Atmospheric science division is equipped with two major observing facilities (ST Radar and Lidar) and has dedicated labs for observations of trace gases, aerosols and boundary layer meteorology.
A state of the art ARIES Stratosphere Tropospheric (ST) Radar is operational at ARIES, Nainital (29.4N; 79.2E; ~1800 m amsl) to understand the intriguing aspects of lower atmospheric dynamics over the Central Himalaya. The ARIES ST Radar (ASTRAD) is designed and developed indigenously for operating at frequency of 206.5 MHz. Such high altitude active aperture radar in VHF band (~200 MHz) along with antenna elements over the roof top has been built for the first time in the country.
Salient features: Active Phased Array, Circular Aperture, Triangular grid of 588 individual 3-elements Yagi's
ARIES hosts a Mie Lidar and a micro pulse Lidar. Mie Lidar was developed at ARIES and micro pulse Lidar system was installed in collaboration with National Atmospheric Research laboratory (NARL), Gadanki, during May 2006. This MPL is basically used to make the measurements of vertical profiles of lower atmosphere, particularly vertical distribution of aerosols.
ARIES hosts different analyzers for surface observations of trace gases. Some of the greenhouse gases are also being observed at ARIES. ARIES has also setup a facility of balloon-borne observations of ozone and meteorological parameters. A Gas Chromatograph system has also be installed at ARIES for observations of some of the non-methane hydrocarbons.
Different physical, optical and chemical properties of aerosols are being observed. Observations of aerosols optical depth, black carbon/organic carbon, elemental carbon are being made at ARIES. Aerosols scattering properties (Nephelometer) and aerodynamic particle size (APS) are also being observed.
Boundary Layer Meteorology
ARIES hosts a meteorological tower (27 m) with a suite of sensors at two levels. Recently, different sensors like Soil temperature probes, Soil moisture probes, Self-calibrating Heat Flux Sensors (plates) for measuring soil heat flux, Net radiation sensors (Pyranometer) for 4 components of radiation for the measurement of upwelling and down welling shortwave and longwave radiation fluxes have also been installed.