NASA Awards Imager Contract

WASHINGTON, May 11 (UPI) — NASA officials awarded a $48.5 million contract to a Boulder, Colo., company for Global Precipitation Measurement Microwave Imager Flight Unit 2.

The space agency said the program involves an international constellation of satellites to study global rain, snow and ice to better understand climate, weather and hydrometeorological processes.

The Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp. will manufacture, test and deliver the GMI instrument Flight Unit 2, support instrument integration on the spacecraft and provide launch and post-launch support, NASA said. The GMI Flight Unit 2 will be identical to the GMI Flight Unit 1 and will be manufactured in series with GMI 1. Unit 1 is scheduled to fly in 2013.

The GMI instruments — multi-channel, conical-scanning, microwave radiometers — will measure Earth’s atmospheric moisture with near-global coverage. NASA said it will enhance monitoring of hurricanes and mid-latitude storms, as well as improve estimates of rainfall accumulation.

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