PNNL to launch $1.4 million mobile atmospheric-measuring station

February 1, 2005
ARM Mobile Facility

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory set to launch million-dollar mobile atmospheric-measuring station on worldwide tour to fill data gaps in global climate models
Balloon-borne sounding system. Check. Micropulse lidar. Check. Infrared thermometer. Check. Eddy correlation flux measurement system. Eddy correlation flux measurement system?! Check already.
These and a dozen other instruments and computer- and maintenance-shop-jammed cargo containers make up the ARM Mobile Facility, or AMF, the world's most sophisticated moveable, atmospheric-measuring suite. In early February, the AMF will be carefully packed and shipped from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where the system was designed, assembled and is being tested, to Point Reyes National Seashore, north of San Francisco.

Image: ARM Mobile Facility

There it will be reassembled and take in the local atmosphere, literally, for nine months before heading to sub-Saharan Africa , in time for the 2006 monsoon season in Niger . The instruments are designed to withstand temperatures from minus-40 to plus-120 degrees Fahrenheit, said PNNL's Kevin Widener, AMF chief engineer and supervisor for the testing.

The station is designed to measure the physical properties of literally anything that blows over and the heat that radiates from clouds and from the ground, said Widener, who, with Tom Ackerman, a Battelle fellow at PNNL, designed and put together the $1.4 million system at the behest of the DOE Office of Science.

The AMF is part of DOE's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility, which already includes fixed sites in Oklahoma , the North Slope of Alaska and the Tropical Western Pacific region near northeastern Australia . The AMF expands the ARM program's reach into additional climatic regions, providing critical information now missing in models.

Besides PNNL's engineering team, key collaborators in the AMF project include Argonne , Brookhaven and Los Alamos national laboratories.

Source: PNNL

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

Model shows how surge in wealth inequality may be reversed

July 30, 2015

(Phys.org)—For many Americans, the single biggest problem facing the country is the growing wealth inequality. Based on income tax data, wealth inequality in the US has steadily increased since the mid-1980s, with the top ...

A cataclysmic event of a certain age

July 27, 2015

At the end of the Pleistocene period, approximately 12,800 years ago—give or take a few centuries—a cosmic impact triggered an abrupt cooling episode that earth scientists refer to as the Younger Dryas.

New blow for 'supersymmetry' physics theory

July 27, 2015

In a new blow for the futuristic "supersymmetry" theory of the universe's basic anatomy, experts reported fresh evidence Monday of subatomic activity consistent with the mainstream Standard Model of particle physics.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.