Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility US Department of Energy

pccp > Stereo Reconstructed Point Cloud of Cloud Points (PCCP)VAP Type(s) > Baseline • Guest

Camera takes picture of the sky at the Southern Great Plains
In a field at ARM’s Southern Great Plains atmospheric observatory, just south of Lamont, Oklahoma, a stereo camera aims at a precise point in the sky. Photo is courtesy of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

The Point Cloud of Cloud Points (PCCP) value-added product is essentially a set of three-dimensional positions representing the locations of cloud features captured by stereo pairs. A stereo pair is a pair of cameras that take synchronized pictures with overlapping fields of view (FOV).

Currently, three stationary ARM stereo pairs are positioned around the Southern Great Plains Central Facility. Thousands of cloud features can be instantly reconstructed in each stereo pair’s FOV, which covers an area of tens of square kilometers.

Cloud-base and cloud-top heights, the structure of cloud boundaries, and cloud-level horizontal velocities can be extracted from the PCCP product.

You can use this Python script to plot instantaneous PCCP data.

PCCP field campaign data sets are also available. A pair of ARM cloud digital cameras is being used for mobile deployments.

Primary Derived Measurements


  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3


Dorsey KS, R Jundt, CB Ireland, MR Wasem, RA Stafford, and A Hunzinger. 2021. 2020 Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Annual Report. Ed. by Kathryn Dorsey, U.S. Department of Energy. DOE/SC-ARM-20-020.


Romps DM and R Oktem. 2020. Point Cloud of Cloud Points (PCCP) Value-Added Product Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-252. 10.2172/1648150.


Romps DM and R Oktem. 2015. "Stereo photogrammetry reveals substantial drag on cloud thermals." Geophysical Research Letters, 42(12), 10.1002/2015gl064009.
Research Highlight

Öktem R and DM Romps. 2015. Observing atmospheric clouds through stereo reconstruction. Presented at 2015th SPIE/IS&T Electronic Imaging. San Francisco, CA.


Öktem R, Prabhat, J Lee, A Thomas, P Zuidema, and D Romps. 2014. "Stereophotogrammetry of Oceanic Clouds." Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 31(7), 10.1175/JTECH-D-13-00224.1.

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Rusen Oktem
VAP Contact
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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