CARLA Instrument Container Arrives at Arecibo Observatory

Space & Atmospheric Sciences


The highly anticipated arrival of the Culebra Aerosol Research Lidar (CARLA) instrument container to the Arecibo Observatory occurred on February 5th, 2021. This marks the beginning of the installation of the new CARLA instrument that had been funded through a grant from the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust in 2020.

The CARLA instrument container, funded through a National Science Foundation (NSF) supplementary award, is a highly-customized container with all the requirements necessary to house and operate the CARLA instrument, including access hatches, a motorized roof hatch, vents, customized electrical installation, and a split air conditioner for highly-stabilized temperature operation, among other specifications. The container is 10 ft by 8 ft in size and was designed by the principal investigator of the CARLA project, Dr. Jens Lautenbach.

Once the instrument installation is complete, CARLA will be stationed at the Arecibo Observatory's Remote Optical Facility (ROF) on the island of Culebra. It will be used to obtain information about aerosol properties over time and altitude in order to study the dynamics of aerosol layers, including the Saharan Air Layer which influences cloud and hurricane formation and the air quality.

For further information about the CARLA project, contact: Dr. Jens Lautenbach, Observatory Scientist, Principal Investigator of the CARLA project

Time-lapse of the container installation

Text provided by Tracy Becker - AO Collaborator/SWRI Research Scientist

Arecibo Media Contact
Ricardo Correa
Director of Communications at the Arecibo Observatory
787-878-2612 ext. 615

Technical Contact
Dr. Jens Lautenbach
Arecibo Observatory

Keywords: arecibo, observatory, optics, lautenbach, lidar, puerto rico, carla, carla, project