Precipitation Imaging Probe

The PIP is an optical spectrometer that measures the size and shape of particles from 100 µm to 6200 µm.


Get specific measurements with range that is optimized for rain, snow, graupel, and hail particles.

Easily identify particle types by generating high-quality images via 64 photodetectors.

Reduce particle artifacts with open path format and anti-shatter tips.

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.
Technique Optical Array Probe with 64 elements: 62 sizing elements, end diode rejection
Measured Particle Size Range 100 µm – 6.2 mm
Sample Area 260 mm x 6.2 mm for standard configuration (no Korolev tips)
Upper Concentration Range 100 particles/cm3
Air Speed Range 10 – 200 m/sec
Number of Size Bins 62
Sampling Frequency Asynchronous, 0.1 - 10 Hz. 1-second sampling is typical
Laser 660 nm
Data System Interface: Two channels: RS-422: 56,000 Baud Rate; High-Speed Serial: 4 x 106 Baud Rate (RS-422 only)
Weight 21 lbs./9.5 kg in DMT canister 10.5 lbs./4.8 kg outside of canister 25 lbs/11.4 kg with generic canister
Power Requirements 28VDC 3A for System Power 28VDC and 9A for Anti-ice Power Optional AC voltages for system power and anti-ice heaters
Environmental Operating Conditions Temperature: -40 °C to +40°C RH: 0 – 100%, non-condensing Altitude: 0 - 50,000 ft / 0 - 15 km

PADS software and laptop
Data Acquisition System

The Lifecycle Care Program ensures PIP 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.