Cloud Imaging Probe

This optical spectrometer measures the size and shape of particles from 25 µm to 1550 µm, liquid water content from 0.01 g/3 to 3 g/3 and airspeed to 200 m/sec.


Get particle size distributions from 25 µm to 1550 µm, or 15 µm to 930 µm with optional 15-µm resolution.

Enable easy identification of particle types by generating high-quality images via 64 photodetectors. Use the optional grayscale option for enhanced images based on the density in different regions of the particle.

Record information on atmospheric temperature and pressure, aircraft velocity and altitude, and liquid water content (LWC) from 0.01 g/m3 to 3 g/m3.

Particle imaging

  • Shadow images of particles passing through a collimated laser beam are projected onto a linear array of 64 photodetectors to determine presence of particles.
  • Particle images are reconstructed from individual “slices,” where a slice is the state of the 64-element linear array at a given moment in time.
Parameter SpecificationSpecification for Included Hotwire LWC

Optical Array Probe with 64 elements: 62 sizing elements, end diode rejection

Temperature-Controlled Hotwire Sensor
Measured Particle Size Range

12.5 µm – 1.55 mm (for 25-µm resolution CIP)
7.5 – 930 µm (for 15-µm resolution CIP)

N/A; measured LWC range is 0 – 3 g/m3
Sample Area

Variable; depends on tip configuration and particle size

Upper Concentration Range:

Depends on particle size, but up to 500 particles/cm3 for a CIP with standard tips and arm width

3 g/m3
Air Speed Range

10 – 300 m/sec (for 25-µm resolution CIP)
10 – 180 m/sec (for 15-µm resolution CIP)

10 – 200 m/sec
Number of Size Bins


Sampling Frequency

1D histogram data: 0.05 to 25 Hz; 2D image data: variable interval, when buffer fills


658 nm, 30 mW

Auxiliary Parameters

Ambient Temperature, Relative Humidity, Static Pressure, Dynamic Pressure

Data System Interface:

2D CIP data: RS-422, High Speed, 4 Mb/sec Baud Rate
System data: RS-422, 56.6 kb/sec Baud Rate


21 lbs./9.5 kg in DMT canister

Power Requirements

28VDC: 11A for probe system, anti-ice heaters either 13A (standard tips) or 17A (Korolev tips)
Optional AC voltages for system power and anti-ice heaters

Environmental Operating Conditions

Temperature: -40 °C to +40°C (-40 °F to +104 °F)
RH: 0 – 100%, non-condensing
Altitude: 0 – 50,000 ft

  • PADS software and laptop
  • Data Acquisition System

Droplet offers a three-year service plan to ensure that your CIP 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 CIP include:

  • Shipping to and from Droplet facility for service
  • Incoming instrument evaluation and health check
  • Optics cleaning and alignment
  • Temperature sensor calibration
  • O-ring replacement
  • Hardware replacement
  • Baseline voltages set and verified
  • Heater testing
  • Laser alignment
  • Calibration of instrument using spinning disk calibrator
  • Software, firmware, and antivirus update
  • Pitot calibration
  • LWC performance check
  • Canister test
  • 100% unit functionality test
  • Calibration data, Calibration Report, Pitot Calibration Report, Certificate of Calibration provided

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