Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Field Instrument Deployments and Operations

As international project management experts, we develop, deploy, and manage field research laboratories, providing customized platforms and global infrastructure for unprecedented data collection in remote environments.

Contact Us  

  • Administrator
  • Taylor Rumsey
  • (505) 665-2339
  • Email
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 A supply vessel with FIDO team members aboard breaks waves in the Southern Ocean, departing Macquarie Island to return to the Aurora Australis. FIDO managed the Macquarie Island Cloud and Radiation Experiment (MICRE), a field campaign from 2016 to 2018 that gathered observations over a complete seasonal cycle. A supply vessel with FIDO team members aboard breaks waves in the Southern Ocean, returning to the Aurora Australis from Macquarie Island. FIDO managed the Macquarie Island Cloud and Radiation Experiment (MICRE), a field campaign from 2016 to 2018 that gathered observations over a complete seasonal cycle.

A supply vessel breaks waves in the Southern Ocean, returning to the icebreaker Aurora Australis from Macquarie Island. FIDO managed the Macquarie Island Cloud and Radiation Experiment (MICRE), a field campaign from 2016-18 that gathered observations over a complete seasonal cycle.

The Field Instrument Deployments and Operations (FIDO) Team 


We customize and deploy infrastructure and instruments to remote, under-sampled locations worldwide. FIDO field deployments collect data vital to developing a predictive understanding of complex biological, earth, and environmental systems including dynamic, physical, and biogeochemical processes required to systematically develop Earth System Models that integrate across the atmosphere, land masses, oceans, sea ice and subsurface.

For more than two decades, FIDO has customized and managed flexible laboratories with state-of-the-art instrument suites designed to operate in any environment—from Arctic cold to tropical heat—and for ship-borne and land-based measurement. The FIDO fixed and mobile research sites spanning every continent provide the world’s largest infrastructure to obtain global earth system observations for atmospheric process models.

FIDO primarily supports the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) scientific user facility, but also assists with LANL science initiatives and manages DOE Atmospheric System Research field campaigns.

Capabilities include:

  • Campaign management from conception to closure.
  • Turnkey operations expertise.
  • Customized mobile research facilities with extreme geographical and logistical constraints.
  • Data collection of novel, high-value observations from under-sampled regions.
  • Expertise utilizing cutting-edge instruments to detect climate signatures.
  • International logistics expertise and project management.
  • Global collaboration and partnership development.
Primary Expertise
  • Designing mobile laboratories customized to operate in severe environments including portable shelters, instrument suites, communications equipment and data systems.
  • Building partnerships with domestic and foreign universities, research organizations, government agencies and industry.
  • Managing mobile and fixed research facilities to collect, process, and distribute continuous climate- and atmospheric-process measurements from high-value locations.
  • Utilizing cutting-edge data collection methods by coordinating university mentors, principle investigators and on-site technicians to manage optimal instrument operations.
  • Selecting optimal sites for field campaigns in remote and under-sampled regions.
  • Capturing high-value information: more than one petabyte of data sets distributed freely worldwide within 24-48 hours of collection and processing.
Field Campaign Process
With the unique objectives of each field campaign in mind, FIDO facilitates the campaign lifecycle based on the following six phases:
  1. Collaboration and Partnership Building: identifying opportunities for global cooperation and partnerships, relationship building and proposal management.
  2. Feasibility Analysis: global site selection, budget estimation, risk analysis, contingency planning, local resources identification and international project liaison work.
  3. Deployment Design: infrastructure development and implementation, local contract hiring, OSHA compliance, engineering and design, contracts and procurement and foreign country regulatory compliance.
  4. Installation: instrument integration and commissioning, technical implementation and state-side mentor support coordination.
  5. Operations: management and technical support, equipment inventory control, operation software tools development, services and supplies management and equipment maintenance coordination.
  6. Product Deliverables: comprehensive management, rapid and efficient deployment solutions, logistic management, data availability and reliability assurance.
Recent Major Projects

Manage ARM’s Eastern North Atlantic fixed facility: providing rare, long-term data sets about the response of marine clouds to greenhouse gases and aerosols—a major source of uncertainty in global and regional climate models.

