Track 3 - FARE/LAOF Field Campaign Request Process

The NSF Facility and Instrumentation Request Process (FIRP) solicitation states that Track 3 proposals are for the deployment of major LAOF such as aircraft or a combination of multiple LAOF or CIF. A proposal for a coordinated research campaign will fall under Track 3.  Examples of Track 3 activities include research aircraft-based deployments, coordinated mobile remote sensing studies, and deployment of observing networks.

Track 3 FIRP proposals have two submission deadlines per year based upon the complexity of the facility deployment.

  • 15 January
  • 15 July

The deployment complexity is correlated with the lead time required to conduct the field campaign, which depends on the project's location, the type of resource(s) required, the level of instrument integration needed, and the amount of interagency or international collaboration. NSF, in consultation with the facility provider(s), will determine the required deadline.

  • Activities deemed straightforward will use the submission deadline 15 – 21 months in advance of the campaign start date.
  • Activities deemed complex will use the submission deadline 18 – 24 months before the project start date.

Read more from the NSF Facility and Instrumentation Request Process (FIRP) solicitation about the Track 3 request process.

Track 3 EOL FARE/LAOF Request Process

A PI-submitted FARE/LAOF Facility Request, EOL-provided Feasibility Assessment, and EOL-provided Cost Estimate are required to be submitted by the PI with the FIRP proposal. For EOL to prepare the required documents and share them with the PI in a timely manner, the following steps are necessary:

  1. PI engages with the EOL Facility Request Coordinator during the proposal preparation process to ascertain facility availability and suitability for the proposed research.
  2. PI submits the required Statement of Interest (SoI) to NSF at least 24 months ahead of the activity.
  3. PI submits a facility request to EOL via PRESTO no later than one months before FIRP proposal submission date, i.e., no later than 15 December or 15 June.
  4. EOL prepares a ROM cost estimate for the FARE/LAOF.
  5. LAOF Request Coordinator shares a copy of the FARE/LAOF facility request and ROM cost estimate with the PI within three weeks of receiving the Facility Request for inclusion in the PI FIRP proposal.
  6. PI submits FIRP Proposal
    1. For Straightforward projects, submission deadline is 15 – 21 months in advance of the activity start date.
    2. For Complex projects, submission deadline is 18 – 24 months in advance of the activity start date.
  7. EOL prepares feasibilty assessment and cost estimates for review at the Observing Facitlies Assessmetn Panel (OFAP meeting.
  8. OFAP meeting convenes bi-annually each spring and fall to review Track 3 facility requests.
  9. NSF funding decision
  10. Project planning
  11. Deployment

Documents for Track 3 FARE/LAOF Facility Request in PRESTO

Prepare the required following documents in PDF format for upload to PRESTO as part of the facility request.

  • Project Description (20-page limit)
    The Project Description should present an integrated plan that discusses how the research will be conducted, including a description of the experimental techniques, and the distribution and use of observing systems and platforms, efforts for education, outreach and plans for addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Additionally, the PI should state and justify the optimal time frame for field operations. It must also contain a section on results from any field campaign that has focused on the same and/or similar topic(s), including campaigns conducted by other researchers and groups.

  • Management Plan and Science Traceability Matrix (5-page limit)
    The Management Plan should discuss specific factors related to the use of the FARE/LAOF-supported facility, such as who will operate the instruments and the expected data availability (e.g., timeline and what constitutes a finished product).

  • Data Management Plan (no page limit)
    All proposals must describe plans for data management and sharing of the products of research. PIs must submit data obtained using FARE/LAOF assets to NCAR for archiving no later than one year from the date of completion of the project. Data archiving at NCAR will be provided via NCAR-hosted Geoscience Data Exchange for NSF (GDEX), and emails regarding data archiving can be directed to If extenuating circumstances require an extension to the 1-year deadline, a request for an extension must be sent to the FARE Program Director. Investigators are encouraged to reference the AGS data management guidance while drafting their data management plan:

  • Project Overview Presentation (6-page limit)
    Provide the science slides or presentation in PDF format. Up to 6 pages. Limit one file.

  • List of Publications (no page limit)
    Provide all relevant publications resulting from previous NSF LAOF support for the PI and Co-PIs and provide relevant publications from the last five years resulting from previous NSF LAOF support for the investigator team. Provide the information in a table format that includes the campaign name and year, LAOF used, publication citation, and digital object identifier. If there are no publications, upload a document indicating so. No page limit. Multiple documents allowed.

Prepare the following supplementary documents in PDF format for upload to PRESTO as part of the facility request.

  • Letters of Support / Collaboration (no page limit)
    Provide letters of support or collaboration for this project. No page limit. Multiple documents allowed.
  • Site Survey (no page limit)
    If a preliminary site survey has been conducted, upload a site-survey summary report.
  • Flight Patterns (no page limit) [for NSF aircraft requests]
    If not included in the Experiment Design document, upload the desired flight pattern(s), priorities, and estimate number of flights (include graphics / flight pattern images as needed). If dropsondes are requested, provide general drop points.
  • User-supplied Scientific Payload (no page limit) [forNSF/NCAR or UWKA aircraft requests only]
    Completed the appropriate LAOF Aircraft User-Supplied Airborne Instrumentation Form for each instrument (no page limit). Note the forms are specific to either the NSF/NCAR aircraft or the UWKA aircraft.
  • Additional facility information, if other relevant information as needed in PDF format that pertains to this request (no page limit)


FARE/LAOF Request Coordinator
Ms. Alison Rockwell
o. (303) 497-8758