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  • Ball Aerospace to Design Cloud Cameras for Glory
Jun 2006
BOULDER, Colo., June 29, 2006 -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. will design and build two cloud cameras for the Glory mission under contract to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The Glory mission is part of the US Climate Change Science Program to improve our understanding of what forces influence global environmental changes and how to predict those changes.

Glory is a remote-sensing Earth-orbiting observatory scheduled to launch in 2008 for a three-year mission to collect data on aerosols and radiant energy emitted by the sun. Two instruments will be deployed: the aerosol polarimetry sensor (APS) and the total irradiance monitor (TIM). The Ball Aerospace cloud cameras complement the APS instrument,  being developed by Raytheon Civil Space Programs.

"These semi-custom CT-633 star tracker cameras have been the standard for Ball Aerospace missions for over a decade and include the wide-field camera onboard the recently launched CALIPSO mission," said David L. Taylor, president and CEO of Ball Aerospace. CALIPSO (cloud-aerosol lidar and infrared pathfinder satellite) is a joint US (NASA) and French (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales/CNES) satellite mission with an expected three-year lifetime. It was launched on April 28, 2006, with the cloud profiling radar system on the CloudSat satellite.

As part of the aerosol polarimetry sensor package, the cloud cameras will distinguish between cloud fields and clear scenes over land and the ocean  to collect data on chemical, microphysical and optical properties and on spatial and temporal distributions of aerosols. At the same time, the TIM instrument, being developed by the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, will collect total solar irradiance data. Both instruments should help shed light on how human factors contribute to global warming compared to natural climate variability caused by the sun.

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