National Ecological Observatory Network
Various Locations, North America
The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), funded by the National Science Foundation, is the only continental-wide experiment designed to gather ecological data collected over a 30-year period. Instrumentation affixed to 60 towers throughout the country collect ecosystem change data into an information management system and make it available on the Internet. The design of the NEON cyber-infrastructure was conducted under unusually strict guidelines. Each site must cause little to no impact on its surrounding ecosystem, and the infrastructure must last the duration of the 30-year experiment without experiencing measurable change.
At a glance
60 Sites Nationwide
20 ecoclimatic domains across the US
Durable Cyber-infrastructure Design
Approximately 600 billion raw measurements every year
Each tower must cause little-to-no impact on its surrounding ecosystem
Engineering: Environmental, Civil, Structural, Electrical
"LEO A DALY's design team accomplished the necessary work with excellence. The site investigations, designs, documentation, and review meeting support provided by LEO A DALY's team were instrumental in bringing about successful results at the PDR and FDR. Both reviews were passed with high marks, and NEON has been recommended to the National Science Board for construction funding. NEON extends warm thanks to LEO A DALY, its managers, team members, and support staff for their efforts in our behalf and a job well done."
Tower foundations must be less than 8 feet by 8 feet, a challenge as some towers are more than 200 feet tall. Each tower foundation can extend only 2 feet beyond the edge of the tower.
Site access on top of a mountain at 9,000 feet was limted due to extreme slopes and terrain. A helicopter was used to bring in the concrete for the foundations and some of the materials.
Some sites are permanent, designed to collect data for 30-plus years, while other sites stay in place for five to seven years before being relocated