its NOAA satellites include the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership or Suomi NPP, which was launched in 2011, and the NOAA-20, launched in 2017. Both Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 orbit Earth 14 times a day and are fitted with instrumentation to measure temperature, moisture and pressure in the atmosphere as well as ozone levels and solar radiation.

For the next three NOAA and NASA polar weather satellites, expected to launch in 2021, 2026 and 2031, Ball has been contracted to build the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instruments, which will be used to monitor the health of Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer. It is also in the process of developing the US Air Force’s next-generation environmental satellite.

In response to the award announcement Rob Strain, president of Ball Aerospace, said: “Understanding the science behind our sensors requires close engagement with the scientific community, and AMS has been a long-standing partner in convening experts from across industry and academia to jointly advance weather, water and climate sciences.”

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