Frequently Asked Questions


    • Who can use ARM data?
    1. ARM data is available – free of charge – to anyone who needs it.  Funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, data from this scientific user facility – the ARM Climate Research Facility – are particularly useful for the advancement of fundamental atmospheric science research.
    • How does a new user access and view ARM data?
    1. Read through Understanding and Finding ARM Data for a comprehensive overview of the organization of ARM data.
    2. Register as an ARM user.
    3. See the various data access options including Value-Added Products (VAPs).
    4. You can view some data plots by browsing directly from ARM site and field campaign pages. Examples:
      1. NSA Atqasuk site instruments and data plots.
      2. Azores field campaign instruments and data plots.
    5. There is a step-by-step tutorial for using the ARM Data Cart.
    6. Finally, there is also a definitive overview of the ARM Archive User Interface.
    • Why do I need to register in order to view the Data Archive?
    1. As a national user facility, the ARM Climate Research Facility is required by law to report user statistics to the Department of Energy and to the Office of Budget and Management.  We are continually seeking ways to improve and simplify the registration process for our users while still meeting the reporting requirements for user facilities.
    • Why does the Data Archive formatting and availability change over time?
    1. ARM scientists, as well as the broader scientific community, are constantly striving to improve our understanding of atmospheric radiation and the best practices for measuring the entire electromagnetic spectrum, in order to improve global climate modeling.  As our body of knowledge grows, innovations in the scientific process lead to improvements in methodology and instrumentation.  As these improvements are realized, ARM incorporates them into the facility’s database.  Thus, ARM evolves to deliver enhanced quality and range of data for scientific research.
    • Where, in terms of geography, does ARM collect its data?
    1. Data is collected from three highly instrumented, fixed ground sites at:  the North Slope of Alaska; the Southern Great Plains; and the Tropical Western Pacific.
    2. In addition to the three fixed sites, ARM operates and maintains an Aerial Facility and two Mobile Facilities, as well as a large suite of instruments and logistical support capabilities. These options enable researchers to conduct the widest possible range of field campaigns almost anywhere in the world.


    • Who develops and maintains the instruments?
    1. The ARM Climate Research Facility funds a global team of scientists and engineers to keep abreast of advances in technology for atmospheric science research.  From this team, instrument mentors are responsible for the operation of specific instruments to assure the continual availability of top-quality data.
    • Does ARM provide any instruments for sale?
    1. No.  The ARM Climate Research Facility provides certain levels of support, including instrumentation, for field campaigns, but is neither an instrument manufacturer nor a vendor.

Field Campaigns

    • Who can propose a field campaign to collect specific data?
    1. Any researcher may propose a field campaign to use the ARM Climate Research Facility.  Campaigns are generally conducted to augment routine data collections or to test and validate new instruments, but wholly new data acquisitions are always considered. Collaborations are also encouraged.  (The link above leads to the ARM Field Campaigns page, which contains info about and links to deadlines, requirements, and guidelines for proposing field campaigns that need ARM support.)
    • Who decides which proposals are accepted?
    1. The ARM Science Board evaluates field campaign proposals to determine those which best fulfill the facility’s mission. They provide their recommendations to the DOE ARM Program Manager, who makes the final selection.

More Information

    • How can I keep up-to-date with all the facets of the Facility?
    1. The ARM News Center contains the latest updates from around the Facility.  To stay informed about specific types of information, you can use the RSS Feed service.   Topics in the News Center include:
        All Categories
        Features and Releases feed
        Facility News
        Research Highlights
        Data Announcements