EOL’s Strategic Plan includes Imperatives, which are those actions EOL must do, must continue to do, or must enhance in order to fulfill our mission as an NCAR laboratory and to fulfill NCAR’s role as a provider of observations for the communities we support. The Plan also includes Frontiers, which are areas of emerging opportunity and new directions for investment.

To implement our Strategic Plan, EOL actively develops new technologies and seeks opportunities to stay abreast of emerging trends, technologies, and applications in order to improve our measurement capabilities. By working closely with the scientific community, EOL provides high-level engineering and technical expertise, mechanical design, and fabrication to support the atmospheric research community.

The Design and Fabrication Services (DFS) provides specialized mechanical equipment and component fabrication for scientists and engineers in field program development and operation. Products range from heavy parts for radar pedestals to light-weight precise optical mountings for aircraft or satellite instruments.

Current Major Development Projects

Airborne Phased Array Radar (APAR)

Airborne radar is a critical tool for studying weather and related hazards, especially over rugged terrain or the open ocean where other tools potentially possess major limitations. For the last two decades, the nation’s leading airborne Doppler research radar has been ELDORA, the Electra Doppler Radar jointly built by NCAR and French scientists. Now, major advances in radar technology have paved the way for a “phased array” successor to ELDORA, which is being designed by NCAR for installation on the NSF/NCAR C-130 aircraft.
» Read more about APAR

Water Vapor Differential Absorption Lidar (WV-DIAL) testbed

The lidar groups at NCAR and Montana State University (MSU) have worked together since 2011 to develop a compact, field-deployable, micro-pulse DIAL.  The instrument provides continuous monitoring of water vapor in the lower troposphere at 150 m range resolution and 5 min temporal resolution from 300 m to 4 km above ground level in daytime operation with greater range at night.  NCAR and MSU have been awarded an MRI to construct a five WV-DIAL sensor testbed which will enable evaluation of their impact on forecasting severe weather.
» Read more about the WV-DIAL


CentNet will apply wireless sensor networking technologies to atmospheric research that can help overcome observational challenges driven by spatial and temporal heterogeneity sampling requirements in land surface and atmospheric studies. CentNet is envisioned as a 3-tier wireless network with ‘microscale’ arrays nested within mesoscale arrays.
»  Read more about CentNet

Laser Air Motion Sensor (LAMS)

The LAMS measures airspeed in a region of undisturbed airflow via the Doppler shift in the frequency of laser light returned from a laser beam focused ahead of the aircraft. The coaxial laser system uses optical heterodyning to detect the Doppler shift in light backscattered from atmospheric aerosols.
» Read more about LAMS

Field Catalog 2

The Field Catalog is a Web-based tool for managing and presenting reports, quick-look data products, and status information during the field phases of observational experiments. The catalog also has links to real-time mission coordination and communication tools.  
» Read more about the Field Catalog


449 MHz Wind Profiler

The new 449-MHz Modular Wind Profiler expands our ability to measure atmospheric wind profiles and replaces older technology with more capable hardware. The system has more flexible deployment options, probes to higher altitudes, and measures more rapidly.
» Read more about 449 MHz Wind Profiler


EOL Metedata Datbase and Cyberinfrastructure (EMDAC)

The EMDAC development project scope covers the upgrade and integration of the EOL Metadata Database and Cyberinfrastructure (EMDAC).  A primary goal is to get a single code base for the Field Catalog.
» Read more about EMDAC


HIAPER Cloud Radar (HCR)

The HIAPER Cloud Radar (HCR) is a research grade airborne millimeter-wavelength radar that will serve the atmospheric science community by providing remote sensing capabilities to the NSF/NCAR HIAPER aircraft (GV).
»  Read more about the HCR


Diode Laser Based (DLB) High Spectral Resoltuion Lidar (HSRL)

The goal of this development is to demonstrate a low-cost, diode-laser-based high-spectral resolution lidar (DLB-HSRL).  This is a synergistic effort with the WV DIAL and it uses the same system architecture.  The EOL lidar group has constructed the first diode-laser-based profiler capable of quantitative aerosol measurements.  

»  Read more about the DLB-HSRL