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
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.