Deployable Lower Atmospheric Observing Facilities

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

The National Science Foundation, through its Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) Section, provides funding for the acquisition, operation, maintenance and upgrading of several large research platforms and instrumentation to support observational meteorology.

EOL, together with the University of Wyoming (UWY), 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:

Research Aircraft

» NSF/NCAR C-130
» University of Wyoming King Air

UPDATE: University of Wyoming King Air
With the development of the Next Generation King Air, the University of Wyoming will be unable to support any flight requests for a 12 to 18 month period beginning in May of 2022. This includes projects that utilize the UWKA or projects requesting the WCR on the C-130.

The Next Generation King Air is expected to come online in spring of 2023. Those wanting to request either the UWKA and/or the WCR for projects beginning in May 2023 should work closely with UWKA facility management team. We expect support for limited payload projects will be available in May 2023 at the earliest. More complex payloads and/or project logistics will likely become supportable later in 2023. We will continue to update this page as development of the Next Generation King Air progresses.

See the UWKA project calendar for upcoming projects and scheduling of the UWKA.

Ground-based & Airborne Remote Sensing Instrumentation

NCAR Facilities
» S-PolKa Radar
» HIAPER Cloud Radar
» GV High-Spectral Resolution Lidar
» MicroPulse DIAL

Partner Organization Facilities
» Wyoming Cloud Radar
» Wyoming Cloud Lidar


Surface, Sounding, and Profiling Systems

» Integrated Surface Flux System
» Integrated Sounding System
» AVAPS Dropsonde System


Aircraft Instrumentation

Airborne instrumentation presents a broad range of the resources available for request as part of airborne research projects.
» Deployable Aircraft Instrumentation


Support Services

These observing facilities, as well as associated services are available on a competitive basis to all qualified researchers from universities, NCAR, and other government agencies. Requestable support services include:

» Project Management Office (PMO)
» Design and Fabrication Service (DFS)
» Data Management and Services (DMS)