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Airborne Instrumentation for Aerosol Measurements

Environment: Trace Gas Monitoring

  1. Leopoldo Stefanutti1,
  2. Guido Di Donfrancesco2,
  3. Francesco Cairo3

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a0703.pub2

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Stefanutti, L., Di Donfrancesco, G. and Cairo, F. 2009. Airborne Instrumentation for Aerosol Measurements. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Environmental Research and Services-Srl, Firenze, Italy

  2. 2

    ENEA- ACS/Climoss, Frascati, Italy

  3. 3

    Istituto Scienze dell' Atmosfera e del Clima, Rome, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009


This article gives a description of airborne and balloon-borne instrumentation for the measurement of microphysical properties and the chemical composition of aerosol and cloud particles. Different techniques are described. In particular, the instrumentation is subdivided into two broad categories: remote sensing instrumentation and in situ instrumentation. In the first category are instrumentation like cloud RADARs (radio detection and ranging), LIDARs (light detection and ranging), backscatter sondes, limb, and occultation aerosol detection devices. They can determine the microphysical properties of the aerosols and, only with complex a priori assumptions, their chemical composition. Among the in situ instrumentation, for example, optical particle counters (OPC), condensation particle counters (CPC) determine the microphysical properties of aerosols, whereas their chemical composition is determined by means of mass spectrometers, and the counterflow virtual impactor (CVI) technique associated with tunable diode laser and Lyman-α spectrometers.


  • aerosol;
  • airborne instruments;
  • atmosphere