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May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has been awarded a contract from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) to build the Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS) for the National Institute of Environmental Research in the Ministry of Environment of South Korea.
GEMS is a geostationary scanning ultraviolet-visible spectrometer designed to monitor trans-boundary pollution events for the Korean peninsula and
Asia-Pacific region. The spectrometer provides high spatial and high temporal resolution measurements of ozone, its precursors, and aerosols. Hourly measurements by GEMS will improve early warnings for potentially dangerous pollution events and monitor long-term climate change.
Ball Aerospace and KARI will design, fabricate and test GEMS which is manifested on KARI's GEO-KOMPSAT-2B geostationary satellite for a 2018 launch.
"Ball is excited to be working with KARI to provide this environmental sensor and enable greater monitoring of pollution," said
Cary Ludtke, vice president and general manager of Ball's Operational Space business unit. "This international collaboration represents the beginning of an important relationship."
The GEMS instrument is the Asian element of a global air quality monitoring constellation of geostationary satellites that includes the Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) spectrometer. Ball is the TEMPO instrument provider for NASA Langley Research Center and Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory on this Earth Venture line program.
"Both TEMPO and GEMS take advantage of our expertise and technology developed for previous ultraviolet-visible instruments and benefit from a proven track record," said Ludtke.
For more than 30 years, Ball Aerospace has been a recognized industry leader in developing advanced spectrometers. Ball recently provided the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership and is building a similar instrument for the Joint Polar Satellite System. Historically, Ball was the primary supplier of spectrometers for the Hubble Space Telescope including the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph, Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph.