BOULDER, Colo., Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. has completed the pre-ship review for the Operational Land Imager to fly aboard the U.S. Landsat Data Continuity Mission.
The imaging instrument is being prepared for shipment to Orbital Sciences Corp., Gilbert, Ariz., where satellite integration will occur prior to launch in December 2012.
Landsat satellites capture Earth surface data vital to agricultural, water management, disaster response, scientific and national security uses.
"OLI provides the key sensor technology to allow continuation of Landsat Earth observations into a fourth decade," said Ball Aerospace President and Chief Executive Officer David L. Taylor.
"This continuation is essential to maintain seamless acquisition of moderate resolution imagery of the Earth from space that is not captured by other private or public sources."
Many scientific, commercial and governmental users rely on Landsat for moderate-resolution, multispectral Earth observation data. OLI will capture images of nine spectral bands in the visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared, helping scientists understand the impact of land use change.
The Landsat program is a series of Earth-observing satellite missions jointly managed by the National Aeronautical and Space Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey. For nearly 40 years, Landsat satellites have continuously and consistently collected images of Earth, creating an historical archive unmatched in quality, detail, coverage and length.
Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. supports critical missions of important national agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and other U.S. government and commercial entities. The company develops and manufactures spacecraft, advanced instruments and sensors, components, data exploitation systems and RF solutions for strategic, tactical and scientific applications.