Atmospheric Observatories


Three heavily instrumented fixed-location atmospheric observatories that represent a broad range of conditions are operated by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility to gather massive amounts of atmospheric data. These are:

Mobile and Aerial Observatories

In addition to the fixed-location observatories, ARM also offers both mobile and aerial facilities:

  • ARM Mobile Facility (AMF): Three AMF are used by scientists to obtain atmospheric measurements, similar to those at the fixed-location observatories, for periods of about a year at a time anywhere in the world. The third mobile facility is currently undergoing an extended deployment at Oliktok Point, Alaska.
  • ARM Aerial Facility (AAF): The AAF obtains aerial measurements in the skies above the fixed-location and AMF observatories. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded the purchase of a Bombardier Challenger 850 regional jet to expand ARM’s scientific data capabilities. The Challenger 850 is expected to be ready for its first ARM campaign in 2023. ARM is also developing uncrewed aerial system and tethered balloon system capabilities to address a wide range of science requirements.

Past Observatories

Data from past deployments of the AMF and AAF, and the former Tropical Western Pacific (TWP) observatory, are a valuable asset to researchers worldwide and are easily accessible from the ARM Data Center through Data Discovery.

Observatory Locations at a Glance

Marker Definitions

ARM site ARM site - inactive
M Mobile site M Mobile site - inactive

Using the Map

  • Pan and zoom using buttons in bottom right corner.
  • Mouse over a marker to view observatory name.
  • Click on a map marker to zoom in on an observatory and view more information.
  • Double-click anywhere on map to return to global view.