Please see the new NSF Facility and Instrumentation Request Process (FIRP) solicitation which describes the mechanism by which the research community can propose projects that require access to instrumentation and facilities sponsored by the Facilities for Atmospheric Research and Education (FARE) Program in the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS).


Requesting Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities

If you are a returning and experienced PI, familiar with the LAOF request process, and looking to access the request system directly, please go to the Project Requests Online system (PRESTO). 

NSF's Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities (LAOF) are available on a competitive basis to all qualified scientists from universities, NCAR, and other U.S. government agencies. Any such scientists who require these facilities and associated services to carry out their research objectives are welcome to apply. All facility deployment is driven by

  • scientific merit,
  • the capabilities of a specific platform to carry out the proposed observations, and
  • facility scheduling for the requested time.

NSF's Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) section budgets annually for deployment costs associated with these multi-user facilities. Requests for LAOF are reviewed semi-annually during the Observing Facilities Assessment Panel (OFAP) meeting. The feedback and technical evaluations presented by the LAOF Partner Organizations and OFAP members are taken into consideration before individual NSF Program Officers make a final funding decision.

The process for considering requests and setting priorities is determined on the basis of the complexity and deployment costs of the field component. Campaigns are split into two distinct categories:

Your NSF Program Officer, in consultation with the LAOF Request Coordinator, can help you determine which category applies to your program. It is therefore essential that Principal Investigators (PI) discuss all proposed field activities with their NSF Program Officer in a timely manner.

To learn more about the NSF-established procedures and priorities for requesting the use of the Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities, please follow the links above.

University of Wyoming King Air Update

With the development of the Next Generation King Air, the University of Wyoming will be unable to support any flight requests before December 2023. Read up-to-date progress reports on the next-generation Wyoming King Air. The Next Generation King Air is expected to come online in late 2023. Those wanting to request the UWKA in winter ’23-’24 should work closely with UWKA facility management team. The ability to support projects in that timeframe will depend on the complexity of the proposed payload. The new aircraft will have enhanced air-to-ground communication capabilities, especially useful for educational/outreach projects, and will be able to accommodate existing and new research instrumentation, including radars and lidars, air chemistry, and aerosol in situ probes.


FARE/LAOF Facility Request Coordinator
Alison Rockwell