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Ball Aerospace Begins Work on Geodesic Dome Phased Array Contract
January 30, 2007
Boulder, Colo. - Ball Aerospace has begun work on a recently awarded $13 million Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) contract that will develop and demonstrate technologies required to validate the Geodesic Dome Phased Array Antenna (GDPAA) concept.
The program is jointly sponsored by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate with a November 2009 contract completion date. The new work continues Ball’s legacy of previous phased-array architecture on such programs as the Multi-User Ground System and the 2004 Wallops Island Phased Array Antenna for Telemetry, Tracking and Commanding demonstration.
The GDPAA is intended to improve capacity, throughput, responsiveness, availability and flexibility over conventional parabolic reflector antennas, in support of satellite tracking, telemetry and commanding operations. This ATD will help validate operational readiness for a full size GDPAA acquisition program, as well as integration into the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN).
“This new, efficient approach to managing space-borne assets extends Ball Aerospace’s ability to bring advanced low-cost phased array technologies to our nation’s military,” said David L. Taylor, the company’s president and chief executive officer. “Our goal is to supply the Air Force and other users of the satellite control network with the best performance value per cost.”
The GPDAA is intended to greatly increase satellite communication links for the AFSCN and NASA and to provide more reliable satellite telemetry, tracking and command (TT&C) and communications. The AFSCN provides global support for operational space systems and research, development, test and evaluation. AFSCN also provides highly reliable, integrated command and control, communications and sensor systems to support the national space launch, surveillance, navigation, communications, and weather satellite operations.
Ball Aerospace celebrated its 50th year in business in 2006. The company began building pointing controls for military rockets in 1956, and later won a contract to build one of NASA’s first spacecraft, the Orbiting Solar Observatory. Over the years, the company has been responsible for numerous technological and scientific ‘firsts’ and now acts as a technology innovator for important national missions.
Ball Corporation is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products and owns Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Ball reported 2006 sales of $6.6 billion and employs 15,500 people.
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