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 Derived Measurements


  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3


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.


Tomlin J, K Jankowski, D Veghte, S China, P Wang, M Fraund, J Weis, G Zheng, Y Wang, F Rivera-Adorno, S Raveh-Rubin, D Knopf, J Wang, M Gilles, R Moffet, and A Laskin. 2021. "Impact of dry intrusion events on the composition and mixing state of particles during the winter Aerosol and Cloud Experiment in the Eastern North Atlantic (ACE-ENA)." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21(24), 10.5194/acp-21-18123-2021.
Research Highlight

Nah T, J Yang, J Wang, A Sullivan, and R Weber. 2021. "Fine Aerosol Acidity and Water during Summer in the Eastern North Atlantic." Atmosphere, 12(8), 10.3390/atmos12081040.


Junghenn Noyes K, R Kahn, A Sedlacek, L Kleinman, J Limbacher, and Z Li. 2020. "Wildfire Smoke Particle Properties and Evolution, from Space-Based Multi-Angle Imaging." Remote Sensing, 12(5), 10.3390/rs12050769.


Uin J and F Mei. 2019. Cloud Condensation Nuclei Particle Counter Instrument Handbook - Airborne Version. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-225. 10.2172/1562677.

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