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

Droplet offers a three-year service plan to ensure that your CCN-100/200 continues to deliver high-quality data. This plan locks costs upfront at the time of funding application and covers annual calibration, alignment, cleaning, wear-item replacement, calibration documentation, and shipping. Specific services provided for the CCN-100/200 include:

  • Shipping to and from Droplet facility for service
  • Incoming instrument evaluation and health check
  • OPC cleaning and calibration
  • Bisque visual inspection
  • Temperature reading and set point calibrations
  • Nafion Membrane replacement
  • Sheath flow filter replacement
  • Flow and pressure calibration
  • OPC electrical upgrades
  • DMA comparison and temperature versus SS% calibration
  • Software, firmware, and antivirus update
  • 100% unit functionality test
  • Calibration data, Calibration Report, and Certificate of Calibration
  • Sizing and distribution calibration using aerosol generator and PSLs
  • Ambient distribution evaluation
  • Zero-count testing
  • Data processing

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