January 4, 2016 – NASA has awarded a sole source letter contract to Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colorado, to build the Operational Land Imager-2 instrument for the Landsat 9 project.
The estimated value of this cost-plus award-fee letter contract is $19.3 million with a period of performance from December 31, 2015 through March 31, 2021.
Ball Aerospace will build its second Operational Land Imager (OLI) for the Landsat 9 project. The OLI is a reflective, multi-channel, earth-imaging instrument that provides highly calibrated imagery to detect and quantify the effects of natural and human-induced activities on the Earth’s surface. The OLI has eight detection bands ranging in wavelengths from 433 nm to 2300 nm with spatial resolutions of 30 meters and one panchromatic band with a spatial resolution of 15 meters.
The OLI satisfies stringent image quality performance standards for radiometric, spectral, spatial, uniformity, and calibration that are critical for producing data that meets the users’ needs in analyzing deforestation, agricultural yield estimates, spread of pest infestations, urbanization, water resources, and many other operational and research applications.
Ball Aerospace previously designed and built the OLI aboard Landsat 8 – an instrument that significantly advanced Landsat sensor technology. Ball’s innovative design improved the signal to noise ratio and provided better characterization of land cover, revealing much more data to Landsat users than had been revealed before.
NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior honored Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in November 2014 for its contribution of the OLI to Landsat 8 and OLI’s ability to help scientists, land use managers, fire fighters, and other beneficiaries to better understand the Earth’s features. Ball Aerospace was awarded the esteemed William T. Pecora Award. The Pecora Awards honor outstanding contributions in the field of remote sensing and its application to understanding Earth.