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

Facility Request Overview


Requestable Facilities

Multiple options for requestable facilities exist. These include the University of Wyoming King Air (UWKA) with both facility-supported and user-supplied instrumentation, as well as the Wyoming Cloud Radar (WCR) and Wyoming Cloud Lidars (WCL) on either the UWKA or other NSF aircraft.

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 before December 2023. Up-to-date progress reports on the next-generation Wyoming King Air can be found here. Deployment of the Wyoming Cloud Radar and Cloud Lidars on other NSF aircraft will be available beginning in early 2023.

Those wanting to request either the UWKA and/or the WCR for projects in 2023 should work closely with UWKA facility management team. The completion of all upgrades, including new lidar, radar, and communication capabilities will come online from 2023 into mid-late 2024, depending on other NSF obligations. 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

Several routes exist for UWKA facility requests, depending on whether they follow NSF Track 1 or Track 3 routes, or are funded outside of the NSF. 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.

  • NSF Track 3
    • For NSF Track 3 requests. the Statement of Intent (SOI) needs to be emailed to NSF, following the Facility and Instrumentation Request (FIRP) guidelines. The SOI is needed to allow NSF, in consultation with the facility providers, to determine whether the proposed deployment is straightforward or complex. The facility request must be uploaded via PRESTO by the same deadline as the proposal submission deadline.
  • NSF Track 1
    • For NSF Track 1, an SOI is optional but recommended, as detailed in the FIRP solicitation. The PI should communicate directly with the UWKA facility management, as part of the proposal preparation. The facility request form should then be completed and emailed to the facility manager by the same deadline as the proposal submission deadline.
  • Non-NSF requests
    • For non-NSF requests, a Letter of Intent (LOI) is not specifically required. Interested parties should first reach out to the UWKA facility management to discuss facility availability and instrumentation prior to completing the facility request form. 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. Following this, the facility request form should then be completed and sent in directly to the facility manager.

Feasibility analysis:

Each 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.

Facility requests for Track 3 NSF projects 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. Once the NSF proposal is funded, or (for a non-NSF project) a contract has been finalized, the UWKA team will begin working with the investigator(s) towards implementation. 

Flowchart of Request Process


Wyoming Cloud Radar (WCR) and Lidar (WCL)

The Wyoming Cloud Radar and Lidar are requestable for deployment aboard the UWKA or other platforms with support through the LAOF Deployment Pool, typically the NSF/NCAR C-130. The request process follows the same procedure as for the UWKA via NSF Tracks 1 or 3, or for non-NSF funding. When requests are submitted to the UWKA facility, additional instrument-specific request forms should be submitted for the WCR and/or WCL.

Additional Information

Click here for more detailed information on the UWKA's capabilities and measurements. Additional details regarding facility instrument capabilities and requests are also available for the Wyoming Cloud Radar and the Wyoming Cloud Lidar. Click here for a summary of requestable base facility measurements.


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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