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  • Author or Editor: John H. Seinfeld x
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Patrick Y. Chuang
,
Athanasios Nenes
,
James N. Smith
,
Richard C. Flagan
, and
John H. Seinfeld

Abstract

A new instrument for measuring cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) on board small aircraft is described. Small aircraft are attractive mainly because they are less costly, but they require instruments that are designed for minimum weight, volume, and power consumption; that are robust; and that are capable of autonomous operation and making measurements at a frequency appropriate for aircraft speeds. The instrument design combines the streamwise gradient technique previously reported by J. G. Hudson, and the alternating gradient condensation nuclei counter described by W. A. Hoppel et al. Field and laboratory measurements, and modeling studies show that this combination exhibits poor sensitivity for the measurement of CCN spectra; for the climatically important range of critical supersaturations, 0.03%–1%, the measured variable, droplet diameter, varies only by 30%. The ability to resolve CCN spectra using this method is therefore in question. Studies of this instrument in a fixed supersaturation mode show that it can measure CCN at a single supersaturation in the range of 0.1%–2%. Calibration and testing of the instrument in this mode is described. The instrument is capable of making accurate, high-frequency (>0.1 Hz) measurements of CCN at a fixed supersaturation, while satisfying the constraints for small aircraft.

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Lynn M. Russell
,
Shou-Hua Zhang
,
Richard C. Flagan
,
John H. Seinfeld
,
Mark R. Stolzenburg
, and
Robert Caldow

Abstract

A radially classified aerosol detector (RCAD) for fast characterization of fine particle size distributions aboard aircraft has been designed and implemented. The measurement system includes a radial differential mobility analyzer and a high-flow, high-efficiency condensation nuclei counter based on modifications to a commercial model (TST, model 3010). Variations in pressure encountered during changes in altitude in flight are compensated by feedback control of volumetric flow rates with a damped proportional control algorithm. Sampling resolution is optimized with the use of an automated dual-bag sampling system. This new system has been tested aboard the University of Washington Cl31a research aircraft to demonstrate its in-flight performance capabilities. The system was used to make measurements of aerosol, providing observations of the spatial variability within the cloud-topped boundary layer off the coast of Monterey, California.

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