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Ball Aerospace Moving Ahead On TEMPO & GEMS Air Quality Sensors

BOULDER, Colo., April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Two powerful Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. air quality sensors are on their way to providing future environmental monitoring to support the quality of life on Earth.

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Ball is building nearly identical geostationary ultraviolet visible spectrometers: the Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) instrument for NASA Earth Venture, and the Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS), being jointly developed by Ball and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), South Korea.  Both instruments will complete critical design in 2015 and be delivered in 2017.

"The simultaneous build of the TEMPO and GEMS spectrometers is allowing us to capture multiple design and affordability efficiencies between the two instruments," said Rob Strain, Ball Aerospace president. "Both instruments are similar from a technical basis, and the duplicate build allows recurring and non-recurring cost savings in design, procurement and hardware manufacturing for both customers."

TEMPO will, for the first time, make accurate observations of atmospheric pollution with high spatial and temporal resolution over North America, from Mexico City to the Canadian tar/oil sands, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. TEMPO will provide hourly daylight measurements of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, glyoxal and other pollutants to create a revolutionary dataset that provides understanding and improves air quality (AQ) and climate forcing.

TEMPO is the first NASA Earth Venture Instrument mission and will be the first UV-visible air quality spectrometer in geostationary orbit. The spectrometer's two-axis scan mirror will use valuable heritage from other highly successful Ball programs. TEMPO will share a ride on a yet unidentified commercial satellite as a hosted payload to an orbit about 22,000 miles above Earth's equator.

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