Deployable Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities

Geosciences research often requires specialized facilities, instrumentation, and field support services to carry out scientific fieldwork needed to understand the complex, interdependent geophysical processes, frequently covering remote areas of the globe.

Through its Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) Section, the National Science Foundation provides funding for the acquisition, operation, maintenance, and upgrading of several large research platforms and instrumentation to support observational meteorology. AGS supports state-of-the-art instruments and facilities through the Facilities for Atmospheric Research and Education (FARE) Program. The FARE Program includes the Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities (LAOF) and the Community Instruments and Facilities (CIF). Current instrumentation and facilities are available for request under the NSF Facility and Instrumentation Request Process (FIRP) solicitation.

EOL, together with the University of Wyoming (UWyo), maintains and operates this suite of instruments on behalf of the NSF. Referred to as the NSF Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities (LAOF), these platforms include:

LAOF Research Aircraft

» NSF/NCAR C-130

LAOF Partner Organization Aircraft
» University of Wyoming King Air


LAOF Airborne Instrumentation

» AVAPS Dropsonde System
» GV High-Spectral Resolution Lidar
» HIAPER Cloud Radar
» All Airborne Instrumentation

LAOF Partner Organization Facilities
» Wyoming Cloud Lidar
» Wyoming Cloud Radar

LAOF Ground-based Systems

» Integrated Sounding System
» Integrated Surface Flux System
» MicroPulse DIAL
» S-Pol Radar



Community Instruments and Facilities (CIF)

CIF Remote Sensing

» UWI Space Science and Engineering Center Portable Atmospheric Research Center (SPARC)

CIF Radars

» SUNY Millimeter Cloud Radar
» UIUC Flexible Array of Radars and Mesonets (FARM)
» OU Mobile Doppler Radar
» CSU Sea-Going Polarimetric (SEA-POL) radar

CIF Laboratory Facilities

» Storm Peak Laboratory
» Michigan Tech Pi Convection-Cloud Chamber
» Clemson University Soot Photometer
» NC State Ice Nucleation Cold Stage