Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility US Department of Energy

From September 2013 to June 2021, the third ARM Mobile Facility (AMF3) operated at Oliktok Point on the North Slope of Alaska. From this remote spot close to the Arctic Ocean, ARM collected important data about arctic climate processes at the intersection of land and sea ice.

Please note: Data from Oliktok Point—as with all previous ARM Mobile Facility deployments—remain freely available in the ARM Data Center.

Instruments and Data

Oliktok Point supported almost 50 instruments, many of which were built specifically for high latitudes.

AMF3 instruments at Oliktok Point obtained continuous measurements of clouds, aerosols, precipitation, energy, and other meteorological variables. ARM’s measurement capabilities there included radars, lidars, atmospheric and boundary state systems, and radiometers.

Site operators and guest scientists also flew crewed and uncrewed aircraft over sea ice, dropped instrument probes, and sent up tethered balloons. The combination of atmospheric observations with measurements from both the ground and over the Arctic Ocean continues to give researchers better insight into the atmospheric processes and surface-atmosphere interactions that affect arctic sea ice.

Controlled Airspaces

A unique aspect of the AMF3 deployment at Oliktok Point was the access to controlled airspace, with two designated areas. These controlled airspaces gave ARM more freedom in using aerial systems to study the atmosphere.

ARM’s Restricted Airspace consisted of a 4-nautical-mile (nm) radius, centered at Oliktok Point and extending 7,000 feet above ground level. ARM also operated a Warning Area north of Oliktok Point that was roughly 40 nm wide and extended approximately 700 nm into international airspace over the Arctic Ocean toward the North Pole.