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LOAC: a small aerosol optical counter/sizer for ground-based and balloon measurements of the size distribution and nature of atmospheric particles - Part 1: Principle of measurements and instrument evaluation

Abstract : The study of aerosols in the troposphere and in the stratosphere is of major importance both for climate and air quality studies. Among the numerous instruments available, aerosol particles counters provide the size distribution in diameter range from few hundreds of nm to few tens of μm. Most of them are very sensitive to the nature of aerosols, and this can result in significant biases in the retrieved size distribution. We describe here a new versatile optical particle/sizer counter (OPC) named LOAC (Light Optical Aerosol Counter), which is light and compact enough to perform measurements not only at the surface but under all kinds of balloons in the troposphere and in the stratosphere. LOAC is an original OPC performing observations at two scattering angles. The first one is around 12°, and is almost insensitive to the nature of the particles; the second one is around 60° and is strongly sensitive to the refractive index of the particles. By combining measurement at the two angles, it is possible to retrieve accurately the size distribution and to estimate the nature of the dominant particles (droplets, carbonaceous, salts and mineral particles) in several size classes. This topology is based on calibration charts obtained in the laboratory. Several campaigns of cross-comparison of LOAC with other particle counting instruments and remote sensing photometers have been conducted to validate both the size distribution derived by LOAC and the retrieved particle number density. The topology of the aerosols has been validated in well-defined conditions including urban pollution, desert dust episodes, fog, and cloud. Comparison with reference aerosol mass monitoring instruments also shows that the LOAC measurements can be successfully converted to mass concentrations. All these tests indicate that no bias is present in the LOAC measurements and in the corresponding data processing.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 16, 2022 - 2:58:40 PM
Last modification on : Monday, May 16, 2022 - 8:20:16 AM
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Jean-Baptiste Renard, F. Dulac, Gwenaël Berthet, T. Lurton, D. Vignelles, et al.. LOAC: a small aerosol optical counter/sizer for ground-based and balloon measurements of the size distribution and nature of atmospheric particles - Part 1: Principle of measurements and instrument evaluation. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions, Copernicus Publications / European Geosciences Union 2015, 8, pp.9993-10056. ⟨10.5194/amtd-8-9993-2015⟩. ⟨insu-03577053⟩

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