American Samoa Observatory Tour, Around the Grounds

View from the Bluesky Tower

Hudson Building

The Hudson Building was completed December 1996. It currently houses the GMD Chromatograph for Atmospheric Trace Species (CATS) and the cooperative Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) instruments for halocarbons, the Pollak for aerosols, the Dasibi and TEI monitoring surface ozone. The building is divided into three rooms. One contains an air compressor, the other two instruments. To see inside the Hudson Building continue down the page. (Photo by P. Roberts)

The NOAA ESRL/GMD CATS instrument. A four channel automated GC that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The instrument is currently operated to detect 14 species of halocarbons targetted specifically as climate forcing agents.

The cooperative AGAGE instrument. This GC also operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week targeting similar species. The two systems are part of a scientific comparison.

Along with the CATS instrument are the TEI, surface ozone instrument, seen in the rack next to the gas cylinders, and the Pollak, aerosol monitor, to the left of the TEI. The black unit seen against the left wall is the pumping unit for Scripps Institute of Oceanography.for O2 flask monitoring.

Roof Top

Lafaele Silao and Dobson Dome. In December 1998 this dome replaced the previous dome and coated with rust preventative paint.
(Photo by J. Michalski)
Malcolm Gaylord, station electronics engineer, inside the Dome conducting Dobson Measurements. The total ozone values recorded by Dobson values for American Samoa between 2000 to 2002 ranged from 220-250 DU uncorrected values. For more total ozone information see: Insert NOAA GMD Ozone page here.
(Photo by J. Michalski)
South end of rooftop at dusk. Visible back to front are the Dobson dome, the DOE Cooperative project: , and the GMD tipping rain rain gage. The peak located in the background is Olomoana Mountain at 1,074 feet. (Photo by P. Roberts)

North end of rooftop. The north end of the rooftop is the location of the solar instruments. These continuously monitoring instruments inclued:

  • Epply pyranolmeters with Q and RG8 filters
  • Epply pyrheliometer with Q filter
  • Epply pyranometers with shading disk and Q filter
  • Noncontinous is the Epply pyrehliometer with Q, OG1, RG2, and RG8 filters located inside the dobson dome.

For more solar information see GMD's Solar Radiation Page.
(Photo by P. Roberts)

Solar panels located on carport. These panels were removed from their historic location on the southeast side of the observatory, refurbished and reinstalled as a cooperative project between NOAA, American Samoa Community College, American Samoa Power Authority, the Territorial Energy Office, and Starkist Inc during 2001.
(Photo by P. Roberts)

American Samoa Observatory Tour
Around the Grounds: Bluesky Tower

The Bluesky Tower is a business cooperative. The 70 foot communications tower was completed in May 1999 with GMD monitoring equipment and cooperative projects utilizing space on the structure. It replaced a 42 foot walkup meteorological tower.


From the vantage point of the tower:

Looking west. Papaloa Point in the foreground; Cockscomb in the background.
(Photo by P. Roberts, 2002)
Looking south from the tower. Tula Village is visible in the valley just beyond Fagasa Point, foreground, and Maliuga Point. The island of Aunu’u, to the left in the photo, is roughly 4 km from the observatory.
(Photo by P. Roberts, 2002)

Cape Matatula. Visible at the point are the CO2 intake tower, the tall white pole located in the center of the photo, and the pump building, the small white building in the lower left. Frequently turtles are observed around the point. (Photo by P. Roberts, 2002)
GMD anemometers at the top of the Bluesky Tower and the vast Pacific ocean.
(Photo by P. Roberts, 2002)

American Samoa Observatory Tour
Around the Grounds: Stairs & the Point

The original wooden stairs were build in the 1970’s. There are 184 steps down to the point. The building visible is the Carbon Cycle Group Pump Building, housing the trap and pumps for the insitu CO2 analysis. (Photo by P. Roberts, 2002)

Duane Kitzis, GMD, beginning tower maintenance and replacement of supports. (Photo by P. Roberts, 2002.)
Carbon Cycle Group Tower. Reinforced fiberglass pole installed after hurricane OFA (1992), stainless steel supports replaced original supports in 2002. (Photo by P. Roberts, 2002)
Rainbow at the Point. (Photo by P. Roberts, 2002)