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.



  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3

Active Instrument Locations

Facility Name Instrument Start Date
Southern Great Plains; Gulfstream 159 Aircraft 2016-03-23
Oliktok Point, Alaska; Gulfstream 159 Aircraft 2020-03-30
ACAPEX; Gulfstream 159 Aircraft 2020-03-30


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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.


Cecchini M, L Machado, M Andreae, S Martin, R Albrecht, P Artaxo, H Barbosa, S Borrmann, D Fütterer, T Jurkat, C Mahnke, A Minikin, S Molleker, M Pöhlker, U Pöschl, D Rosenfeld, C Voigt, B Wenzierl, and M Wendisch. 2017. "Sensitivities of Amazonian clouds to aerosols and updraft speed." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 17(16), 10.5194/acp-2017-89.

Fridlind A, X Li, D Wu, M van Lier-Walqui, A Ackerman, W Tao, G McFarquhar, W Wu, X Dong, J Wang, A Ryzhkov, P Zhang, M Poellot, A Neumann, and J Tomlinson. 2017. "Derivation of aerosol profiles for MC3E convection studies and use in simulations of the 20 May squall line case." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 17(9), 10.5194/acp-17-5947-2017.
Research Highlight


Kleinman LI, AJ Sedlacek, WP Arnott, PR Buseck, P Davidovits, JS Gaffney, ER Lewis, W Lin, H Moosmuller, TB Onasch, JE Shilling, J Wang, RJ Yokelson, and RA Zaveri. 2016. Biomass Burning Observation Project (BBOP) Final Campaign Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-15-083.


Schmid B, JM Tomlinson, JM Hubbe, JM Comstock, F Mei, D Chand, MS Pekour, CD Kluzek, E Andrews, SC Biraud, and GM McFarquhar. 2014. "The DOE ARM Aerial Facility." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 95(5), 10.1175/bams-d-13-00040.1.


Martin S. 2013. Observations and Modeling of the Green Ocean Amazon: Year-to-Year Differences. DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-13-009.

Shrivastava M, LK Berg, J Fast, R Easter, A Laskin, WI Gustafson, Y Liu, and CM Berkowitz. 2013. "Modeling aerosols and their interactions with shallow cumuli during the 2007 CHAPS field study." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 118(3), 10.1029/2012jd018218.
Research Highlight


Berkowitz CM, LL Berg, RA Zaveri, DJ Cziczo, A Zelenyuk, CJ Flynn, RA Ferrare, EI Kassianov, CA Hostetler, JD Fast, B Cairns, PJ Rasch, PB Russell, JE Shilling, and B Ervens. 2011. The Two Column Aerosol Project (TCAP) Science Plan. DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-11-017.

McFarquhar GM, S Ghan, J Verlinde, A Korolev, JW Strapp, B Schmid, JM Tomlinson, M Wolde, SD Brooks, D Cziczo, MK Dubey, JW Fan, C Flynn, I Gultepe, J Hubbe, MK Gilles, A Laskin, P Lawson, WR Leaitch, P Liu, XH Liu, D Lubin, C Mazzoleni, AM Macdonald, RC Moffet, H Morrison, M Ovchinnikov, MD Shupe, DD Turner, SC Xie, A Zelenyuk, K Bae, M Freer, and A Glen. 2011. "Indirect and Semi-direct Aerosol Campaign: The Impact of Arctic Aerosols on Clouds." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 92(2), 10.1175/2010bams2935.1.
Research Highlight

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