Aerosol Properties & Processes: Measurements

Aerosol properties and processes research relies on measurements of the chemical, physical, and optical properties of aerosol particles from aircraft, ships, and ground sites as well as in the laboratory. By combining these with gas-phase and other measurements, we learn about the sources, sinks, and radiative properties of these particles.


The NOAA WP-3D is used in many of our field campaigns, and group participating field projects have used the NOAA R/V Ronald H. Brown. Data archived from our major NOAA field campaigns, with instruments on aircraft and ship research platforms, are available with the Tropospheric Chemistry research group (Collaborative Field Campaigns):

Campaign Season All Platforms Location Purpose
FIREX-AQ 2019 Summer NOAA Twin Otter western US Understand impact of North American fire emissions on air quality.
FIREX FireLab 2016 Fall USDA Fire Lab western US Understand impact of North American fire emissions on air quality.
SONGNEX 2015 Spring NOAA WP-3D western US Study emissions of western US oil and shale gas basins.
SENEX 2013 Summer NOAA WP-3D Nashville, TN Study interactions between natural and anthropogenic emissions and affects on climate change and air quality.
NACHTT 2011 Winter Ground site Erie, CO Measurements of halogens in the wintertime.
Gulf 2010 Summer NOAA WP-3D Gulf of Mexico Survey Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
CalNex 2010 Spring - Summer NOAA WP-3D, R/V Atlantis, NOAA Twin Otter, Ground site Ontario, CA Study air quality and climate change.
ARCPAC 2008 Spring NOAA WP-3D Fairbanks, AK Study aerosols in the Arctic.
TexAQS 2006 Summer NOAA WP-3D, NOAA R/V RHB, NOAA Twin Otter Houston, TX Texas Air Quality Study
NEAQS-ITCT 2004 Summer NOAA WP-3D, NOAA R/V RHB, Ground site eastern US Study emissions transport and mixing and aerosols.
NEAQS 2002 Spring NOAA R/V RHB eastern US Study air quality prediction and monitoring.
ITCT 2002 Spring NOAA WP-3D, Ground site western US Study transport and chemical processing of pollution.
TexAQS 2000 Summer NCAR Electra, Ground site Houston, TX Study formation and transport of air pollutants.
SOS 1999 Summer NOAA WP-3D, Ground site Nashville, TN Study distribution and production of fine aerosols and ozone.

Field Campaign Data archived by NCAR/UCAR

Data from multiagency field campaigns led by NCAR/UCAR are available in the NCAR/UCAR EOL Data Archive:

Campaign Dates Platform Location Study
DC3 May - Jun 2012 NASA DC-8 Salina, KS Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry project

Field Campaign Data archived by NASA

Instruments have also flown on the NASA WB-57 and the NASA DC-8. Data from multiagency field campaigns led or co-sponsored by NASA are available in the NASA ESPO Data Archive:

Campaign Dates Platform Location Study
SABRE Feb 2022 test flights
Winter 2023,
Summer 2024,
Summer 2025
NASA WB-57 global Stratospheric Aerosol processes, Budget and Radiative Effects
ACCLIP Aug 2021 test flights
Summer 2022
NASA WB-57 South Korea Asian Summer Monsoon Chemical & CLimate Impact Project
FIREX-AQ Summer 2019 NASA DC-8 western US Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality
ATom Summer 2016,
Winter 2017,
Fall 2017,
Spring 2018
NASA DC-8 global Atmospheric Tomography Mission
SEAC4RS Aug - Sept 2013 NASA DC-8 Houston, TX Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys
MACPEX Mar - Apr 2011 NASA WB-57 Houston, TX Mid-latitude Airborne Cirrus Properties Experiment
TC4 Jun - Aug 2007 NASA DC-8 Costa Rica and Panama Tropical Composition, Cloud and Climate Coupling
CRAVE Dec 2005 - Mar 2006 NASA WB-57 Costa Rica Costa Rica Aura Validation Experiment
Pre-AVE Jan - Feb 2004 NASA WB-57 Houston, TX and Costa Rica Pre Aura Validation Experiment
CRYSTAL-FACE May - Aug 2002 NASA WB-57 Key West, FL Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers - Florida Area Cirrus Experiment
ACCENT Mar 1999 - Sept 2000 NASA WB-57 Houston, TX Atmospheric Chemistry of Combustion Emissions Near the Tropopause
WAM Mar - May 1998 NASA WB-57 Houston, TX WB-57F Aerosol Mission

Additional Data Sets

Froyd, K.D., P. Yu, G.P. Schill, C.A. Brock, A. Kupc, C.J. Williamson, E. Jensen, E.A. Ray, K.H. Rosenlof, H. Bian, A.S. Darmenov, P.R. Colarco, G.S. Diskin, T.P. Bui, and D.M. Murphy, ATom: Dominant Role of Mineral Dust in Cirrus Cloud Formation, ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. doi:10.3334/ORNLDAAC/2006, 2022.

Brock, C. A., Froyd, K. D., Dollner, M., Williamson, C. J., Schill, G., Murphy, D. M., Wagner, N. J., Kupc, A., Jimenez, J. L., Campuzano-Jost, P., Nault, B. A., Schroder, J. C., Day, D. A., Price, D. J., Weinzierl, B., Schwarz, J. P., Katich, S. Wang, J. M., Zeng, L., Weber, R., Dibb, J., Scheuer, E., Diskin, G. S., DiGangi, J. P., Bui, T., Dean-Day, J. M., Thompson, C. R., Peischl, J., Ryerson, T. B., Bourgeois, I., Daube, B. C., Commane, R., and Wofsy, S. C., ATom: Comprehensive Aerosol Properties, 2016-2018 [dataset] ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. doi:10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1908, 2021.

Wagner, N.L., C.A. Brock, C.J. Williamson, A. Kupc, K.D. Froyd, and D.M. Murphy, ATom: Aerosol Extinction and Absorption Measurements from SOAP Instrument, 2018 [dataset] ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. doi:10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1898

Froyd, K.D., D.M. Murphy, G.P. Schill, and C.A. Brock, ATom: Measurements from Particle Analysis By Laser Mass Spectrometry (PALMS) [dataset] ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. doi:10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1733

The Particle Analysis by Laser Mass Spectrometry (PALMS) instrument measures the chemical composition of individual aerosol particles. An instrument reference is intended to provide a convenient interactive data display to foster more collaboration on data analysis from a rich and unique data set: PALMS instrument data (includes NASA ACCENT and WAM mission data).