Manage ARM’s Mobile Facility One and Mobile Facility Two.
Recent campaigns:

  • Observations and Modeling of the Green Ocean Amazon (GoAMAZON), Brazil, 2014-15. ARM’s largest international tropical research campaign, encompassed 24 institutions, 100 instruments and 100 collaborators gathering unprecedented data on metropolis’ effect on pristine environment.
  • ARM West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE), Antarctica, 2015-17. Most comprehensive cloud and aerosol measurements in 40 years on the rapidly changing West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Gathered sophisticated data on changing air masses, surface energy and cloud radiative forcing.
  • Measurements of Aerosols, Radiation, and Clouds over the Southern Ocean (MARCUS), Marine Deployment, 2017-18. Multi-ocean campaign captured first extensive data on supercooled clouds over the Southern Ocean (SO). Taken over four 6000+ mile marine voyages, aerosol and cloud data produce SO forecasts and support accurate GCM in a climate-crucial region.
  • Macquarie Island Cloud and Radiation Experiment (MICRE), Southern Ocean, 2016-18. Collected first in-situ dataset measuring seasonal cycles of SO cloud and aerosol features in stormy yet pristine environment. Novel two-year dataset will inform crucial GSM and evaluate accuracy of climatological satellite data.
  • Layered Atlantic Smoke Interactions with Clouds (LASIC), Atlantic Ocean, 2016-17. Collected first comprehensive ground-based data on world’s maximum biomass burning emissions path within a remote and cloudy trade-wind regime.
Current and Upcoming Campaigns
  • Cloud, Aerosol, and Complex Terrain Interactions (CACTI), Sierras de Córdoba, Argentina, 2018-19. Will amass an unprecedented dataset about storm-environment interactions in subtropical South America, to reduce uncertainty and bias in GCM.
  • Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAIC), Marine Deployment, 2019-20. Intensive icebreaker-based observatory will freeze in and drift with Arctic sea ice for full annual cycle taking atmosphere, ocean, and biosphere measurements in crucial climate regime.
  • Cold-Air Outbreaks in the Marine Boundary Layer Experiment (COMBLE), Norway, 2020. Will collect comprehensive dataset measuring the dynamics and properties of clouds and precipitation in the high-latitude marine boundary over open water in the Arctic.
Project Leadership and Site Operations Management

 Jeff Heikoop

LANL Profile
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Jeff Heikoop - Team Leader

  • Research expertise in reconstructing paleoclimate records from lake sediments, bogs, corals and tree rings utilizing light stable isotopes, trace elements, and other proxies
  • Present day earth-system dynamics, isotopic and chemical measurements of global change; speciality in Arctic environments with an emphasis on hydrologic and biogeochemical effects of permafrost degradation

Heath Powers

LANL Profile
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Heath Powers - Project Manager

  • Research background in ecosystem response to climate change, biosphere-atmosphere CO2 exchange, and pinon tree response to drought
  • Project management, field campaign operations, training and managing site staff, mobile facility setup, instrument management, international diplomatic work

Nita Patel

LANL Profile
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Nita Patel - Operational Support Coordinator

  • Environmental chemistry, project supervision, data validation and assessment 
  • Strategic planning, program control, direction for monitoring, sampling, and remediation, database expertise
  • Field campaign management and logistics

David Chu

LANL Profile
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David Chu - Technical Deployments

  • Chemist, experience in chemical oceanography, fieldwork in estuarial, coastal, and benthic waters; three seasons working for the United States Antarctic Program as a Lab Assistant at McMurdo Station, Antarctica
  • Site operations manager, instrument mentor communications and liaison, container construction, database maintenance
  • Personnel management, logistics, technical and instrument support

Tim Goering

LANL Profile
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Tim Goering - Technical Deployments

  • Project management, hydrogeological support, collecting and assessing environmental data
  • Site operations management; technical oversight, project communications, field campaigns, logistics, instrument communications

Paul Ortega

LANL Profile
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Paul Ortega - Technical Deployments

  • Deploying, maintaining large-scale laboratory and field experiments
  • Site operations management; site decommissioning, project logistics, site staff management, database and instrument management
  • Communications liaison, container transport, site setup and maintenance