40 years on air

On 24th of August 1970 the top segment of the KNMI Meteorological Mast was mounted in place: a new, unique observational tower was 'born'. It took two more years of preparation and installation before the observational measuring program could start. On 26th October 1972 the official opening was performed by Dr. Kruisinga (state secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management). Forty years old and still standing tall and strong. Many people have contributed to the success of the 'Cabauw tower': engineers, builders, support staff, and scientists and students from the Netherlands and abroad. In the course of these 40 year 'Cabauw' has become a site very well known in the atmospheric science community, in the earlier years mainly in atmospheric boundary layer research, but the scope of measurements has been extended and expanded over time. Many (inter)national measuring campaigns have been organised with the Cabauw site as the main focus.

The local community did give the Cabauw tower the nickname "de snuffelpaal", referring to the measurements related to air pollution in the earlier years of its operational life. In 2002 the Cabauw site is renamed in 'Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research' or in short: CESAR Observatory.

Forty years of reliable service are a very good reason for a celebration, on 26th of October a small symposium with international speakers will take place on site.

We have selected some facts and figures and other material from the KNMI archives (photos, movies and documents). A lot of (scientific) material is readily available on many other websites. Therefore we have tried to present material not already published. But please feel free to submit your own material to the content manager of this site, maybe we can use it here or does it otherwise fill in 'gaps' in the history of the Cabauw tower.

In 40 years a lot has changed, but what remains is the drive of scientists to better understand the complex system of the atmosphere (clouds, aerosols, radiation, precipitation, turbulence) and its interaction with the land surface and to monitor as accurate as possible the changes over time.