Instrumentation and Laboratory Facilities

The Instrumentation

Quite extensive instrumentation is available for studies of surface layer and atmospheric boundary-layer phenomena, as well as a variety of air pollutants. We have anemometry for both profile and turbulence measurements using hot-film devices and sonic and mechanical anemometers. Numerous infrared gas analyzers (IRGAs) for fast-response measurement of carbon dioxide, water vapor concentrations and eddy-covariance trace gas exchange. The department maintains a field research area with 75 acres of irrigated, farmable land which contains two large lysimeters 6 m in diameter, one of which is capable of operation as a drag plate. Our instrumentation includes ten instrumented movable towers for microclimate studies with sensors for measuring air, leaf and soil temperatures as well as radiation, and soil moisture. This site is used cooperatively for studies in agricultural meteorology and hydrosphere research.

A major statewide project entitled California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) was developed by the University of California, Davis. The automated weather stations at a number of sites across the state including Davis are being utilized in applied research. Davis is also a monitoring site for UV radiation. A NOAA climatological benchmark station is at this location at which a fully automated meteorological data acquisition system is in continuous operation. The primary purpose of these measurements is to support field studies within our program and the campus at large. A workshop is maintained by the college within our department for the development and construction of instrumentation. The shop staff assist in the design and construction of instrumentation or field equipment.

The Laboratory Facilities

In addition, we have a wet chemistry laboratory, equipped for studies of atmospheric chemistry and photochemistry. Equipment in this lab includes illumination systems (monochromatic and simulated sunlight), a UV-VIS spectrophotometer, and ion chromatograph, a gas chromatograph, and several high-performance liquid chromatographs for studies of tropospheric hydrometeors and aerosol particles. We also have a 1 m by 1 m cross section wind tunnel.

Off-Campus Facilities

Scientific Aviation ( operates a single engine Mooney TLS that has been heavily modified for atmospheric research and has been used extensively in field campaigns from UC Davis.  Studies in oceanography and ocean-atmosphere interaction have been operated from the Bodega Ocean Observing Node (  Other facilities are available through the Air Quality Research Center (AQRC) (, and the climate station at the Campbell Tract (