ccn: Cloud Condensation Nuclei Particle Counter

The cloud condensation nuclei counter measures the concentration of aerosol particles by drawing an air sample through a column with thermodynamically unstable supersaturated water vapor that can condense onto aerosol particles. Particles that are activated, i.e. grown larger in the process, are counted and sized by an Optical Particle Counter (OPC). In this way the CCN measures activated ambient aerosol particle number concentration as a function of supersaturation.

The ARM Facility operates both one- and two-column versions of the CCN.



  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3

Related Publications


Mahish M, DR Collins, A Jefferson, PJ Marinescu, EJ Levin, PJ DeMott, and SM Kreidenweis. 2016. Seasonal and Interannual Variations in Aerosol Characteristics at the ARM Southern Great Plains Site. Presented at Annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) Meeting. Seattle, WA.

Saleeby SM, SC van den Heever, PJ Marinescu, SM Kreidenweis, and PJ DeMott. 2016. "Aerosol effects on the anvil characteristics of mesoscale convective systems." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121(18), 10.1002/2016JD025082. ONLINE.

Marinescu PJ, SC van den Heever, SM Saleeby, and SM Kreidenweis. 2016. "The microphysical contributions to and evolution of latent heating profiles in two MC3E MCSs." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121(13), 10.1002/2016JD024762.

Uin J. 2016. Cloud Condensation Nuclei Counter Instrument Handbook. Ed. by Robert Stafford, DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-168.


Painemal D, P Minnis, and ML Nordeen. 2015. "Aerosol variability, synoptic-scale processes, and their link to the cloud microphysics over the northeast Pacific during MAGIC." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 120(10), 10.1002/2015JD023175.

Mechem DB, SE Giangrande, CS Wittman, P Borque, T Toto, and P Kollias. 2015. "Insights from modeling and observational evaluation of a precipitating continental cumulus event observed during the Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment field campaign." Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, 120(5), doi:10.1002/2014JD022255.


Rosenfeld D, B Fischman, Y Zheng, T Goren, and D Giguzin. 2014. "Combined satellite and radar retrievals of drop concentration and CCN at convective cloud base." Geophysical Research Letters, 41(9), GL059453, 10.1002/2014GL059453.

Dong X, B Xi, A Kennedy, P Minnis, and R Wood. 2014. "A 19-month record of marine aerosol-cloud-radiation properties derived from DOE ARM AMF deployment at the Azores: Part I: Cloud fraction and single-layered MBL cloud properties." Journal of Climate, 27(10), 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00553.1.

Mann JA, JC Chiu, RJ Hogan, EJ O'Connor, TS L'Ecuyer, TH Stein, and A Jefferson. 2014. "Aerosol impacts on drizzle properties in warm clouds from ARM Mobile Facility maritime and continental deployments." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 119(7), 10.1002/2013JD021339.


Mei F and J Wang. 2013. Kinetics of CCN Activation and Droplet Growth Observed in Recent Field Campaigns. Presented at 93th Annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) Meeting. Austin, TX.

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