Observing Instruments, Systems & Facilities

Photograph of underside of an airplanes wing with scientic instrumentation

An array of ground-based and airborne instruments is available for use in approved field projects on a broad range of scientific questions. Many of these community instruments focus on measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), and water vapor.

Photograph of a satellite dish mounted on a trailer

EOL develops and operates a full roster of airborne and land-based observing facilities, systems, and instruments. Services include

large sensing instrument atop shipping container

FAESR is a community database with eight different instrument categories ranging from ground-based to satellite deployments. Based at NCAR, FAESR includes descriptions of facilities, locations, capabilities, deployment options and availability, researcher contacts, new instruments on the horizon, and more.

Photograph of Marshall Field site

The Research Applications Laboratory maintains this field site for instrument development and testing.

Photograph of Mauna Loa Observtory

Specialized telescopes at MLSO filter and analyze solar energy emissions at several different wavelengths, providing multiple images of the Sun daily, weather conditions permitting. Data from each MLSO instrument is processed and analyzed by NCAR scientists in Boulder and made available to the solar research community. MLSO is operated by NCAR's High Altitude Observatory.

Photograph of the vacuum tunnel clean room

The NVTF consists of a class-10,000 clean room and a coronagraph calibration chamber. The calibration chamber (vacuum tunnel) is used for testing and calibrating both internally and externally occulted coronagraphs. Scattered light, polarization and photometric tests are made. The NVTF is maintained by NCAR's High Altitude Observatory.

Visualization of North America with several colored pin point dots

SuomiNet is an international network of GPS receivers, configured and managed to generate near-real-time estimates of precipitable water vapor in the atmosphere and other meteorological and geodetic information. COSMIC and Unidata are SuomiNet collaborators.