Ball Aerospace selected by NASA for TEMPO air pollution study mission

By: Steve Tuesday November 20, 2012 0 comments Tags: air pollution, Ball Aerospace, Boulder, Cary Ludtke, NASA, TEMPO

Ball Aerospace logo
BOULDER - Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. is part of a team selected by NASA to build the first space-based instrument to monitor major air pollutants across North America for the space agency's TEMPO (Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution) mission.

Led by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass., the TEMPO team will build a geostationary ultraviolet-visible spectrometer to continuously measure ozone, aerosols and other trace gases over North America.

The instrument's position will allow delivery of regional, hourly readouts of atmospheric data during daylight hours, advancing air quality research on how pollution affects climate change and air quality on a continental scale, Ball said.

"While Ball is at the forefront of low Earth orbit instrument development, the TEMPO spectrometer will be the company's first geostationary instrument for NASA," said Cary Ludtke, Ball's vice president and general manager of its civil and operational space business unit.

"TEMPO takes advantage of our expertise and technology developed for previous ultraviolet-visible instruments that have already flown or are currently in orbit."

NASA said it anticipates the TEMPO instrument will be launched on a commercial communications satellite when it is completed in September 2017.

Mission costs will be capped at $90 million, excluding the launch vehicle and integration into the satellite platform, Ball said.

For more information, visit


About the Author: Steve