A brief history of DART

The DART project was initiated in August 2001, and in 2003, the Data Assimilation Research Section (DAReS) was officially formed at NSF NCAR. In 2004, the first officially supported version of DART was released. Consistent version control history is available back to 2005, making DART an extremely long-lived and well-supported software project. Since 2004, there have been more than a dozen releases. The first release, Easter, began the trend of naming the major releases after islands in alphabetical order in the following sequence:



Brief description


8 Mar 2004

Initial release


29 Apr 2004

Enhanced portability; support for CAM and WRF


12 Aug 2004

New observation modules


20 Dec 2004

New filtering algorithms


28 Feb 2005

New filtering algorithms

DA Workshop 2005

13 Jun 2005

Tutorial, observation preprocessing


20 Oct 2005

Huge expansion of real observation capability


23 Nov 2005

Huge expansion of real observation capability


20 Jun 2006

Observation-space adaptive inflation


02 Oct 2006

Updated scalable filter algorithm


12 Apr 2007

Vertical localization, extensive MPI testing


30 Jun 2011

New obs types, new diagnostics, new utilities


13 Dec 2013

Support for many new models, chemistry/aerosol types, new diagnostics, new utilities


15 May 2017

Native netCDF support, better scaling/performance

In September 2009, DART was featured on the cover of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS):


To access the issue, see the September 2009 issue here. To read the DART article directly see the article here.

On the Publications page there are over 40 example publications that use DART, although there are many additional publications using DART not listed. The seminal BAMS paper has over 400 citations according to Google Scholar. The core algorithms used in DART have also been cited many more times. For example, the core EAKF algorithm (Anderson 2001) used in DART has over 1500 citations according to Google scholar.