Ball Aerospace breaks ground for new clean room

BOULDER — Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. broke ground Wednesday on a clean room at its site in Boulder that will be used by engineers from Ball and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute to complete an instrument that monitors air quality.

The instrument, called the Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer, or GEMS, is the Asian element of a global air-quality monitoring constellation of geostationary satellites.

The construction project includes remodeling 740 square feet of existing space and adding another 1,500 square feet for the clean room. It will cost $800,000 and will be built by Longmont-based Sun Construction & Facility Services Inc.
 
The new facility allows engineers from Ball and KARI, who have been working on the GEMS program in Boulder since October, to jointly conduct the assembly, integration and testing activities required to complete the instrument.

“Ball’s international collaboration with KARI will develop scientifically advanced applications that improve the quality of life on Earth through environmental monitoring instrumentation,” said Cary Ludtke, vice president and general manager of Ball’s Operational Space business unit, in a statement.

The instrument will monitor air quality of the Korean peninsula and Asia-Pacific region. Hourly measurements are expected to improve early warnings for potentially dangerous pollution events and monitor long-term climate change.

The instrument is scheduled to be launched in 2018.


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