Track 3 - 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 correlates 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.
    For example, if the prospective straightforward project starts on 1 June 2024, the submission deadline is 15 January 2022.
  • Activities deemed complex will use the submission deadline 18 – 24 months before the project start date.
    For example, if the prospective complex project starts on 10 July 2024, the submission deadline is 15 July 2022.

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 to ascertain facility availability and suitability for the proposed research during the proposal preparation process.
  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 six weeks before the FIRP proposal submission date, i.e., no later than 1 December or 1 June.
  4. EOL prepares a ROM cost estimate for the FARE/LAOF.
  5. LAOF Request Coordinator shares the FARE/LAOF facility request and ROM cost estimate with the PI no later than one week before the FIRP proposal deadline.
  6. PI submits FIRP Proposal.
    • For Straightforward projects, the submission deadline is 15 – 21 months in advance of the activity start date.
    • For Complex projects, submission deadline is 18 – 24 months in advance of the activity start date.
  7. EOL prepares the feasibility assessment and cost estimates for review at the Observing Facilities Assessment Panel (OFAP) meeting.
  8. The OFAP meeting convenes bi-annually each spring and fall to review Track 3 facility requests.
  9. NSF funding decision
  10. PI & EOL 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.

  • Experiment Plan (no more than 10 pages)
    This document should provide details about the experiment setup of the requested LAOF and their planned use. Suggested information includes the number of the facilities involved and a description of the associated instrumentation requested, the facility deployment methods, how the observing facility(ies) will be deployed to address the research objectives /hypotheses, the number of intensive operating periods (if appropriate), and other relevant information to assess the feasibility of the LAOF to meet the scientific objectives.

  • Data Management Plan (no page limit)
    Provide an overview of how data will be managed across the project.

  • Science Overview Presentation (6-page limit)
    Provide the science slides or presentation in PDF format. Download the PPT template.

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

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. 
  • 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]
    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) [for NSF/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