Press Release

Ball Aerospace to Implement Radiometer Mission for NASA Earth Science Cubesat Program

By SpaceRef Editor
December 16, 2015
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Ball Aerospace has been selected by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate to build and test a complete radiometric instrument on a Cubesat for a space mission under the In-Space Validation of Earth Science Technologies (InVEST) program. Work will begin on the Compact Infrared Radiometer in Space (CIRiS) in February 2016. Launch is anticipated in early 2018 followed by three months of on-orbit operations.

CIRiS is an uncooled imaging infrared radiometer designed for high radiometric performance from LEO, including absolute on-orbit calibration. The Ball radiometer is one of four projects to receive funding from the latest round of the InVEST program in support of NASA’s Earth Science Division. Instruments like CIRiS aboard inexpensive Cubesats could enable constellations that return significant scientific research and land use management data for NASA.

“Validating advanced technologies on micro-spacecraft for our customers is an innovative way to introduce new architectures and complete important science goals,” said Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager for Ball’s Civil Space business unit.

Ball Aerospace principal investigator for CIRiS David Osterman stated the on-orbit phase of the project will validate data processing algorithms and calibration, and also verify radiometric performance. Potential future applications of Cubesats with the CIRiS design include studies of the hydrological cycle, urban climate and extreme storms; measurements to improve climate modeling; and support to land use management via vegetation monitoring and water absorption mapping.

NASA’s InVEST program is targeted to small instruments and instrument subsystems that can advance technology to enable relevant Earth science measurements.

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. Ball continues to invest and innovate in affordable, high resolution imaging systems, contributing to the needs of civil, military and commercial customers. 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 2014 sales of $8.6 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

SpaceRef staff editor.