Project Highlights

AIS Facility

AIS and Open Data Access

Adam Theisen

Atmospheric Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, Illinois, USA

The AIS project is committed to providing an open-source data policy. During AIS field campaigns, instrument data will be routinely collected and stored on a site data system with solid-state drives to minimize the risk of failure when deployed on a ship. Raw instrument data will stay housed onsite until verified to have been received and uploaded to a storage system at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). This redundancy ensures that the data can be recovered in the event of any disk failures en route to ANL.

Instruments output data in a variety of formats with varying levels of complexity (Figure 1). To facilitate data processing, the AIS project will provide open-source codes developed for converting raw data to a common format for the science community. Principal Investigators (PIs) will be able to perform the processing themselves, or if desired the AIS group can perform the processing with additional support (Figure 2).

Additionally, many of the AIS instruments require routine calibration, corrections, and quality control checks, which may vary by instrument, and represent different levels of processing that can be performed by the AIS group or provided as open-source software for PIs to use. Developing calibration and QC scripts as open source will benefit both users of the AIS and can have broader impact on the atmospheric science community in general with instruments in other facilities. To minimize duplication of effort, existing open-source libraries will be utilized where appropriate.

For users to take advantage of these data, it must be easily accessible. Generally, the equipment and effort needed to provide a dedicated data hosting architecture is expensive and requires long-term investment. As an independent facility the AIS project proposes a data hosting strategy that is less costly, but one that will remain flexible and open. Instrument data collected from field campaigns, some processed by the AIS group at ANL for automated quality control and calibration, will be hosted by the PI of the field campaign or on an existing service such as the Amazon Public Dataset Program or PANGAEA and made available to scientists worldwide.

AIS data that is further processed by scientists, either with user-based tools provided by AIS or independently, will be responsible for hosting corresponding datasets. This approach will promote sharing of original AIS data in an open and free manner, with subsequently processed data and data products the responsibility of researchers and campaign funders.


1. Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility. 2019, updated hourly. Microwave Radiometer (MWRLOS). 2019-10-11 to 2020-07-31, ARM Mobile Facility (MOS) MOSAIC (Drifting Obs - Study of Arctic Climate); AMF2 (M1). Compiled by M. Cadeddu and V. Ghate. ARM Data Center. Data set accessed 2020-12-18 at