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Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) Records

Identifier: RAL
This collection consists of records created by the Research Applications Laboratory. This collection was processed with support from the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics.

Administrative records include various NCAR reports, committee meeting minutes, company retreat and workshop summaries, and review materials.

Aviation industry records include correspondence and reports relating to work with various organizations including ALPA (Airline Pilot Association), AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), and aircraft incident reports and investigations.

Field project records include reports, log books, graphs, data printouts, photographs and correspondence.

In addition, the collection contains conference and congressional hearing materials, grey literature, white papers, research materials, and general correspondence.

Materials also include computer discs, video tapes, and films.


  • 1960 - 2015

Conditions Governing Access

Not all of the material in this collection is in the public domain. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine copyright and obtain permission to use materials.

All records must be viewed in the Archives. The Archives does not have playback capability for some materials.


28 Boxes : 25 record cartons, 2 letter-size archival boxes,1 archival film reel box

Biographical / Historical

The Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) grew from a small research and development program (Research Applications Program, or RAP as it was then known) at NCAR in the early 1980s to an NCAR laboratory with six divisions focused on specific applications areas.

The Research Applications Laboratory's mission is to conduct directed research that contributes to fundamental understanding of the atmosphere and related physical, biological, and social systems; to support, enhance, and extend the capabilities of the scientific community; and to develop and transfer knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth.


The materials have been arranged into 9 series. 1) Administrative Records; 2) Aviation Industry; 3) General Correspondence; 4) Conferences and Congressional hearings; 5) Field Projects; 6) Publications; 7) Research Materials; 8) Miscellaneous Files and Correspondence; 9) Audiovisual Materials.

All materials have been arranged chronologically within the series as much as possible. Field projects are arranged alphabetically by project within the series.

Physical Location

ML-019 T52 S4; T53 S1-4

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Roughly 20 standard banker's boxes of RAL materials were returned from the Iron Mountain storage facility when NCAR's contract with them ended around 2010.

Inger Barron, RAL secretary, submitted an additional 6 boxes of RAL grey literature, field project documentation, and administrative materials in July of 2015.

Corinne Morse, project Software Engineer on the JAWS Juneau project, submitted a box full of logbooks in September of 2015.

Inger Barron also submitted materials from Dan Breed upon his retirement. These materials consist of a project manual and microfilm from the Convection and Precipitation Electrification Experiment (CaPE) in October of 2016.

Lisa Goodrich, Research Assistant & Computer Tech, submitted four (4) films that were digitized; and 8mm videotapes that were not digitized; as well as 1 film called "July Hailstorm", which has subsequently been digitized in 2018.

Materials related to field projects, programs, and administrative records were also transferred from Bob Barron, Kathleen Miller, William Mahoney, and Bruce Carmichael in 2017 and 2018.

Processing Information

All original materials were removed from ringbinders, folders, plastic fasteners, envelopes etc., and paper clips, rubber bands etc. were removed. All materials were re-housed in acid-free folders where appropriate. Duplicates were weeded.

As much as possible, the original arrangement of the files was maintained. Materials under one subject matter - e.g. Field Projects - were gathered and re-housed together, in a chronological order where the date was known.
Research Application Laboratory (RAL) Records
Dirk Bos
November 2018
Description rules
Language of description
This collection was processed with support from the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics.

Repository Details

Part of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Archives Repository