Cloud Condensation Nuclei Counter

The CCN-100/200 measures the count and size of individual aerosol particles that can form into cloud droplets. Its fast response time allows use in either airborne or ground-based stations. The CCN is available in single-column (CCN-100) or dual-column (CCN-200) versions. The CCN-100 is used for measurements of a single supersaturation, whereas the CCN-200 enables the user to measure two supersaturations simultaneously – a critical capability for droplet activation kinetics of aerosols and split sample experiments comparing the response of aerosols.


Enable climate models and accurate predictions of climate change with the CCN-100/200 – the only instrument of its kind to measure CCN concentrations in space and time.

Measure quickly changing conditions in airborne and ground-based applications with fast response, uninterrupted flow, and a multi-channel, optical particle counter.

Get supersaturation as low as 0.07% and as high as 2%, plus complete automation of up to 250 programmable and scanned supersaturation settings.

Minimize size and buoyancy effects with cylindrical geometry – giving you more accurate measurements for your critical research.

Get real-time control, data display, and data logging with a user-friendly virtual instrument panel.


Supersaturation generation and particle light-scattering

  • A continuous-flow thermal-gradient diffusion chamber measures aerosols that can act as cloud condensation nuclei.
  • Inside the chamber, a thermodynamically unstable, supersaturated water vapor condition is created by taking advantage of the difference in diffusion rates between water vapor and heat.
  • The supersaturated water vapor condenses on the cloud condensation nuclei in the sample air to form droplets, which are counted and sized.
Parameter Specification
Aerosol Medium Air, 5 - 40 °C (41 - 104°F)
Number Concentration Range Depends on supersaturation:
  • 6,000 particles/sec at supersaturations below 0.2%
  • 2,000 particles/sec at supersaturations above 0.3%
Measured Particle Size Range (from OPC, after supersaturation) 0.75 – 10 µm
Number of Particle Size Bins 20
Sampling Frequency 1 Hz / 1 Second
Supersaturation Range 0.07% - 2.0%
Time Required for Supersaturation Change ~30 seconds for 0.2% change
Maximum Number of Automatically Scanned Supersaturation Settings 250
Optical Particle Counter Laser 660 nm, 35 mW
Flow Range
  • Total flow: 200 – 1000 vol. cc/min (factory calibrated at 500 Vccm)
  • Sample flow: 20 – 100 Vccm
  • Sheath flow: 180 – 900 Vccm
Flow Control
  • Total flow is adjustable from within CCN Counter software
  • Sample/Sheath flow ratio is adjustable using manual metering valve
  • Solenoid pumps for water; diaphragm pump for air
Side Panel Connections
  • System power switch
  • LED for overall system power
  • Watchdog light
  • Air vents
  • Inlet and exhaust valves
  • 28 VDC pin connector
  • Ethernet connection
  • USB connection
  • Mouse and keyboard connections
  • Touchscreen connection
  • Video connection
  • Serial data port
  • LED power connection
Computer System
  • On-board Intel® Celeron® 1 GHz processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 80 GB hard drive for data storage
  • User interface via standard keyboard and monitor (included)
Data System Interface RS-232, 9.6 Kb/sec Baud Rate (single CCN Counter) or 57.6 Kb/sec (Dual CCN Counter)
Features for Easy Aircraft Mounting
  • Rack-mount compatible
  • Center of gravity located 15.5” from bottom of back base plate
  • Instrument plumbing system sealed for operation on pressurized aircraft
Power Requirements 28 VDC
Current CCN-100: 15 A at startup, nominal 7 A during regular operation
CCN-200: 25 A at startup, nominal 20 A during regular operation
Size (for both CCN-100 and 200) For lab use (with frame):
  • 35.0” H x 19.3” W x 15.6” D /
  • 88.9 cm H x 48.9 cm W x 39.7 cm D
For aircraft use (without frame):
  • 32.0”H x 15.25” W x 10.6 D /
  • 81.3 cm H x 38.7 cm W x 27 cm D
Weight CCN-100:
  • For lab use (with frame): 35.2 kg / 77.5 lb
  • For aircraft use (without frame): 29.0 kg / 64.0 lb
  • For lab use (with frame): 50 kg / 110 lb
  • For aircraft use (without frame): 43.8 kg / 96.5 lb
Environmental Operating Conditions Temperature: 5 – 40°C (41 – 104 °F)
RH: 0 – 100% RH non-condensing

Consumables Kit

  • Disposable Inline Filters
  • Disposable Syringe
  • Drain and Supply Labels
  • Nylon Ferrules
  • TEFZEL® Ferrules
  • Bottles with Caps
  • CCN Pump Repair Kit
  • Nafion Humidifier Element
  • Super-flangeless Nuts
  • 1/8” Polyurethane Tubing
  • 3/8” Conductive Rubber Tubing

Field Repair Kit

  • Thermoelectric Cooler (TEC) Connectors
  • Computer Power Cable
  • Flat Ribbon and Connectors
  • Spinning Disk ATA Hard Drive
  • CCN TEC-Servicing Manual
  • Thermal Ribbon Sensor
  • Temperature Controller
  • Stainless Steel Washers
  • Nylon Washers
  • Screws
  • Screw Hex Nuts
  • Heat-sink Compound
  • Grounding Wrist Strap
  • Screwdriver
  • Hex Insert Bit
  • Diaphragm Pump
  • Self-Priming 60μl Pump
  • Proportional Valve
  • 30A Circuit Breaker
  • Hex L-Key Set
  • Wrenches

Airborne Inlet Assembly Kit

The airborne inlet assembly kit facilitates aircraft mounting of the CCN-100 and CCN-200. It includes the following items:

  • CCN rail mount
  • CCN aircraft inlet
  • Constant pressure inlet

The Lifecycle Care Program ensures CCN-100/-200 integrity and performance vital to your research mission for 3 years or 3 calls (whichever comes first). When conducting complex and time intensive laboratory or field measurements it is critical to avoid down time, and ensure data collection accuracy. The program consists of 3 key deliverables for each year or call:

  • Instrument Logistics
  • Instrument Integrity
  • Instrument Performance

Lifecycle Care Program Includes:


  • Shipping to and from Droplet Measurement Technologies facility
  • Customs handling, including CARNET ATA if required


  • Incoming instrument evaluation and health check


  • Software and firmware validation
  • 100%-unit functionality test
  • Calibration data
  • Calibration report
  • Certificate of calibration

At times, our technician might discover an instrument issue, which might not be covered by the Lifecycle Care Program or by our product warranty. In such case we will reach out to you with a service & repair estimate to allow you to provide us with the next steps of action.