After about one year of inspection and environmental testing,
) has delivered the WorldView-3 satellite to a launch site at
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. The WorldView-3, which has been
built for DigitalGlobe, will be launched through United Launch
Alliance Atlas 5 rocket in mid-Aug 2014.
Ball Aerospace in association with DigitalGlobe has delivered
advanced imaging satellites, including WorldView-2, WorldView-1 and
QuickBird. Worldview-3 is based upon the WorldView-2 and
WorldView-1 technology. It will carry forward the satellite's
advanced control moment gyroscopes (CMGs). It will enable the
WorldView satellites to collect large areas faster than competing
Worldview-3 is the third satellite in the series of Ball Commercial
Platform (BCP) 5000, especially designed for cost-effective remote
sensing applications. The satellite is the first multi-payload,
super-spectral, high-resolution commercial satellite for earth
observations and advanced geospatial data. WorldView-3 is also a
highly capable spacecraft based on a low-risk design.
Ball Corporation begun the integration phase for Worldview-3 in
April 2013. The satellite having unique capacity to sense both the
visible spectrum as well as the infrared spectrum will provide a
rich dataset to DigitalGlobe.
DigitalGlobe, which is a leading provider of high-resolution earth
imagery solutions, will have the largest high resolution satellite
imagery collection capacity in the industry with Worldview-3.
DigitalGlobe constellation will also improve WorldView-3's ability
to collect images which will permit customers to search for new
sources of minerals and fuels in order to manage forests and farms.
Moreover, the technology will precisely identify different manmade
and natural materials.
In addition, WorldView-3 carries CAVIS (Clouds, Aerosol, water
Vapor, Ice, and Snow). CAVIS is an atmospheric instrument built by
Ball Aerospace which will provide correct data to WorldView-3 even
if there is mist, aerosols or other atmospheric obscurants.
Finally, Ball Corporation completed the development, integration
and testing of the next-generation WorldView-3 satellite. The
spacecraft passed a full suite of environmental, functional and
performance tests in preparation for integration with the launch
vehicle, along with thorough pre-ship reviews by Ball Aerospace and
Ball Corporation's Aerospace & Technologies segment develops
spacecraft, sensors and instruments, radio frequency systems and
other advanced technologies for the civil, commercial and national
security aerospace markets.
On Jun 19, 2014, the segment has been selected by the Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory to build the optics and support
structure, designated as the L1-L2 Lens Assembly, for the camera on
the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), which will sit atop the
8,800 ft. tall Cerro Pachon mountain in Chile.
Further, the Aerospace & Technologies segment has recently
successfully completed the tests of the final phase of the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Membrane Optic Imager
Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE) telescope program.
Ball Corporation's Aerospace and Technologies segment's sales
declined 1% in the third quarter and 9% in the fourth quarter. This
compared unfavorably with the 15% and 8% increase in the first and
second quarters of 2013, respectively.
Ball Corporation believes that there is growth potential in many of
its segments. Though, the company indicated that some projects in
the Aerospace and Technologies segment have been put on hold or
decision making is slow following the government spending cuts.
This will remain a headwind for the segment.
Broomfield, CO-based Ball Corporation is the largest manufacturer
of beverage cans in North America. It also supplies aerospace as
well as other technologies and services to the government and
Ball Corporation carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector include
Crown Holdings Inc.
Graphic Packaging Holding Co.
Sonoco Products Co.
). All of these companies hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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