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NCAR Annual Report
Observing Systems

NCAR has a long and successful history of developing, maintaining, and operating a wide range of observing systems and sites on behalf of the atmospheric and solar science communities. The close collaboration between NCAR research, modeling, and observational activities has provided the foundation for this success. Airborne systems include the NSF/NCAR C-130 and the newly arrived High-Performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research, along with a suite of radars, lidars, and radiometers. Surface-based systems include several mobile radars, a new eye-safe lidar, and a wide variety of in situ instruments. NCAR operates and maintains the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory, which includes a coronagraph, polarimeter, and photometer, and has polarimeters and a telescope at the National Solar Observatory in New Mexico. NCAR and UCAR have played major parts in satellite missions through such programs as the High-Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (HIRDLS), Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT), GPS/MET, and Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED). We are contributing to the upcoming Japan-U.S. Solar-B mission and are leading the development of the upcoming Taiwan-U.S. Constellation Observing System for Meteorology Ionosphere & Climate (COSMIC) mission.

Highlights of NCAR’s plans and accomplishments for observing systems include: