My group has used the Brechtel CVI inlet on-board research aircraft extensively to explore the CCN properties of stratocumulus clouds off the coast of California with great success. Intercomparisons of the cloud drop concentrations measured by wing-mounted optical sizing probes and the CCN number concentrations measured at the same time by a condensation particle counter deployed on the CVI sample flow showed excellent agreement, in part because Brechtel dedicated the effort to characterize the drop size dependent losses in their system. Working with Brechtel over the years, they have consistently demonstrated their commitment to quality and customer service.
We have deployed a new Ground-CVI from Brechtel for the first time during the Cloud and Aerosol Experiment Åre (CEASAR) from July to October 2014. The experiment took place at Mt. Åreskutan at 1200 MSL within the famous Swedish ski resort Åre close to the border with Norway. The project focused on aerosol-cloud interactions and contrasting clean marine air masses with air influenced by terrestrial boreal forest biogenic emissions and anthropogenically influenced European air masses. Special attention is on partitioning of absorbing aerosol between aerosol and clouds and aerosol removal processes. The experiment is a collaboration between ITM, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland. During the experiment we have collected several hundred hours of aerosol and cloud microphysical data including cloud residual (CCN) properties from the GCVI.
We have been operating Brechtel’s HTDMA (Model 3002) in the lab and at our field site since 2010 and have found the staff and Fred himself very helpful and sensitive to our needs, even though we are are located in Hong Kong, quite a long distance from California. The timely responses to our needs over the years have been very important to us and we are very satisfied with service provided by Brechtel.
The user interface/software made the use and operation of the PILS particularly straightforward; it is among the best equipment-user interfaces that I have used.
Brechtel’s fully controlled and integrated Particle-into-Liquid Sampler (PILS) can be set-up in the field within a few minutes, allowing unattended aerosol sampling for at least a couple of days. Because of its flexibility, we have used Brechtel’s PILS extensively since 2007 in many online and offline configurations. At our request, BMI also developed a version of their software enabling the use of its PILS to work online with several instruments at the same time. So far, we have successfully used Brechtel’s PILS to feed (both online and simultaneously) two ion chromatography systems (anions/cations) and a TOC analyzer (Water Soluble Organic Carbon) during intensive EU-FP7-MEGAPOLI field experiments in Paris in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, we successfully coupled Brechtel’s PILS with a Liquid Chromatography / Mass Spectrometer (LC-MS/MS) to perform real-time (2.5 minutes) ppb-level atmospheric measurements of aerosol organic tracers (levoglucosan) in fine aerosols during a one-month experiment.
I purchased a PILS from Brechtel because I knew that the flow control problems inherent in this type of instrument would require the level of detail that I expect from them. We are not only pleased with the instrument, but cannot speak more highly about the support given by Brechtel… very timely as well as high quality.