What is TMF?

Table Mountain Facility (TMF) is a unique, remote scientific and engineering facility that produces innovative results. TMF is a Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) asset and is classified as a Remote Site. Our facility provides an ideal location for many research projects, including Astronomy, LIDAR, and projects for universities and colleges.


Where is TMF located?

TMF is located near the town of Wrightwood, CA, in the Angeles National Forest operating on a memorandum of understanding with the United States Forest Service, approximately 1.5 hours drive from the main JPL lab in Pasadena.

Physical Address:
JPL Table Mountain Facility
24490  Table Mountain Road
Wrightwood, CA 92397

Mailing Address:
JPL Table Mountain Facility

Box 367
Wrightwood, CA 92397

Telephone: (760)249-3650
Fax: (760)249-5392
Email: Site Manager

When is TMF open?

TMF is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Inclement weather and road conditions do sometimes dictate when it is safe for science customers to travel to and from the facility.

Can anyone do experiments or projects at TMF?

No. If a project that is not NASA funded or part of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is interested in doing research at TMF they must have special permission granted from NASA to use a NASA facility. This is accomplished by first having a JPL sponsor submit a memo identifying: who, what, when, where, and why to the Contracts Management Office for NASA approval. If NASA grants their approval a Facilities Use Request is issued by JPL.

How many people work there?

TMF employs a full time operations staff, including three full time JPL employees, and six contractor personnel. The various full time science projects on site such as LIDAR, ACRIMSAT, FTUVS, Astronomy, etc. employ approximately 12 full time JPL employees and a varying number of part time employees. Other science projects have personnel coming and going as they perform their research.

Why does JPL have a facility in the mountains?

The innovative results of many of our projects are possible due to TMF's remote location, altitude, climate, and lack of light contamination in the dark sky. TMF is historically one of the best places in the U.S. for cloudless night time skies, essential for astronomy and atmospheric remote sensing.

Do you give tours?

Tours are uncommon at TMF because it is a working research and development center. TMF does not have a visitor's center to provide this service, and since the scientists are the only ones cognizant of their instruments and experiments, special arrangements with scientists must be made in advance for special situations.

How is TMF funded?

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). It is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and managed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

The Table Mountain Facility (TMF) is a JPL asset and is classified as a Remote Site. It is operated for the Chief Scientist by the Earth and Space Sciences Division (Div 32). Approximately 80% funding for TMF is provided by the Science and Technology Management Committee (STMC); when working on direct projects or tasks, personnel charge to those projects. 

The remaining 20% is funded by the remote site user fees from projects working at TMF and using office or building space for 60 days or more, and by the dormitory fees that are charged for overnight science customers using the dormitory.