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King Air airplane in background with King Air Research Aircraft: Atmospheric Science

Facility Request Overview


Availability of UWKA in 2022 and 2023

With the development of the Next Generation King Air, the University of Wyoming will be unable to support any flight requests for a 12- to 18-month period beginning in spring 2022. This includes projects that utilize the UWKA or projects requesting the WCR on the C130. We anticipate that the Next Generation King Air will be available for request through the NSF LAOF program in late 2023.

Those wanting to request either the UWKA and/or the WCR for projects in 2023 should work closely with UWKA facility management team. We expect support for limited payload projects will be available in May 2023 at the earliest. The completion of all upgrades, including new lidar, radar, and communication capabilities will come online through 2023 into mid-late 2024. We will continue to update this page as development of the Next Generation King Air progresses. See the UWKA Planning Calendar for upcoming projects and scheduling for the UWKA.

Overview of Request Process

Two general routes exist for UWKA facility requests: for NSF-sponsored, and non-NSF-sponsored projects. The UWKA facility has completed many projects outside of NSF sponsorship, however, availability for NSF projects is prioritized under the facility’s cooperative agreement sponsorship. The UWKA facility manager and personnel are available to assist potential investigators at all stages of the project request, for questions regarding flight operations, project payload and instrument development, and project logistics.

Both types of request processes follow the same general steps:

Letter of Intent communicated to UWKA facility and (if applicable) NSF Lower Atmospheric Observing Facilities program. Initial discussions with the UWKA facility manager will help determine the UWKA’s likely availability and what general time constraints will be applicable for the request.

Facility request form completed and turned in. The timeline for this depends on the project and funding source. For requests to be funded by the NSF, several different deadlines exist depending on the scale and focus of the project. Guidelines are given by EOL for large- and small-scale field campaigns, with the request form completed and submitted online through NSF's PRESTO system.

Discussions with the UWKA facility manager will help define the timeline expected for a non-NSF facility request, which will also depend on the scale of the planned project. These facility requests must be completed with a request form specific for the UWKA, available here, which should be sent in directly to the facility manager.

The request is assessed by UWKA facility personnel for feasibility in terms of intended payload, flight operations, and project logistics, as well as anticipated budgetary needs. This assessment occurs for both NSF and non-NSF projects. The investigator(s) may be contacted at this time to answer additional questions regarding various aspects of the project. Facility personnel will attempt to work through any potential issues noted during the feasibility assessment, in order to give each project as high a chance of success as possible given operational and availability constraints. Requests may be made at this point to adjust payload, logistics, or other parameters as needed to maintain feasibility while accomplishing the project’s goals.

Specifically for NSF projects, facility requests also go through an assessment by the Observational Facilities Assessment Panel (OFAP) before a funding decision is made. The UWKA’s feasibility assessment is presented to this panel, as described here. For non-NSF projects, the assessment is completed in-house.

Once the request passes feasibility analysis, the project will be committed to the UWKA’s deployment calendar. The facility manager will begin working with the investigator(s) to finalize a budget and contract through the university, as required for the project’s specific needs. 


Facility Request Overview

Facility manager: 

Jeff French | (307) 766-4143

Project management: 

Larry Oolman | (307) 766-2665

David Plummer | (307) 766-3245

Flight operations:

Brett Wadsworth | (307) 766-1634

Engineering group: 

Mechanical: Nick Mahon | (307) 766-4899

Electrical: Matt Burkhart | (307) 766-4150


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