cpc-air: Condensation particle counter aboard an airborne platform

The condensation particle counter (CPC) measures sub-micron aerosol particle number concentration by condensing fluid onto particles and causing them to grow to sizes that are easily detectable by optical scattering. The condensing liquid is typically an alcohol (e.g., butanol) or water.

Depending on the CPC type, typical CPC instruments can count particles with sizes that range from 3 to 3000 nanometers (ultrafine CPC) or from 10 to 3000 nanometers (fine CPC).



  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3


Mei F, J Wang, J Comstock, R Weigel, M Krämer, C Mahnke, J Shilling, J Schneider, C Schulz, C Long, M Wendisch, L Machado, B Schmid, T Krisna, M Pekour, J Hubbe, A Giez, B Weinzierl, M Zoeger, M Pöhlker, H Schlager, M Cecchini, M Andreae, S Martin, S de Sá, J Fan, J Tomlinson, S Springston, U Pöschl, P Artaxo, C Pöhlker, T Klimach, A Minikin, A Afchine, and S Borrmann. 2020. "Comparison of aircraft measurements during GoAmazon2014/5 and ACRIDICON-CHUVA." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 13(2), 10.5194/amt-13-661-2020.


Kuang C and F Mei. 2019. Condensation Particle Counter (CPC) Instrument Handbook - Airborne Version. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-227.

Yeom J, S Yum, F Mei, B Schmid, J Comstock, L Machado, and M Cecchini. 2019. "Impact of secondary droplet activation on the contrasting cloud microphysical relationships during the wet and dry seasons in the Amazon." Atmospheric Research, , 10.1016/j.atmosres.2019.104648. ONLINE.


Maahn M, G de Boer, J Creamean, G Feingold, G McFarquhar, W Wu, and F Mei. 2017. "The observed influence of local anthropogenic pollution on northern Alaskan cloud properties." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 17(23), doi:10.5194/acp-17-14709-2017.
Research Highlight

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.


Jensen M, S Giangrande, and P Kollias. 2014. The Mid-latitude Continental Convective Clouds (MC3E) Experiment Final Campaign Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, U.S. DOE, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research. DOE/SC-ARM-14-012.


Cahill JF, K Suski, JH Seinfeld, RA Zaveri, and KA Prather. 2012. "The mixing state of carbonaceous aerosol particles in Northern and Southern California measured during CARES and CalNex 2010." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12(22), 10.5194/acp-12-10989-2012.
Research Highlight

Vogelmann A. 2012. RACORO Data Guide. DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-10-031.1.


Zelenyuk A, D Imre, R Earle, A Korolev, R Leaitch, P Liu, AM Macdonald, M Ovchinnikov, and W Strapp. 2010. " In Situ Characterization of Cloud Condensation Nuclei, Interstitial, and Background Particles Using the Single Particle Mass Spectrometer, SPLAT II ." Analytical Chemistry, 82(19), 10.1021/ac1013892.


Wang J, Y Lee, PH Daum, J Jayne, and ML Alexander. 2008. "Effects of aerosol organics on cloud condensation nucleus (CCN) concentration and first indirect aerosol effect." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 8(21), 10.5194/acp-8-6325-2008.

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