February 20, 2017 to March 10, 2017
Project Location: 
Broomfield, CO
Project Phase: 
Data Preparation
Funding Type: 
NSF Funded
What's New?: 

ARISTO-2017 is taking place in February - March 2017.

The proposal submission was through August 15, 2016 and is now closed.

ARISTO is an annual NCAR / NSF test flight program. Look for the next year's ARISTO on the EOL web site.

Project Description: 

What is ARISTO?

The Airborne Research Instrumentation Testing Opportunity (ARISTO) is a newly-created NSF-sponsored flight test program that will be conducted annually on one of the NSF/NCAR aircraft. The purpose of the ARISTO program is to provide regular flight test opportunities for newly developed or highly modified instruments as part of their development effort. The program was created in response to a critical need, expressed by the NSF community, for regularly scheduled flight-testing programs to be able to not only test instrumentation, but also data systems, inlets and software well ahead of a field campaign in order to maintain cutting-edge and vibrant airborne research. Click here to view the original ARISTO proposal.

The ARISTO 2017 flight test program will take place in late winter 2017 at EOL's Research Aviation Facility (RAF) located at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (RMMA) in Broomfield, CO.  The 2017 version of ARISTO will take place on the NSF/NCAR GV aircraft. Information on eligibility, proposal submission, timelines, and instrument requirements can be found on this page.    


Who is eligible to participate in ARISTO?

All instrument developers/investigators with existing NSF funds related to instrumentation are eligible to apply for access to the NSF/NCAR aircraft for this instrumentation testing. Investigators selected for instrument testing are required to provide appropriate details on their instrument and comply with EOL/RAF certification requirements.

Please note that this flight-testing program is not intended to provide flight opportunities for commercial instrument builders or for the collection of proprietary data for commercial instrument development. Test flight opportunities can be opened to investigators with instrument developments funded by non-NSF U.S. agencies, however those arrangements will have to be negotiated between the cognizant Program Officers.

Proposals will be ranked and instruments will be selected for testing based on the following prioritized criteria:

  • Priority 1: Instrumentation that is essential to an NSF-funded or proposed field campaign but that has yet to be test flown and certified on an NSF/NCAR aircraft.  
  • Priority 2: Instrumentation that has recently been developed or is being modified as part of a funded NSF grant or cooperative agreement.
  • Priority 3: Instrumentation that has a high likelihood of being routinely used by the NSF community in future field campaigns.
  • Priority 4: Instrumentation that is of high relevance to unfulfilled needs in the Lower Atmospheric Observing Facilities (LAOF) and/or in the U.S. airborne research fleet.
  • Priority 5:  Instrumentation that has a high likelihood of being ready for flight-testing and complies with all EOL/RAF certification guidelines.

If you have questions on whether or not you are eligible for ARISTO, please contact a RAF Project Manager (raf-pm@ucar.edu).


How do I Submit a Proposal for ARISTO?

Click here to submit your ARISTO proposal.


Key Dates for Instrument Principal Investigators

15 July 2016: Proposal submission period opens

9 September 2016: Proposal submission period closes

4 November 2016: NSF announces final funding decision on ARISTO project

18 November 2016: Instrument certification paperwork due to EOL/RAF

9 January 2017: Aircraft integration period

20 February - 10 March 2017: Flight test period

Click here to see detailed timeline of the ARISTO process.