Another OMPS instrument sets out to keep watchful eye on ozone

Ball Aerospace is celebrating the successful launch of NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) in the wee hours of November 10 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Lompoc, CA. Onboard JPSS-2 is the Ball-built Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instrument, which measures atmospheric ozone and how ozone concentration varies with altitude. By measuring the global distribution of ozone, OMPS data helps scientists track the recovery of the ozone layer from the effects of ozone-depleting substances like halons or chlorofluorocarbons.

“It takes a long time for these chemicals to move out of the atmosphere, but we are starting to see the hole shrink,” said Dr. Shelley Petroy, Ball Aerospace Earth Science Mission Area lead, in reference to the ozone hole over Antarctica. “It’s been incredible to see what the world can do when we come together.”

This launch adds the third Ball Aerospace-built OMPS instrument in orbit, continuing our more than 40-year history of providing ozone monitoring instruments for NOAA and NASA.

“The amazing thing about these long-term programs are the relationships you build, the teams we’ve had and the dedication of the people here at Ball who ensure we deliver the very best,” said Time Schoeneweis, Ball Aerospace OMPS program manager. “This is work that benefits the world all over to monitor ozone and be able to provide that data to our scientific community.”

Meet some of our OMPS team members at Ball Aerospace who’ve played a part in protecting the health of people worldwide for generations to come.

Ball Aerospace has played key roles on numerous operational environmental satellite programs, such as the Ball-built Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, which launched in 2011, and the NOAA-20 satellite, formerly JPSS-1, which launched in 2017. Ball is on contract with NASA to build the OMPS instruments for JPSS-3 and JPSS-4.