About EOL

EOL Mission

The Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL) is NCAR’s end-to-end observational enterprise, responsible for supporting research of the Earth’s atmosphere. As one of NCAR’s seven laboratories, EOL leverages world-leading technology and expertise to provide leadership in observational research, field project support, and data collection.

EOL manages and deploys most of NCAR’s Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities (LAOF) across projects of varying scale and complexity. We deploy LAOF instruments and facilities to support field campaigns for research by scientists from universities, NCAR, and government agencies, while developing leading-edge technologies to drive research frontiers.

EOL is at the core of NSF's atmospheric research community for collecting observational data and transferring knowledge of instrumentation, measurements, and scientific observations. EOL features state-of-the-art instruments and equipment for collaborative analysis, including radar, aircraft, and light and sounding systems.

Introduction to NSF's Lower Atmospheric Observing Facilities (LAOF)

EOL Offers

  • Scientific leadership & technical expertise
  • Observational platforms & instrumentation
  • Design & fabrication of specialized equipment
  • Project management & operations support
  • Data management & stewardship
  • Education & outreach

Strategic Initiatives

EOL supports research progress across the NCAR enterprise and affiliated research institutions as a key data collection operational hub. With a budget of $40 million, and a staff of over 140 scientists, engineers, technicians, project managers, and administrative personnel, our goals are to leverage cutting-edge technology and tools across four key initiatives.


Engineer workingEOL provides engineering, mechanical design, fabrication, and technical expertise at the highest levels of scientific analysis. We work with leading members of the scientific community to improve our measurement and analysis techniques.



AirplaneEOL has coordinated field programs for over five decades. Our facilities and instruments continually drive progress in atmospheric research. 


Data Services

Man types information into a computer.EOL collects and delivers data, maintains open information archives, and provides the tools and analysis necessary to interpret vast quantities of information.



Group of kids and teacher gather around a laptop.To foster and inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, technicians, and researchers, EOL works with the community to present NCAR information and findings about Earth science. Our outreach initiatives include engagement programs for the public, internships and opportunities for students, and experiences that help to build interest in Earth system science.