The Aeroballistic Range Association, or ARA, was founded in 1961 as a network for operators of two-stage light-gas guns. The primary aim of the ARA was to focus research activities and exchange operating experience on those research launchers, which were novel facilities at that time. Later, the topics of interest broadened towards ballistic and shock physics research as well as all types of research accelerators and high-speed diagnostics required for this type of research.
In the beginning, ARA meetings were held twice a year. Since the 24th meeting in 1973, meetings have been held once a year. At the meetings, sensitive topics like incidents and accidents are discussed. The ARA is therefore an important platform for science and research, but also for the safe operation of the technology required for this kind of research.