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ALOMAR is one of the premier atmospheric observatories in the world. It is located at the Andoya Rocket Range in Andenes, Norway (69N, 16E) and houses four lidars as well as a large cluster of remote sensing instruments, including radars and passive instrumentation, belonging to institutes and universities from several European countries, as well as the US, Canada and Japan. GATS pays a yearly user unit fee to house the sodium lidar at ALOMAR, covering utilities and basic overhead and maintenance expenses.

ALOMAR’s instrumentation can monitor all atmosphere layers starting almost from the ground up to the ionosphere. Thus the scientific aims vary from environmental observations of aerosol pollutants or the relevance of cirrus particles for climate in the troposphere, to noctilucent clouds close to the mesopause or to magnetic substorms and northern lights in the lower thermosphere and ionosphere.
The user science operation centre (USOC), which recently has been completely refurbished, provides coordination between ALOMAR and balloon, rocket or other airborne campaigns. Wide screen presentation of online data from Andøya, northern Norway and the 1 Gbit/s real time data connection to Svalbard make the USOC facility a unique tool for co-ordination and communication under all kinds of field campaigns.


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The Na wind/temperature lidar developed by Colorado State U. and NWRA/CoRA was installed at ALOMAR in August 2000 with funding from an Air Force DURIP program. The lidar transitioned from Air Force to NSF Aeronomy funding over the next several years before joining CRRL in 2006. From 2012-2017, the lidar was maintained and operated by GATS, Boulder in concert with European partners. Data was obtained throughout the year by local operators as well as during dedicated campaign modes in support of sounding and meteorological rockets launched from the affiliated Andoya Rocket Range. The lidar was upgraded and installed at Poker Flat Research Range north of Fairbanks, Alaska in late 2017.