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Ball Aerospace GFO Satellite Begins Eleventh Year On Orbit
April 9, 2008
Boulder, Colo., April 9, 2008 – The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. operational altimeter satellite, GEOSAT Follow-On (GFO), has achieved 10 years of successful on orbit operation, providing continuous worldwide oceanographic data for ships at sea and the Navy’s shore-based facilities.
GFO, launched in February 1998, was the first real-time, radar altimeter satellite built for the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. The follow-on to the highly successful GEOSAT-A, the GFO satellite completed 154 exact repeat cycles in February 2008.
The GFO satellite continues to operate beyond its design life, providing ocean observation critical to both naval planners and oceanographers,” said Jeff Osterkamp, vice president and general manager for Ball Aerospace’s National Defense Solutions business unit. Currently the Radar Altimeter is being power cycled on/off during eclipse periods to maintain the satellite electrical power system.
Ball Aerospace built the spacecraft bus, procured the payload and launch services and supplied the system software and hardware for the mission’s ground support stations. Ball also provided the integrated antenna for the payload’s altimeter and radiometer as well as the global positioning system and communications antennas. Although primarily a Navy tactical satellite, GFO is important for weather research and its mission data has lead to vast improvements in our knowledge of ocean circulation by measuring subtle differences in sea surface height associated with ocean currents and eddies. The GFO altimeter also provides information about wave height, and sea and glacier ice.
The GFO satellite is controlled by the Naval Satellite Operations Center. In addition to transmitting data directly to Navy ships, GFO stores global data and passes it via remote receiving stations to the Naval Oceanographic Office. NOAA is responsible for distribution to NASA and the civil and scientific communities.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions of important 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 than 50 years, Ball Aerospace has been responsible for numerous technological and scientific ‘firsts’ and acts as a technology innovator for the aerospace market.
Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 15,500 people worldwide and reported 2007 sales of $7.4 billion.
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 99.2 in our Form 10-K, which are available at our Web site 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, including recent significant increases in resin, steel, aluminum and energy costs, and the ability to pass such increases on to customers; 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, including our beverage can end project; mandatory deposit or other restrictive packaging laws; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or loss of a major customer or supplier; and changes in foreign exchange rates, tax rates and activities of foreign subsidiaries. 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; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; integration of recently acquired businesses; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental and workplace safety; 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; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or other effects.