Ball Aerospace & Technologies (Ball Aerospace) runs the gamut from A to V -- antennas to video systems -- with stops in between for GPS equipment, high-tech subsystems, and systems integration. A subsidiary of Ball Corporation, the company develops satellites and spacecraft, instruments and sensors, antennas and microwave systems, and aerospace components for the military and commercial sectors, as well as provides engineering services and testing. The company's cameras/video equipment include night-vision systems and high-resolution satellite cameras for NASA vehicles, weather satellites, and the military; other offerings include cryogenic systems, fast-steering mirrors, and satellite accessory controls.
The company has worked on such projects as the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. Ball Aerospace & Technologies designed the Kepler spacecraft and photometer for NASA's "planet-hunting" mission, which launched in the spring of 2009. The photometer is the largest camera that NASA has ever sent outside of the Earth's orbit.
Ball Aerospace designed and constructed the next-generation imaging satellite WorldView, which launched in the fall of 2009. The satellite and on-board camera equipment will collect high-resolution commercial images of the Earth for use in creating precision maps for urban planning, and environmental and disaster monitoring analyses.
Among other projects, Ball Aerospace was selected to build imaging instruments for NASA's proposed trip to Pluto; helped develop and integrate the Flyby and Impactor spacecraft for comet exploration; and assembled the NPP polar-orbiting satellite. Ball also completed camera systems for Mars projects, microwave imagers for weather satellites, and optics systems for large telescopes. The company's antennas include models for airborne, naval, and land-based applications. Military platforms include the Joint Strike Fighter (officially named the Lightning II), F/A-18, and the Advanced Tactical Missile System.
In 2009 the company partnered with Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics on a $600 million contract to provide intelligence work for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center's advanced technical exploitation program, under the aegis of the US Air Force. Its tactical and video sensor designs have been used on air, land, and sea craft, while its antenna and microwave system offerings (space-based reflectors and RF subsystems) are utilized in military and space applications.
Ball Aerospace & Technology serves its military customers through two organizational divisions. National Defense Solutions was created to combine the company's space hardware and systems engineering capabilities to better provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, (ISR), and space solutions. The Advanced Technologies & Products division aims to better leverage all of Ball Aerospace's technologies (including lasers, satellite navigation, cryogenics, and antennas) to provide improved solutions for military customers.
The company was founded by the five Ball brothers in 1880 in Buffalo, New York. The Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company first produced the home canning jar. – less