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.

Value-Added Products

Value-added products (VAPs) are higher-order products that have been analyzed and processed to ease scientists’ use of ARM data in atmospheric research and global climate models.

Data Epochs

ARM data epochs are periods of well-characterized, calibrated measurements focused on a particular atmospheric phenomenon. Current epochs cover observed cold-air outbreak conditions in Norway, convective clouds and surface rainfall in Argentina, and changes in atmospheric pressure at ARM sites after a volcano eruption in Tonga.

Field Campaign Data

There are two types of data from ARM field campaigns: routine data from ARM measurements and guest instrument data. Routine data (i.e., collected from fixed, mobile, and aerial facilities) are available in near-real time from the ARM Data Center. Guest instrument data from a principal investigator are submitted approximately six months after the end of the campaign.

Aerial Data

To enhance its surface-based data, ARM acquires airborne measurements during intensive field campaigns, long-term, regularly scheduled flights, and episodic missions. ARM provides data from crewed aircraft, uncrewed aerial systems, and tethered balloon systems.

Modeling Data

ARM has developed a number of data products designed specifically to bridge the model-observation gap and assist in parameterization development and model evaluation. ARM also operates a large-eddy simulation (LES) model and pulls in data from other models as another way to bridge this gap.

Satellite Data

ARM hosts products from partners such as the NASA Langley Research Center to provide spatial context over and around ARM sites and during ARM field campaigns. ARM data are also used for evaluating satellite-based retrievals.

Principal Investigator (PI) Products

Often, scientists funded by DOE and external entities create data products for their own needs that also prove beneficial to a wider group of scientists. If approved by ARM, these data sets can become PI products, augmenting ARM-developed science data products.

External Data

ARM Data Services identifies sources and acquires data, called “external data,” to augment the data being generated within the facility. Some examples include satellite data, model-simulated data, and measurements from non-ARM surface networks.