ccn-air > Cloud Condensation Nuclei Particle Counter aboard AircraftInstrument Type(s) > Baseline • Guest

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.

ARM deploys both ground and airborne versions of this instrument. The AAF only operates the two-column version of the CCN. This handbook covers only the airborne instrument; the ground version is covered by DOE/SC-ARM-TR-168. The main differences between the two are that the airborne CCN operates at fixed supersaturation and adapts thermal efficiency calculation in the data process.

Primary Measurements


  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3


Kulkarni G, F Mei, J Shilling, J Wang, R Reveggino, C Flynn, A Zelenyuk, and J Fast. 2023. "Cloud Condensation Nuclei Closure Study Using Airborne Measurements over the Southern Great Plains." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, , e2022JD037964, 10.1029/2022JD037964. ACCEPTED.


Zhao B, J Fast, M Shrivastava, N Donahue, Y Gao, J Shilling, Y Liu, R Zaveri, B Gaudet, S Wang, J Wang, Z Li, and J Fan. 2022. "Formation Process of Particles and Cloud Condensation Nuclei Over the Amazon Rainforest: The Role of Local and Remote New‚ÄźParticle Formation." Geophysical Research Letters, 49(22), e2022GL100940, 10.1029/2022GL100940.

Fast J, D Bell, G Kulkarni, J Liu, F Mei, G Saliba, J Shilling, K Suski, J Tomlinson, J Wang, R Zaveri, and A Zelenyuk. 2022. "Using aircraft measurements to characterize subgrid-scale variability of aerosol properties near the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains site." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 22(17), 10.5194/acp-22-11217-2022.
Research Highlight

Zheng X, X Dong, D Ward, B Xi, P Wu, and Y Wang. 2022. "Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation Interactions in a Closed-cell and Non-homogenous MBL Stratocumulus Cloud." Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 39, 10.1007/s00376-022-2013-6.

Pekour MS and M Newburn. 2022. Aerosol Inlets for a Mid-Sized Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS). Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-277. 10.2172/1863934.

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