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Ball Aerospace OMPS Sensor For JPSS-1 Progressing Ahead Of Schedule

BOULDER, Colo., Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instrument being built for the first Joint Polar Satellite System satellite (JPSS-1) is progressing ahead of schedule and on budget.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130108/LA38923)

The OMPS nadir sensor and main electronics box are in the final stages of unit testing, with testing of the integrated sensor suite planned for early spring of 2013.  The current forecasted delivery date for the completed OMPS sensor is late 2013, seven months ahead of the contractual delivery date.  The OMPS sensor will eventually be integrated onto the JPSS-1 spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch no later than the first quarter 2017.

OMPS continues the ozone data record created by previous sensors flown since 1978. The OMPS advanced hyperspectral instrument is designed to measure atmospheric ozone and how ozone concentration varies with altitude with improved precision.  These data are used to monitor the health of the Earth's ozone layer.  Higher spatial resolution of the JPSS-1 OMPS will also improve tracking of volcanic and atmospheric aerosol events.  To enable the higher resolution and high fidelity data products, the JPSS-1 OMPS is currently being radiometrically calibrated on the ground at Ball Aerospace. 

This is the second OMPS sensor built by Ball Aerospace. An earlier version is flying aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite launched in 2011. The Suomi NPP OMPS delivered its first ozone measurements of the Antarctic ozone hole in October 2012, continuing a satellite record dating from the early 1970s. The Suomi NPP OMPS was calibrated similarly, which permitted a simple and fast transition from on-orbit validation to scientific use of the sensor.  Results of the Suomi NPP OMPS have demonstrated its capability to monitor ozone and other trace gases such as sulfur dioxide, along with ultraviolet-absorbing aerosols in the Earth's atmosphere.

Ball Aerospace also designed and built the Suomi NPP satellite bus, and is currently building the JPSS-1 satellite bus under a contract to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.  Suomi NPP provides continuity of environmental and weather observations between the Earth Observing System satellites and the JPSS satellites.  The JPSS satellites are expected to maintain continuity of weather and environmental observations into the late 2020s.

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