It seems as though everyone’s heading for the clouds these days. Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. took that literally. Ball’s Glory cloud cameras are scheduled to fly aboard a NASA flight in February.
The Glory mission collects data for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Program. The program studies causes and affects of weather change.
Ball designed the unit for use in NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s climate-monitoring missions. Working in conjunction with the Aerosol Polarimetry Sensor, the cameras capture data on black carbon and other aerosols found in Earth’s atmosphere. The Glory cloud camera uses a standard CT-633 star tracker electronics and custom optics and software.
Ball developed cameras for the Cloud Aerosol LIDAR and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations mission launched in 2006. Glory is a next generation camera, destined to join CALIPSO as part of NASA’s A-train satellite formation of Earth-observation satellites.