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Published June 1996 | Published
Journal Article Open

Radially Classified Aerosol Detector for Aircraft-Based Submicron Aerosol Measurements


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.

Additional Information

© 1996 American Meteorological Society Manuscript received April 27, 1995, in final form September 29, 1995 The authors are grateful for the help of the University of Washington Cloud and Aerosol research group for their assistance in integrating the RCAD into the C131a, with special thanks to Dean Hegg, Ron Ferek, Peter Hobbs, Jack Russell, and Don Spurgeon. The use of the laboratories of TSI, Inc., and the support of Fred Quant, Rick Holm, Maynard Havlicek, and Gil Sem were indispensable in constructing and calibrating the modified CPC. The financial support of the Office of Naval Research Grants N00014-93-1-0872 and N00014-94-1-0663 is gratefully acknowledged, both for development of the RCAD and the flights scheduled as part of the Monterey Area Ship Track (MAST) Experiment.

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