Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD)

ARM Climate Research Facility

The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility is a multi-platform scientific user facility with objective to provide a detailed and accurate description of the earth atmosphere in diverse climate regimes to resolve the uncertainties in climate and earth system models. ARM provides the national and international research community with strategically located in situ and remote sensing observatories designed to improve the understanding and representation, in climate and earth system models, of clouds and aerosols as well as their interactions and coupling with the Earth’s surface.

Within DOE, ARM’s major clients are the Atmospheric System Research (ASR), Terrestrial Ecosytems Science (TES), Regional and Global Climate Modeling and Earth System Modeling programs. ARM, TES, and EMSL collaborate on field experiments such as GOAmazonExternal link

ARM was the first climate change field research facility to operate cutting-edge instrumentation on a long-term continuous basis and operates at fixed and varying locations around the globe. The ARM fixed sites are located in four diverse climate regimes representing mid-latitude, polar, marine, and tropical environs (i.e., the Southern Great Plains and the North Slope of Alaska in the United States, the Eastern North Atlantic, and the Tropical Western Pacific). Each ARM site uses a leading edge array of cloud-, aerosol-, and precipitation-observing instruments to record long-term continuous measurements of atmospheric and surface properties. ARM also provides shorter-term (months rather than years) measurements with its two mobile facilities (AMFs) and its aerial measurement capability (AAF).

Building on its success, the ARM Facility in 2014 embarks on a reconfiguration strategy for even better observations of atmospheric processes to constrain high-resolution process models. Key elements of the new strategy include the creation of two "super sites" in the United States:

  • Southern Great PlainsExternal link—measurements at the SGP site in Oklahoma will be augmented to include additional scanning and profiling remote sensors and more detailed measurements of the land-atmosphere interface.
  • North Slope of AlaskaExternal link—aerial operations will link measurements from Barrow and Oliktok, and unmanned aerial systems will provide additional spatial information around Oliktok.

To support the expansion of the continental U.S. site in Oklahoma, operations at ARM sites in the Tropical Western Pacific (TWP)External link will end in 2014. Data obtained from these sites will remain available to the scientific community through the ARM Data ArchiveExternal link to support continuing research in tropical climate.

ARM has several international collaborations that enhance its ability to provide needed data from key climatic regions. Each of the fixed sites (Darwin, AustraliaExternal link; Manus, Papua New GuineaExternal link; the Republic of Nauru, and Graciosa, the AzoresExternal link) are enabled by cooperation between ARM and its hosts. Similar arrangements support ARM Mobile FacilityExternal link and aerial campaignsExternal link in other countries. Recent examples are the collaboration with Brazil (GOAmazonExternal link) and Finland (Biogenic Aerosols – Effects on Clouds and ClimateExternal link)  both of whom will share their relevant data to users.

The resultant data are available through the data archiveExternal link. These data are used as a resource for over 100 journal articlesExternal link per year, which represent tangible evidence of ARM's contributionExternal link to advances in almost all areas of atmospheric radiation and cloud research.

Additional programmatic information is available via the ARM homepageExternal link.


A call for proposals is issued each year and is announced in several publications and newsletters. ARM is currently accepting field campaign proposals for FY2013 deployments that use an AMF, AAF, or augment observations at one of the fixed sites. To learn more, read Submitting Proposals Guidelines Requests for small campaigns, such as hosting guest instruments are accepted throughout the year. The process for these proposals is described on the Submitting Proposals Guidelines pageExternal link. Proposed projects for ARM are reviewed by the ARM Science BoardExternal link a highly respected group of scientists.

Data Sharing Policy

All data are provided in accordance with the BER data sharing policy. Data are made available in near real time from the ARM ArchiveExternal link

Last modified: 3/7/2014 11:25:14 AM