ASRC Field Sites

ASRC Research Field Sites

The Atmospheric Sciences Research Center operates three research field sites, and one mobile measurement platform. For detailed information, publications, and research data from a specific site, follow the appropriate field site research link

Whiteface Mountain Field Site

The Atmospheric Sciences Research Center has operated the Whiteface Mountain field station since 1961. This station is a rural mountain top site located in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York State at an elevation of ~1500m (~ 90m above tree-line). The mountain is a tourist attraction and open to the public from approximately April through October.

The main facility is located at 600m msl on a shoulder of Whiteface Mountain properly known as Marble Mountain and includes extensive laboratory and instrument space, offices, and a lecture hall. At the summit (1500 m) ASRC maintains a three-story observatory. The summit building which sits atop Whiteface Mountain is reached via a 426 ft long access tunnel dug approximately into the center of the mountain and met by an elevator which is 276 ft in height. The tunnel entrance is from the summit parking lot, an area accessible by a paved controlled access highway.

Although Whiteface Mountain is not high by western U.S. standards, the summit is located above the timberline and experiences most of the unusual and interesting weather phenomena which occur at much higher elevations.

The observatory at Whiteface Mountain is home to a large array of instruments. Many of these measure chemical species both in the gas phase and dissolved in cloud, fog and rain water. The continuous surface ozone measurements provide one of the longest continuous records of ozone. Many researchers use this data to examine changes in that critical species as it relates to Air Quality studies. Other gas phase measurements include carbon monoxide and various nitrogen oxides. Further, hydrogen peroxide and formaldehyde as well as hydrocarbons are monitored. Whiteface Mountain was also a measurement site in the PMTACS-NY program in order to collect data about PM mass and composition.

Pinnacle Field Site

This site is located in southwest New York State within the boundaries of Pinnacle State Park, at an elevation of approximately 1650 above sea level. The site, located on a shale shelf, is on the eastern slope of Orr Hill, part of the Allegheny Plateau of southern New York State and northern Pennsylvania. The average annual temperature at this site is 7.8°C; and the average temperature range is from -18 to 31°C.

The equipment at this site is housed in by a 2.4m by 7.3m Ekto air monitoring shelter. The shelter is climate controlled and adjacent to a folding 10 meter meteorological tower. ASRC deployed instruments and samplers for the measurement of particulate matter (primarily PM2.5) began to be deployed at the site. Inlets for all PM instruments are at the same height, 5 meters above ground level, and 2 meters above the shelter roof. The samplers collecting integrated filter samples are all located outside, either attached to the roof deck, or mounted on a nearby platform. The continuous and semi-continuous PM instruments, with one exception, are installed inside the shelter and have straight metal inlet tubes that penetrate the shelter roof.

Queens College Field Site

This site is located atop New York City Public School 219 (PS 219), which is located between the Flushing and Forest Hills neighborhoods in the borough of Queens. The school is directly adjacent to the southeast corner of the Queens College C.U.N.Y. campus. The site is about 750 m south of the Long Island expressway and about 1 km east of the Van Wyck expressway, two of the busiest highways in New York City. The site is adjoined to the east by a roughly 1 km² cemetery, and Flushing Meadow Corona Park and Kissena Park (both large urban parks) are each less than 2 km from the site.

ASRC Mobile Measurement Platform

The development of the ASRC Mobile Measurement platform was funded primarily by a New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) University Consortium grant and internal ASRC state funds.

The mobile measurement platform consists of a diesel powered 2007 Dodge Sprinter 2500 Van equipped with a suite of fast time response advanced measurement instrumentation. In addition to the advanced fast response instrumentation, the mobile platform has a variety of permanent onboard measurement systems to measure traditional criteria pollutants, temperature, GPS, radar and video tracking devices.

The maiden mission of the mobile measurement platform occurred during a 3 week July 13-August 2, 2009) field intensive study as part of an NYSERDA funded program to measure particle size and chemical composition and a variety of trace gas species at and in the vicinity of the Queens College measurement site.