NASA Awards Contract For JPSS Instrument To Ball Aerospace

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April 23, 2016 – Ball Aerospace will build the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instruments for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Polar Follow-On/JPSS-3 and JPSS-4 missions, under a sole source contract modification award from NASA. The value of this contract is approximately $214 million for a total contract value of approximately $421 million, with the contracted work to be performed over a 10-year period. OMPS tracks the health of the ozone layer and measures the concentration of ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere.

“Ball is honored to continue its role of providing ozone monitoring instruments well into the future for NOAA and NASA,” said Jim Oschmann, Vice President and General Manager of Ball’s Civil Space business unit. “Since the mid-1980s our sensors have helped the science community measure the ozone layer to track and help mitigate potential threats.”

OMPS is currently flying on the joint NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) mission. Ball’s OMPS deputy program manager and project scientist Sarah Lipscy says the sensor aboard Suomi NPP has provided unexpected data beyond ozone measurements.

“OMPS data has proven valuable in monitoring volcanic eruptions and routing aircraft safely around those eruptions,” said Lipscy. “It is also being used to monitor the air quality in the upper atmosphere from pollution, dust and smoke.”

OMPS continues the current daily global data provided by the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet radiometer-2, also built by Ball Aerospace, and the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer. The collection of data from OMPS contributes to fulfilling the U.S. treaty obligation to monitor the ozone depletion per the Montreal Protocol to ensure no gaps on ozone coverage and extends more than three decades of total-ozone and ozone-profile records. OMPS products, when combined with cloud predictions, also help produce better ultraviolet index forecasts. In addition, OMPS data is used to measure atmospheric conditions, such as ash from volcanic eruptions, which are used in aircraft safety warnings.

Under the contract, Ball will manufacture, test and deliver the high fidelity OMPS JPSS-3 and JPSS-4 instruments – which are composed of a nadir sensor and electronics module – and provide launch and post-launch support for both.

JPSS is funded by NOAA to provide essential weather observation data to NOAA’s National Weather Service. NASA is the acquisition agent for the flight systems and components of the ground system and provides program systems engineering, program safety, mission assurance and end-to-end system verification.