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The Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division (ATDD) is one of several field divisions of NOAA's Air Resources Laboratory, headquartered in Silver Spring, MD (see Division Hierarchy). ATDD began as a Weather Bureau Special Projects research office established in 1948 under Atomic Energy Commission sponsorship in Oak Ridge, TN, and still serves as a source of meteorological information and expertise for the U. S. Department of Energy and its contractors in Oak Ridge. However, ATDD's main function is to perform air quality and climate-related research directed toward issues of national and global importance. Emphasis is on the lower atmosphere. Air quality objectives are to develop better methods for predicting transport, dispersion, and air-surface exchange of air pollutants; to extend the applicability of these methods to increasingly realistic situations including nighttime cases, complex terrain, and non-uniform surfaces; and to test the methods against data to determine the confidence limits and uncertainties which apply. Climate objectives include reference-grade measurement of climate change and related physical and chemical processes. ATDD has a permanent staff of 30 (primarily Federal and contract), including thirteen scientists, eight engineers, six scientific and technical support staff, and three administrative support staff. We frequently host graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and international visitors for varying intervals. Research is performed with the aid of personnel of the Independent Environmental Assessment and Verification (IEAV) division of Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), and in close collaboration with scientists and engineers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and numerous other organizations, government agencies, universities, and private research institutions.

ATDD is located at 456 South Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, with a permanent research station about five miles away, within Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Walker Branch Watershed forested experimental area. Important on-site facilities include a wind tunnel laboratory, machine shop, electronics lab, and chemical instruments lab (all with design and fabrication capabilities), and a specialized library.

Oak Ridge Map


Depart Knoxville (McGhee-Tyson) Airport. Head north on U.S. route 129 (“Alcoa Highway”) toward Knoxville and I-40.

Take I-40 (right exit off Alcoa Highway, just after West Chevrolet). Follow I-40 until it ends at Pellissippi Parkway. You know you are getting near as you cross over Kingston Pike (Calhoun’s Restaurant on right). Travel on, you’ll cross over I-40, approximately 1/3 mile beyond is the Pellissippi Parkway. It merges onto Pellissippi Parkway (State Route 162).

Travel ~ north-west toward Oak Ridge on State Route 162. This is NOT a limited access highway; watch out for entering cars and state troopers.

Just beyond the top of a long hill on the Pellissippi, the road forks. Take the left fork (two lanes go left), state rout 62 WEST, to Oak Ridge. Slow down; watch for merging traffic from the right.

Travel through the small Solway business area; crow over the river on the Solway bridge. Stay on route 62 WEST, toward Oak Ridge.

You will pass the Oak Ridge cemetery on your right (looks like an open park–no headstones). Stay on route 62 WEST, do not take any exits. This four lane road leads into the city of Oak Ridge. Follow the signs for Oak Ridge and for the American Museum of Science and Energy.

Descend a long grade, past the Boeing and EG & G plants. You are now on S. Illinois Avenue. There is a traffic light at Lafayette Drive, just after you cross the railroad tracks. Continue through the light.

ATDD is on the left (456 S. Illinois Avenue), adjacent to the Ford dealership. The Comfort Inn is down the block on the right, at the corner of S. Illinois and 433 Rutgers Ave., across from McDonald’s; just before the traffic light, turn right onto Rutgers. The Jameson Inn is on Rutgers Ave. as well. It is on the left past Wal-Mart and Oak Ridge Mall. The Garden Plaza Hotel is at 215 S. Illinois, about ½ mile ahead. Go through the three traffic lights; first, near McDonald’s (at Rutgers Ave.), next is at Oak Ridge Mall entrance, and third near Books A Million (at Tulane Ave.); the hotel is on your right.

There are numerous restaurants along this stretch (now known as morsel mile). Burchfield’s (in the Garden Plaza) is usually good. Ruby Tuesday’s has good sandwiches, salads, desserts. Sagebrush Saloon has reasonably good steaks. Fazoli’s (fast food Italian), Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread (bagels), Taco Bell, Subway, Buddy’s BBQ, Baskin-Robbins (ice cream) and Red Lobster are also available. For burger lovers, there are McDonald’s and Hardee’s. Shoney’s is essentially a “Big Boy” - it has a good breakfast buffet. Billy’s Time-Out Deli (near Shoney’s) is a favorite ATDD lunch spot. Near Sears, On Tulane Avenue, is Ryan’s, a steak house with a terrific salad bar. Kroger’s (in back of Sagebrush) has a good deli and bakery. Arby’s and Captain D’s are a bit further north on Illinois Avenue.

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