Use ARM Facilities


The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility provides state-of-the-art infrastructure to conduct atmospheric and climate science in strategic locations around the world using fixed, mobile, and aerial facilities. Researchers can use ARM’s facilities and data in several ways:


There is no “fee” for taking advantage of the ARM infrastructure. In lieu of costs, users are expected to give referential credit to ARM in publications, submit related data products, and provide a summary report of the activity.

Accessing the Data

The ARM Data Center supports the continuous operations and scientific field experiments of ARM by storing and distributing the large quantities of data collected. These data are used to research atmospheric radiation balance, cloud feedback processes, and to initialize and evaluate model performance, which are critical to the predictive understanding of global climate.

Visiting the Sites

ARM’s research sites represent different climatic regimes from the plains of Oklahoma to the Atlantic Ocean and Alaskan tundra. These atmospheric observatories, known as the Southern Great Plains (SGP), North Slope of Alaska (NSA), and Eastern North Atlantic (ENA), address a range of climatic conditions:

  • variable midlatitude climate conditions
  • land-sea-ice arctic climate
  • marine stratocumulus low clouds and drizzle.

In addition, ARM operates three ARM Mobile Facilities, known as the first, second, and third AMF. The first and second mobile facilities were designed to operate in any environment for campaigns lasting six months to a year. The third mobile facility will be deployed to the Bankhead National Forest (BNF) in northwestern Alabama for a minimum of five years.

The ARM Aerial Facility (AAF) is operated to augment ground-based and remote-sensing instruments by providing in situ measurements of the atmosphere.

“Virtual” site access involves connecting a computer, instrument, or other device to an ARM site network. The advantage of remote access is the ability to obtain near-real-time data without being physically located at the site. In addition, users can also virtually tour the sites to learn more about instruments and capabilities.

To visit a site, whether in person or via a network, you must fill out and submit a request form in the Access Request System. To ensure that your request is evaluated and approved in time for your visit, please submit requests at least 14 days in advance if you are a U.S. citizen and at least 30 days in advance if you are a non-U.S. citizen.

After May 2, 2023, all visitors to the SGP and BNF atmospheric observatories must present identification that meets Real ID requirements. Both observatories are managed by Argonne National Laboratory. Check to make sure that your identification meets Argonne’s latest site entry requirements before planning your visit.

ARM Code of Conduct

All ARM staff and science users work under the codes of conduct for their individual institutions that define appropriate behavior in the workplace. This Code sets minimum expectations for personal and professional behavior while working at ARM observatories or while engaging in ARM cross-institutional activities.

Proposing Field Campaigns

A field campaign is an intensive operational period that requires an augmentation of routine data acquisition operation at a site, even for a short period of time. For example, the support of guest instrumentation at an ARM atmospheric observatory is considered a field campaign. At the other end of the scale, deployments of the ARM Mobile Facilities and ARM Aerial Facility are also considered field campaigns but require much more extensive planning of a year or more.