Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility US Department of Energy

SAIL Supermicron Bioaerosol

1 April 2022 - 15 June 2023

Lead Scientist: Allison Aiken

Observatory: amf

The Surface Atmosphere Integrated Field Laboratory (SAIL) Supermicron Bioaerosol (SSB) study is designed to complement the larger ARM SAIL science goals to understand aerosol processes and aerosol-cloud interactions in the East River Watershed Basin. Supermicron aerosol and bioaerosols are important in high mountainous terrain for their interactions with clouds and the water cycle, including their ability to serve as nuclei for cloud droplets and ice crystals, and to form precipitation. Furthermore, bioaerosols can be recycled back to the surface where they can alter plant and microbial growth and/or be reemitted, forming a positive feedback loop within the Earth system known as bioprecipitation.

Despite their importance within the Earth system in mountainous regions, the seasonal and diurnal cycles of supermicron aerosol and bioaerosols are largely unknown. For this reason, SSB will characterize and quantify supermicron events and bioaerosol activity in real time using continuous measurements during SAIL. Supermicron aerosol will be measured at two locations from spring to the following summer to determine seasonality. The diurnal cycle and timing of bioaerosol events with large-scale meteorological events will be measured for three months in the biologically active spring and summer seasons to examine the prevalence, duration, and type of bioaerosol events. SBB measurements will be aligned with the Aerosol Observing System (AOS) on Crested Butte Mountain and the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement second Mobile Facility 2 (AMF2) main site in Gothic, Colorado. Our supermicron and bioaerosol data will be united with the large-scale meteorological patterns measured by the AMF2 to investigate their influence and role on bioaerosol events.

In summary, SSB will extend the core scientific capabilities of the AMF2 AOS by co-deploying a complementary suite of real-time supermicron and bioaerosol aerosol instrumentation. SSB will directly enable a more in-depth understanding of the extent that supermicron bioaerosol can influence aerosol processes, aerosol-cloud interactions, and the hydrological cycle in complex mountainous terrain by studying the seasonality of supermicron events and the impact of bioaerosol during the biologically active season.

Additional Information

Data Plan Draft

Anticipated data sets generated:

  • PM10: Mass concentration of particles below 10 microns
  • Bioaerosol: Real-time single-particle bioaerosol measurement

Point of contact: Allison Aiken

Date Range of operation:

  • PM10: April 1, 2022 – June 15, 2023
  • Bioaerosol
    • June 1, 2022-August 31, 2022
    • March 15, 2023-June 15, 2023

Overall data size: <30 MB

Data will be continuously collected on the instruments themselves. Data backup at the ARM Data Center is not required, but could be considered. Formatting guidelines are to be determined. Plans currently do not include the data being hosted on an external site in addition to submitting to the ARM Data Center, but would be considered if desirable and requested.


Katherine Benedict
Kyle Gorkowski


  • Parent Campaign
  • Sibling Campaign

Campaign Data Sets

IOP Participant Data Source Name Final Data
Abu Sayeed Md Shawon Direct sensor measurement of or algorithmically derived particulate matter (e.g. PM1, PM10, PM2.5) size distributions, mass concentrations and/or other related PM descriptive variables Order Data
Abu Sayeed Md Shawon Wideband Integrated Bioaerosol Sensor Order Data