U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Top ARM Accomplishment: Improvements in Aircraft Campaigns
Published: November 18, 2010
Posted: January 11, 2011

ARM has mounted aircraft campaigns at three of its five permanent sites, and at some of its mobile facility sites, in order to do more in-depth process studies of the clouds most relevant to climate. Several campaigns are worthy of special note. First, ARM resolved the biggest debate ever to occur in the atmospheric radiation community, concerning claims of “enhanced shortwave cloud absorption” in the 1990s, by sponsoring two extensive aircraft campaigns (ARESE I and II). The ARESE campaigns strongly pushed the community into the study of 3D effects, leading directly to an ARM-sponsored book on 3D cloud radiation – the first of its kind. ARESE also identified and solved a heretofore-unknown infrared-loss problem in surface radiometers that led directly to improved surface radiation measurements worldwide. Second, ARM conducted two groundbreaking studies of aerosol-cloud interactions (M-PACE and ISDAC) in the Arctic; M-PACE spawned a GCSS intercomparison among 17 models -- the maximum for any field campaign, ever.

ARM also brought radical innovations to aircraft campaigns. In the early 1990s, ARM was the first program ever to employ a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) for atmospheric research, and was the first to fly a UAV for 24 hours, a full diurnal cycle. For seven years in the 2000s, ARM flew a single-engine Cessna several times a week to create the longest aerial dataset about aerosol ever gathered. Recently, ARM invented a new kind of aircraft campaign lasting six months or more, and completed two such campaigns in 2009 and 2010.

Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research
  • Facility: DOE ARM User Facility

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)