University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6579–6599
Number of pages21
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2019


A low-cost miniaturized particle counter has been developed by The University of Hertfordshire (UH) for the measurement of aerosol and droplet concentrations and size distributions. The Universal Cloud and Aerosol Sounding System (UCASS) is an optical particle counter (OPC), which uses wide-angle elastic light scattering for the high-precision sizing of fluid-borne particulates. The UCASS has up to 16 configurable size bins, capable of sizing particles in the range 0.4–40 µm in diameter. Unlike traditional particle counters, the UCASS is an open-geometry system that relies on an external air flow. Therefore, the instrument is suited for use as part of a dropsonde, balloon-borne sounding system, as part of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or on any measurement platform with a known air flow. Data can be logged autonomously using an on-board SD card, or the device can be interfaced with commercially available meteorological sondes to transmit data in real time. The device has been deployed on various research platforms to take measurements of both droplets and dry aerosol particles. Comparative results with co-located instrumentation in both laboratory and field settings show good agreement for the sizing and counting ability of the UCASS.


© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. An earlier version of this work was published in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions:

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