Articles | Volume 9, issue 8
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 3673–3686, 2016

Special issue: CHemistry and AeRosols Mediterranean EXperiments (ChArMEx)...

Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 3673–3686, 2016

Research article 09 Aug 2016

Research article | 09 Aug 2016

LOAC: a small aerosol optical counter/sizer for ground-based and balloon measurements of the size distribution and nature of atmospheric particles – Part 2: First results from balloon and unmanned aerial vehicle flights

Jean-Baptiste Renard1, François Dulac2, Gwenaël Berthet1, Thibaut Lurton1, Damien Vignelles1, Fabrice Jégou1, Thierry Tonnelier3, Matthieu Jeannot1, Benoit Couté1, Rony Akiki3, Nicolas Verdier5, Marc Mallet6, François Gensdarmes7, Patrick Charpentier8, Samuel Mesmin8, Vincent Duverger1, Jean-Charles Dupont9, Thierry Elias10, Vincent Crenn2, Jean Sciare2, Paul Zieger11, Matthew Salter11, Tjarda Roberts1, Jérôme Giacomoni4, Matthieu Gobbi4, Eric Hamonou2, Haraldur Olafsson12, Pavla Dagsson-Waldhauserova12,13, Claude Camy-Peyret14, Christophe Mazel15, Thierry Décamps15, Martin Piringer16, Jérémy Surcin1, and Daniel Daugeron17 Jean-Baptiste Renard et al.
  • 1LPC2E-CNRS/Université d'Orléans, 3A avenue de la recherche scientifique, 45071 Orléans, France
  • 2LSCE-CEA/IPSL/Université Paris Saclay, CEA Saclay 701, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 3Environnement-SA, 111 boulevard Robespierre, BP 4513, 78304, Poissy, France
  • 4Groupe Aerophile, 106 avenue Felix Faure, 75015 Paris, France
  • 5Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), DCT/BL/NB, 18 avenue Edouard Belin, 31401 Toulouse CEDEX 9, France
  • 6Laboratoire d'Aérologie/Université Paul Sabatier, 14 avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
  • 7Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), PSN-RES, SCA, Gif-sur-Yvette, 91192, France
  • 8MeteoModem, Rue de Bessonville, 77760 Ury, France
  • 9LMD/IPSL – Ecole Polytechnique, Route de Saclay, 91128 Palaiseau Cedex, France
  • 10HYGEOS/LMD/IPSL – Ecole Polytechnique – Route de Saclay, 91128 Palaiseau CEDEX, France
  • 11Stockholm University Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Svante Arrhenius väg 8, 11418 Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 12University of Iceland and Icelandic Meteorological Office, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 13Agricultural University of Iceland, Keldnaholt, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 14IPSL (UPMC/UVSQ), 4 place Jussieu, Boîte 101, 75252 Paris CEDEX 05, France
  • 15Fly-n-Sense, 25 rue Marcel Issartier, 33700 Mérignac, France
  • 16Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Vienna, Austria
  • 17Université d'Auvergne/LPC2E, Paul Constans, Rue Christophe Thivrier, BP 415, 03107 Montluçon CEDEX, France

Abstract. In the companion (Part I) paper, we have described and evaluated a new versatile optical particle counter/sizer named LOAC (Light Optical Aerosol Counter), based on scattering measurements at angles of 12 and 60°. That allows for some typology identification of particles (droplets, carbonaceous, salts, and mineral dust) in addition to size-segregated counting in a large diameter range from 0.2 µm up to possibly more than 100 µm depending on sampling conditions (Renard et al., 2016). Its capabilities overpass those of preceding optical particle counters (OPCs) allowing the characterization of all kind of aerosols from submicronic-sized absorbing carbonaceous particles in polluted air to very coarse particles (> 10–20 µm in diameter) in desert dust plumes or fog and clouds. LOAC's light and compact design allows measurements under all kinds of balloons, on-board unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and at ground level. We illustrate here the first LOAC airborne results obtained from a UAV and a variety of scientific balloons. The UAV was deployed in a peri-urban environment near Bordeaux in France. Balloon operations include (i) tethered balloons deployed in urban environments in Vienna (Austria) and Paris (France), (ii) pressurized balloons drifting in the lower troposphere over the western Mediterranean (during the Chemistry-Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment – ChArMEx campaigns), (iii) meteorological sounding balloons launched in the western Mediterranean region (ChArMEx) and from Aire-sur-l'Adour in south-western France (VOLTAIRE-LOAC campaign). More focus is put on measurements performed in the Mediterranean during (ChArMEx) and especially during African dust transport events to illustrate the original capability of balloon-borne LOAC to monitor in situ coarse mineral dust particles. In particular, LOAC has detected unexpected large particles in desert sand plumes.

Short summary
We illustrate the first Light Optical Aerosol Counter (LOAC) airborne results obtained from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and a variety of scientific balloons: tethered balloons deployed in urban environments, pressurized balloons drifting in the lower troposphere over the western Mediterranean during the Chemistry-Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment (ChArMEx), and meteorological sounding balloons launched in the western Mediterranean region and in the south-west of France.