Three fixed-location atmospheric observatories operate continually to measure cloud and aerosol properties and their impacts on Earth’s energy balance. Scientists use these observatories, along with the ARM mobile and aerial observatories, to obtain long-term and episodic measurements of radiative fluxes, cloud and aerosol properties, precipitation, and related atmospheric characteristics in diverse climate regimes.
A comprehensive suite of cutting-edge instrumentation deployed at ARM atmospheric observatories is designed specifically to measure clouds, aerosols, radiation, and the interactions among them.
In addition to ARM’s extensive collection of instruments, some information is provided about guest and external instruments owned and operated by other programs. All instruments are categorized by:
Science Data Products
Instruments do not typically provide direct measurements of geophysical quantities and sometimes require complex algorithms to retrieve important variables such as liquid water path, droplet effective radius, or chemical composition of aerosol particles. ARM provides several types and levels of science data products useful to a broad audience, including graduate students, seasoned ARM users, retrieval experts, and high-resolution to global modelers, each with different comfort levels for working with observational data.
Science data products are made freely available via ARM Data Discovery for use by the scientific community.
The LES ARM Symbiotic Simulation and Observation (LASSO) activity combines observational data and large-eddy simulation (LES) modeling to support the study of atmospheric processes, improve observational retrievals, and accelerate the application of ARM observations to improve parameterizations of clouds, aerosols, and radiation in climate models.
The ARM Data Center offers a public software development space that provides a mechanism to work with large volumes of data without having to download them. The Data Processing and Visualization Cluster provides programming ability in PythonTM, MATLAB®, and IDL®, as well as specialized software such as the Python ARM Radar Toolkit (Py-ART).