The 325-meter high meteorological observation tower of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy Sciences, built in August 1979, serves studies of air pollution, the atmospheric boundary layer, and atmospheric turbulence diffusion, among others. The unique advantage of the IAP meteorological observation tower lies in its height—the highest in Asia and the second highest in the world—and its finely distributed observation platforms. The tower is located at (39°58ꞌN, 116°22ꞌE) and 49 meters above sea level. There are two HD cameras placed at the 280-meter platform of the tower, working 24 hours a day, and taking photos every half an hour, to monitor the weather and surface situation in the surrounding area. The photo shows a panoramic view of the Olympic Park Zone taken every half an hour. Left picture is towards north, and right is south.
There are two sets of observation systems on the tower: the 15- level meteorological gradient observation system and the seven-level turbulence flow observation system. The meteorological gradient system has started observing basic elements, including wind speed, direction, temperature and moisture since 1979. The turbulence observation system, which observes 3-D wind speed, vapor, CO2, and atmospheric pressure, has also been used for many years. The two systems work 24 hours a day, with the meteorological gradient observation system recording one set of data every 20 seconds, and turbulence observation system recording 10 sets of data per second. These long datasets are widely used in atmospheric research.