The building housing the Ridge Lab of PEARL was built by the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC), then the Atmospheric Environment Service (AES), in 1992 specifically for the study of stratospheric ozone.
The observatory includes four large laboratories (total area of approximately 120 square meters) and a roof-top observing platform (total floor area of approximately 350 square meters) for instrumentation. It is in all respects a self-contained scientific laboratory. However, it also has: an independent power source (diesel generators for emergency power only); self-contained water and sewage systems; kitchen; limited living quarters; a garage; a small machine shop; and a safe hut away from the main building that can function independently should a disaster befall the main building during extreme weather.
Under normal circumstances personnel live at the Eureka weather station, which has more spacious accommodation and other facilities, and travel to the observatory along the purpose-built road that is passable for practically the entire year.
The Zero Altitude PEARL Auxiliary Laboratory (0PAL) is located North West Quadrant of the Eureka Weather station (just west of the tank farm). It was constructed here in order to measure the lower part of the atmosphere as the Ridge Lab is located at 610m above sea level.
The first phase of 0PAL was constructed by placing two customized seatainers 8 feet apart and enclosing that area with a breezeway. In addition to keeping the weather out of the seatainers, the breezeway houses the power distribution network for 0PAL and is also used as cold storage. The seatainers were purchased from and modified by Contor Inc. of Mississauga ON. To ensure that we minimize their impact on the permafrost, the area was scraped flat and styrofoam sheets were placed on the ground and then covered with fill. A stand constructed of 6×6 inch lumber was placed at either end raising the bottom of the seatainers about 18 inches above grade. The seatainers themselves are insulated to about R21 and are equipped with electric heat, air intake vents, and a number (expandable) of power circuits. With the completion of the second phase of 0PAL construction, this complex now consists of four interlocking seatainers.
Instruments currently located at the 0PAL site include a Millimeter Wave Cloud Radar (MMCR), the CANDAC Raman Lidar (CRL), a York University Tropospheric Ozone Lidar, a microwave radiometer and a Polar Atmospheric Emission Radiometer Spectrometer (P-AERI) and a sun/moon photometer. A starphotometer, housed in a nearby dome, and a sunphotometer are also located at this site to measure aerosol optical thickness. In addition, the NOAA SEARCH program has a High Spectral Resolution Lidar operating at 0PAL.
The Surface and Atmospheric Flux, Irradiance and Radiation Extension (SAFIRE) is located remote from all structures for measurements of the undisturbed terrain about 5km from the weather station.
Canadian effort that became known as the Joint Arctic Weather Stations. As American involvement ended, the 5 stations became the High Arctic Weather Stations. The 3 remaining stations are operated by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). In close proximity to the Eureka Weather Station are the 3 facilities of the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL). These are the Ridge Laboratory located approximately 15 km by road from Eureka, The Zero Altitude PEARL Auxiliary Laboratory (0PAL) located just north of Eureka, and the Surface and Atmospheric Flux IRradiance Extension.