Disclaimer: This material is being kept online for historical purposes. Though accurate at the time of publication, it is no longer being updated. The page may contain broken links or outdated information, and parts may not function in current web browsers. Visit https://espo.nasa.gov for information about our current projects.


Axial Cyclone Cloud-water Collector

The AC3 was designed at NASA Langley inspired by a previous Straub and Collett (2004) version. The probe samples in-situ cloud water by separating droplets from the main airflow.  This is accomplished by imparting swirl on an axial flow following an in-line stator, and collecting droplets that have impacted on the probes outer walls. Cloud-water is then transferred into the aircraft cabin using teflon tubing and manually collected into vials. Cloud-water can then be analyzed by a number of laboratory analytical techniques including ion-chromatography, pH electrodes, or total organic content. The probe utilizes a shutter to inhibit sample contamination by aerosols.    

Instrument Type: 
C-130 - WFF, P-3 Orion - WFF, HU-25 Falcon - LaRC
Point(s) of Contact: 

Langley Cloud Probes

The LARGE group operates a suite of probes to measure in-situ cloud microphysical properties. Probes are typically mounted at an under-wing or wing-tip position in unperturbed air. The package of probes can be tailored to specific science objectives or mounting-point availability considerations. The following probes are available:

CAPS (Cloud, Aerosol, Precipitation Spectrometer), Droplet Measurement Technologies.  The CAPS contains individual sensors.  The CAS (Cloud Aerosol Spectrometer) measures size distributions of clouds and aerosols between 0.5-50µm diameter using forward-scattered light intensity from a 658nm laser. Response is calibrated with glass beads. The CIP (Cloud Imaging Spectrometer) measures size distributions of droplet and precipitation particles between 15-150µm diameter recording shadows on an optical array. The CIP is calibrated using a spinning disk. A hotwire is also used to measure total liquid-water-content. Each probe utilizes a local measurment of airspeed, temperature, and static pressure for quantification and has de-icing capability.
CDP (Cloud Droplet Probe), Droplet Measurement Technologies. The CDP measures droplet and aerosol size distributions between 2-50µm diameter using forward-scattering from a 658nm laser.  The probe is calibrated with glass beads and has de-icing capability.
WCM-2000 (Science Engineering Associates).  Measures Liquid Water Content (LWC) using two independent hotwire elements, Total Water Content (TWC) using a scoop sensor, and an element oriented parallel with the airstream as a control to establish the background response at that specific airspeed, temperature, and pressure.  Ice Water Content (IWC) is calculated as the difference between TWC and LWC. Each element operates by maintaining a constant temperature, and the current necessary to maintain that temperature is related directly with water content.  

Instrument Type: 
DC-8 - AFRC, P-3 Orion - WFF, C-130 - WFF, HU-25 Falcon - LaRC
Point(s) of Contact: 

Langley Aerosol Mass Spectrometer

Aerodyne High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) operated by the Langley Aerosol Research Group Experiment (LARGE).  Provides fast-response non-refractory submicron aerosol mass concentrations (e.g., organics, sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, and chloride) and tracer m/z fragments (e.g., m/z44, m/z55, etc.).   

Instrument Type: 
DC-8 - AFRC, P-3 Orion - WFF, HU-25 Falcon - LaRC, C-130 - WFF
Point(s) of Contact: 

Langley Aerosol Research Group Experiment

Langley Aerosol Research Group Experiment (LARGE).  The "classic" suite of instrumenation measures in-situ aerosol micrphysical and optical properties. The package can be tailored for specific science objectives and to operate on a variety of aircraft. Depending on the aircraft, measurments are made from either a shrouded single-diffuser "Clarke" inlet, from a BMI (Brechtel Manufacturing Inc.) isokinetic inlet, or from a HIML inlet. Primary measurements include:

1.) total and non-volatile particle concentrations (3nm and 10nm nominal size cuts),
2.) dry size distributions from 3nm to 5µm diameter using a combination of mobilty-optical-aerodynamic sizing techniques,
3.) dry and humidified scattering coefficients (at 450, 550, and 700nm wavelength), and
4.) dry absorption coefficients (470, 532, and 670nm wavelength). 

LARGE derived products include particle size statistics (integrated number, surface area, and volume concentrations for ultrafine, accumulation, and coarse modes), dry and ambient aerosol extinction coefficients, single scattering albedo, angstrom exponent coefficients, and scattering hygroscopicity parameter f(RH).

DC-8 - AFRC, C-130 - WFF, P-3 Orion - WFF, HU-25 Falcon - LaRC, King Air B-200 - LaRC
Point(s) of Contact: 

Continuous Flow Streamwise Thermal Gradient CCN Counter

Developed by Droplet Measurement Technologies, the CFSTGC is based on a concept by Roberts and Nenes [2005]. The instrument counts the fraction of aerosol particles that become droplets when exposed to a given water vapor supersaturation (RH > 100%).

As with all CCN counters, a temperature gradient is applied to produce a supersaturation of water vapor. However, the mechanism for generating supersaturation is not the same for all CCN counters. For example, for continuous flow parallel plate diffusion chambers, the temperature gradient is perpendicular to the flow, and supersaturation is a result of the nonlinear dependence of vapor pressure upon temperature. The same mechanism applies for static diffusion cloud chambers, where there is no flow at all.

However, as the name implies, for the Continuous Flow Streamwise Thermal Gradient CCN Counter, the temperature gradient is in the streamwise direction (maintained by thermoelectric coolers). In this case, supersaturation results as a consequence of the greater rate of mass transfer over heat transfer.

With laminar flow, heat and water vapor are transferred to the centerline of the column from the walls only by diffusion.

Since molecular diffusivity is greater than thermal diffusivity, the distance downstream that a water molecule travels before reaching the centerline is less than the distance the heat travels downstream before reaching the centerline. If you pick a point at the centerline, the heat originated from a greater distance upstream than the water vapor.

There are four facts that are necessary to explain how supersaturation is generated within the CFSTGC:

1) Assuming that the inner surface of the column is saturated with water vapor at all points, since the temperature is greater at point B than at point A, the water vapor partial pressure is also greater at point B than at point A.

2) The actual partial pressure of water vapor at point C is equal to the partial pressure of water vapor at point B.

3) However, since the temperature at point C is the same as at point A, the equilibrium water vapor pressure at point C is equal to the water vapor partial pressure at point A.

4) The saturation ratio is the ratio between the actual partial pressure of water vapor and the equilibrium vapor pressure. This is equivalent to the partial pressure at point B divided by the partial pressure at point A, which is always greater than one. Thus supersaturation is generated through a dynamic equilibrium.

Instrument Type: 
Balloon, P-3 Orion - WFF, C-130 - WFF, DC-8 - AFRC, HU-25 Falcon - LaRC, C-130H - WFF
Point(s) of Contact: 
Subscribe to RSS - HU-25 Falcon - LaRC