Facilities and expertise

University and national facilities


ICAS staff are major users of university, regional and national high performance computing facilities. We use the 3700-core Advanced Research Computing (ARC) facility in Leeds. The N8 HPC is a Tier 2 5300+ core facility available through the N8 Partnership - a collaboration of the eight most research intensive universities in the North of England. The ARCHER UK National HPC Facility supports our largest compute demands. In our extensive collaborations with the Met Office we use MONSooN (the Met Office and NERC Supercomputing Node). MONSooN has enabled joint ICAS-Met Office development of the aerosol model GLOMAP in the UK's Earth System Model.


The extensive HPC modelling activities in ICAS require access to significant data storage and processing systems. We make use of NERC's JASMIN data storage and analysis system. JASMIN provides UK Earth-system scientists with an efficient data analysis environment, enabling ICAS scientists to "bring their processing to the data" rather than having to transfer the data to Leeds. It enables models to be evaluated alongside archive data, and for data to be shared and evaluated before being deposited in permanent archives. For example, ICAS scientists use JASMIN to evaluate very large global model ensembles against extensive aerosol measurements in the GASSP project. Remote JASMIN resources also exist at Bristol, Leeds and Reading, with a fast light-path connection to the main JASMIN system.

Atmospheric Measurements

ICAS makes extensive use of the NCAS Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements. FAAM is a collaboration between the Natural Environment Research Council and the Met Office, operated by NCAS. The FAAM BAe-146 aircraft has enabled ICAS to lead measurement campaigns around the world, such as:

ICAS also exploits the NCAS Atmospheric Measurement Facility (AMF), headed by ICAS's Barbara Brooks, AMF provides access to specialist instrumentation for ground-based and airborne observations, observatories, platforms, and laboratories, operated by dedicated facility instrument scientists. An example is the NCAS Mobile X-Band Radar operated from Leeds by Dr Lindsay Bennett. Examples of ICAS use of these facilities include:

  • The radar was recently deployed in the COnvective Precipitation Experiment (COPE) project to study flash flooding.
  • Ground-based cloud and aerosols instruments were used in the Arctic Cloud Summer Experiment (ACSE) project to study properties of Arctic clouds.
  • Other AMF instruments have been used for measuring properties of the boundary layer in the Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study (COPS) project.

Related pages: Atmospheric and Cloud Dynamics.