AMF Deployment, Oliktok Point, Alaska
Located at the North Slope of Alaska on the coast of the Arctic Ocean, Oliktok Point is extremely isolated, accessible only by plane. From this remote spot researchers now have access to important data about Arctic climate processes at the intersection of land and sea ice. As of October 2013, Oliktok Point is the temporary home of the third, and newest, ARM Mobile Facility, or AMF3.
The AMF3 is gathering data using about two dozen instruments that obtain continuous measurements of clouds, aerosols, precipitation, energy, and other meteorological variables. Site operators will also fly manned and unmanned aircraft over sea ice, drop instrument probes and send up tethered balloons. The combination of atmospheric observations with measurements from both the ground and over the Arctic Ocean will give researchers a better sense of why the Arctic sea ice has been fluctuating in fairly dramatic fashion over recent years.
The AMF3 is operated through Sandia National Laboratories and includes a variety of measurement capabilities, including radars, lidars, atmospheric and boundary state systems, and radiometers. It will be stationed at Oliktok Point for at least five years.