The aerosols study in the troposphere and stratosphere is of major importance for the study of climate and the air quality. Among the numerous instruments available, the state of the art is made up of aerosol particle counters providing distribution in diameters, yet most of them are very sensitive to the nature of aerosols introducing some biases in the retrieved size distribution. The LOAC is the result of a Private and public collaboration between the CRNS-LCP2E and Environment SA, Meteomodem is in charge of the distribution. The LOAC is an instrument compact and robust enough to be used at surface or launched under a balloon or even a UAV. This new original and versatile aerosol counting instrument doesn’t uses any lenses only a laser beam ant two scattering measurement angles, respectively at 12 and 60 ° enabling to determine the concentration of aerosols (numbers of aerosols per cm3) for 19 size classes between 0.2 and 100 micrometers . The combination of the two measurement angles allows also to determine the typology of the aerosols according to 4 main families of particles (Carbons, Droplets, salt and Minerals. The instrument can be used to document the physical properties of aerosols in the lower and middle atmosphere during specific events like pollution, transported sands, volcanic ashes, and for long-term monitoring.
LOAC is already involved in several research programs of atmospheric studies (determination of concentration and nature of tropospheric and stratospheric aerosols). In particular, LOAC has recently provided accurate measurements of the size distribution of Sahara sands transported over Mediterranean Sea. He also has been rewarded during the “Les respirations 2015 préCOP21”.
Characteristics of the sensor