LANL To Participate In Domestic Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Campaigns


The Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Field Office (DOE/NNSA) has issued a Categorical Exclusion for Domestic Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Campaigns-Eastern Pacific Cloud Aerosol Precipitation Experiment (EPCAPE). 

DOE, Office of Science, in conjunction with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), conduct atmospheric and environmental research and monitoring activities by deploying mobile facilities and equipment (including weather balloons) for 1- to 2-year campaigns at locations throughout the United States. DOE and Triad National Security, LLC, the operating contractor for LANL, propose to deploy equipment and launch weather balloons to support the EPCAPE.

This project will characterize the extent, radiative properties, aerosol interactions, and precipitation characteristics of stratocumulus clouds in the Eastern Pacific year-round at two coastal locations owned and managed by the University of California San Diego Scripps Institute of Oceanography:  the Scripps Pier and Scripps Mt. Soledad sites in La Jolla, California. To facilitate gathering data, the project plans to launch weather balloons at a rate of two per day, plus an additional 360 balloons during the spring and summer months. An additional six or so weather balloon launches are planned during project setup. In total, the project proposes to launch roughly 1,100 weather balloons over the 1-year life of the EPCAPE campaign. Activities would be designed in conformance with applicable regulatory requirements and use of best management practices. Following the data collection period and each site would be restored to pre-project conditions.

The Categorical Exclusion NEPA determination can be accessed online at CX-270664: Domestic Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Campaigns – Eastern Pacific Cloud Aerosol Precipitation Experiment (EPCAPE) | Department of Energy