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Title: A New Instrument for Balloon‐Borne In Situ Aerosol Size Distribution Measurements, the Continuation of a 50 Year Record of Stratospheric Aerosols Measurements

Profiles of stratospheric aerosol size distributions have been measured using balloon‐bornein situoptical particle counters, from Laramie, Wyoming (41°N) since 1971. In 2019, this measurement record transitioned to the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) in Boulder, Colorado (40°N). The new LASP Optical Particle Counter (LOPC), the fourth generation of instruments used for this record, is smaller and lighter (2 kg) than prior instruments, measures aerosols with diameters ≥0.3–30 μm in up to 450 size bins, with a flow rate of 20 L min−1. The improved size resolution enables the complete measurement of size distributions, and calculation of aerosol extinction without fittinga prioridistribution shapes. The higher flow provides the sensitivity required to measure super‐micron particles in the stratosphere. The LOPC has been validated against prior Wyoming OPCs, through joint flights, laboratory comparisons, and statistical comparisons with the Wyoming record. The agreement between instruments is generally within the measurement uncertainty of ±10%–20% in sizing and ±10% in concentration, and within ±40% for calculated aerosol moments. The record is being continued with balloon soundings every 2 months from Colorado, coordinated with measurements of aerosol extinction from the SAGE III instrument on the International Space Station. Comparisons of aerosol extinction from the remote andin situplatforms have shown good agreement in the stratosphere, particularly for wavelengths <755 nm and altitudes <25 km. For extinction wavelengths ≥1,021 nm and altitudes above 25 km SAGE III/International Space Station extinction has a low bias relative to thein situmeasurements, yet still within the ±40% uncertainty.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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