BOULDER, Colo., March 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has shipped the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI) to Goddard Space Flight Center for integration with the spacecraft. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120301/LA62132) The GMI instrument will play an essential role in the worldwide measurement of precipitation and the Earth's environmental forecasting when it launches aboard the GPM space-borne Core Observatory in 2014. The GPM mission is a joint effort between NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and other international partners. "The outstanding team working on the GPM mission is collaborating successfully to bring this scientifically important project ever closer to launch," said Cary Ludtke, Vice President and General Manager for Ball's Civil and Operational Space business unit. The GPM mission will improve climate, weather and hydrological predictions by providing more accurate precipitation measurements from space. "Together with the radar flying on the Core satellite, the GMI will provide a unique database to characterize precipitating particles in different parts of the world, something that is currently not possible. This database is key to obtaining unified and accurate precipitation data from the entire GPM constellation of radiometers," said Arthur Hou, GPM Project Scientist at NASA Goddard. A video accompanying this release is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7knP2Kg55c&feature=youtu.be Ball Aerospace's role in the GPM program included the design, development and fabrication of the GMI. Roughly eight feet tall, the conical-scan microwave instrument is a powerhouse of radiometry. GMI is designed to improve on-orbit calibration and advanced space-borne radiometry by rotating at 32 revolutions per minute, using four very stable calibration points on each revolution to calibrate the data it has scanned. This allows for temporal sampling of rainfall accumulations as well as more frequent and higher quality data collection.