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The California Laboratory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing (CLARS) is an observing facility for the measurement of greenhouse gases and pollutant emissions from sources in the South Coast Air Basin. The facility also serves as a testbed for new optical instruments for future NASA satellite missions. CLARS is located on Mt. Wilson, California, overlooking the Los Angeles basin at an altitude of 5700 ft. (Figure 1). It consists of a laboratory for optical instrumentation, a telescope and precision pointing system for collection of atmospheric data.

The instruments at CLARS includes both point and imaging Fourier transform spectrometers (FTS) built by JPL. These instruments operate autonomously, measuring dry air mixing ratios of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), water vapor (H2O, HDO), nitrous oxide (N2O), and aerosols.

The CLARS facility also hosts atmospheric monitoring equipment that is part of California Air Resources Board’s permanent air quality network in California. This equipment acquires measurements that are complementary to those obtained by the FTS instruments at CLARS.


Photo of Thomas Pongetti
Thomas Pongetti
Laboratory Studies And Atmospheric Observations
Photo of Stanley Sander
Stanley Sander
Science Division - Chief Engineer
Earth Science - Senior Research Scientist