2016 EOL Holiday Newsletter

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It has been another successful year for EOL, which is reflected in the high quality of service that the Laboratory has provided to the atmospheric observational science community. In addition, EOL scientific and engineering staff, postdocs, students, and visitors have contributed to advancing the physical discovery and developments of a next generation of observational systems and data services that are to be placed in service of the observational science community in the years to come.

In the past year, EOL supported a number of field campaigns and investigator teams by providing our end-to-end service that extends from the field program planning and guidance through the operation of facilities and instruments in the field to data services in the course of a field campaign and afterwards.  In fiscal year (FY) 2016, EOL deployed instrumentation to two NSF-approved field campaigns, one of which fell into the small/simple category (VERTEX) and one that was considered a complex/large project (ORCAS). EOL also supported one cost recovery project for NASA (OLYMPEX), two cost recovery projects for NOAA (SHOUT and MITTS), and two NSF-approved instrumentation tests on the NSF/NCAR aircraft (ARISTO 2016, SOCRATES Test). These campaigns ranged from a few days to several months long and used a variety of the NSF Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities (LAOF), which EOL manages for supporting critical scientific work. EOL’s work on these campaigns entailed direct support of more than 25 principal investigators from 40 institutions. Students ­– undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral – were directly involved in these field campaigns as well. With the ORCAS campaign, this year again, EOL was in the co-leadership of a science team that is focused on biogeochemical cycles over the Southern Ocean and on challenging predictions of the Earth System global model with observations collected during the campaign.

The end-to-end service that EOL provides to our scientific community includes not only instrumentation deployment to the field but also data processing, quality control, and field project data archival and stewardship. In FY 2016, EOL continued with efforts to assign Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to our archived datasets, and to date we have issued over 1,300 DOIs. This year, we have also undertaken efforts to collect metrics on publications that have resulted from field campaigns supported by the LAOF. Through our efforts, we have identified more than 1,200 publications resulting from the field campaigns in the 10-year time period ranging from 2005 to 2015. Observational science is highly collaborative, as reflected by an average of nearly eight authors per publication. There is also an average of 23 citations per publication - nearly a factor of two higher than the average number of citations per publication for atmospheric sciences, according to Thomson Reuters.

In conjunction with field campaign support, we have continued to provide help to the investigators to implement targeted and tailored outreach activities via education and public engagement. In FY 2016, EOL received and managed three educational deployment requests:  UIDOW 3 (University of Illinois), MEDOW (Millersville University), and WWCC (Western Wyoming Community College) - all of which used the Doppler on Wheels (DOW), one of the NSF LAOF.  We also engaged the public and media during the ORCAS field campaign and are in the process of developing educational modules for the Synergistic Environments in Graduate and Undergraduate Education (SEGUE) project to be used to help students understand the complexities and nuances of instrumentation and measurements, a field in which EOL staff holds considerable expertise.

Finally, I would like to highlight some of highly innovative instrumentation developments in EOL. Our highest priority in new instrumentation development continues to be the Airborne Phased Array Radar (APAR), a unique C-band airborne phased array radar with dual-Doppler and dual-polarimetric capabilities designed for a large fuselage aircraft such as the NSF/NCAR C-130. In FY 2016 we have continued our work on the APAR Master Project Management Plan (MP2). In addition to APAR, teams of EOL scientists and engineers have continued to advance our ongoing developments, including the HIAPER Cloud Radar (HCR), the Water Vapor Differential Absorption Lidar (WV DIAL), Laser Air Motion System (LAMS), and the Advanced Vertical Profiling System (AVAPS®), which is now trademarked EOL technology.  

If you would like to find out more about the EOL-supported field campaigns, development efforts, or other activities carried out in FY 2016, please take a look at EOL’s Annual Report.

From all of us here at EOL, Happy Holidays! We look forward to working with you again next year.

Vanda Grubišić
Director, NCAR Earth Observing Laboratory