ARL continues its 75th anniversary celebrations with an open house at ATDD in Oak Ridge, TN.

Wednesday, April 24 dawned overcast and drizzling, but the scientists, engineers, and technicians at ARL’s Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division were excited to host over 50 attendees from NOAA leadership, local policy-makers, and ARL partner organizations at their open house event despite the rain.


Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction, Dr. Michael C. Morgan and NOAA Research’s Assistant Administrator, Dr. Steven Thur were among the guests in attendance.


ARL Director, Dr. Ariel Stein, kicked things off with a welcome and introduced Dr. Morgan to say a few words. Deputy Director Dr. LaToya Myles and scientist Dr. Will Pendergrass gave an overview of the lab’s history before sending attendees off to several stations around the grounds.

Man speaking at a podium in front of a screen

Dr. Stein kicks off the ATDD Open House by welcoming everyone.

Man standing behind a podium

Dr. Morgan says a few words about ARL.

Woman talking at podium with an older man standing beside her

Dr. LaToya Myles and Dr. Will Pendergrass give an overview of ATDD’s history.















Scientists, engineers, and technicians staffed the stations and talked about their research and the instruments they use to collect measurements. Stations covered ARL research topics including UrbanNet, U.S. Climate Reference Network, Surface Energy Budget Network, and fire weather research. Attendees had the opportunity to handle the instruments that collect measurements, and even try them out to see how they could affect data outputs in real time. Engineers built several temporary towers around the ground to demonstrate what they build out in the field and how the instruments are attached.


Two women standing inside a tent, presenting material that appears on a screen beside them

Dr. Nebila Lichiheb (left) and Dr. Praveena Krishnan talk about the UrbanNet project.

Two men standing, the one on the right holds a sensor and gestures as he speaks.

Dr. Mark Heuer (right) talks about the Chestnut Ridge study site and the instruments used there. Pictured on the left is Dr. Tim Wilson.

Man blows across scientific sensor.

Dr. Steven Thur blows across a carbon dioxide sensor.















The sun cleared the skies to create perfect conditions in time for demonstrations of two methods ARL scientists use to collect measurements from the lower parts of the Earth’s boundary layer. Attendees got an up-close experience with the three uncrewed aircraft systems ARL uses in the field, including a flight demonstration of the APH-28. The second demonstration featured Dr. Morgan launching a weather balloon that was inflated and prepared to carry a rawinsonde – a device that carries scientific instruments. These tools allow scientists to collect more information on temperature, humidity, and wind throughout and above the boundary layer.



Dr. Myles and ATDD Director Dr. John Kochendorfer closed out the day thanking everyone who came out. A big thank you to all the ARL staff that helped create such a successful event.


Woman and man dressed in suit jackets talking to the camera

Dr. Myles and Dr. Kochendorfer giving closing remarks.