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Aerosol-Cloud Interactions

Clouds generally cool the atmosphere and supply the water to grow our food. The CVI  and GCVI allow detailed measurements (SEMS, MCPC, PILS) differentiating cloud nuclei from unactivated particles in real clouds.

Air Pollution

Combustion particles pass into the bloodstream after being inhaled into the lung. Our sizing (SEMS) and chemistry (TAPSTAP PILS) tools reveal key properties of airborne pollutants.

Airborne Measurements

Maintaining stable instrument operation when large pressure and temperature changes occur during vertical profiling can be a real challenge. Instruments developed at Brechtel (SEMS, MCPC, ISO, CVI) are designed to meet airborne measurement challenges. Air flow, pressure, humidity, and temperature parameters are taken care of during research flights.

Aircraft Sampling

Sampling at 400 mph can be a real challenge. Our ISO, CVI and UAV inlets make the job easier by automatically adjusting for operating conditions and providing representative samples.

Climate Change

Airborne particles modify climate by blocking the sun’s radiation and by changing clouds. Through the development of miniaturized technologies like the ACCESS, Brechtel is helping to supply the tools to better understand the roles of particles in our future climate.

Climate Change Monitoring

Long-term monitoring (GCVI) is needed to reveal climate change impacts. From UAVs to ground sites, measurements extend our understanding and improve models.

Fog & Visibility Studies

In Africa, capturing fog droplets can be an important source of water. Dust storms in these locations can quickly dissipate fogs and create poor visibility and unhealthy conditions. Several measurement tools at Brechtel (GCVI, CVI, GCVI-I, SEMS) help answer questions related to fog and visibility.

Human Health

The COVID pandemic has opened our eyes to the key role airborne droplets play in transmitting diseases. Tools like the PILS  and GCVI can sample large, COVID-containing droplets and other chemical species directly from the air and maintain viable virus samples for on-line analysis or off-line studies using vial collection.

Ice Nuclei Research

Cirrus and mixed-phase clouds with ice play a key role in the formation of rain. But we still don’t know what makes a good ice nuclei. The GCVI and other devices (PCVI, HTDMA), are revealing the detailed properties of ice nuclei.

Reference Instruments

How well do inexpensive air quality sensors work? Reference instruments (SEMS, mOPC) can provide an important reality check on low-cost devices.

UAV Sampling

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) sample high in the atmosphere. UAV size limitations require portable solutions like the ACCESS line.

Weather Modification

What if rain patterns change so much due to climate change that some people do not get enough water to grow their food? It may be possible to seed clouds with ice nuclei or other aerosol to induce rain. Our tools (GCVI, CVI, HTDMA, SEMS) are used to determine which particles act as nuclei in real clouds, and to measure their key properties.

Wildfires, Climate & Health

Increases in wildfire frequency have been tied to climate change, and particulate matter from wildfires can severely impact human health. Several Brechtel-developed tools (TAP, STAP) are used to measure fire plumes and assess population exposures. Mobile platforms like UAVs can easily be equipped with soot detectors to allow real-time mapping of plumes.


Case Studies

Offered Solutions


ACCESS to the Arctic

The ACCESS (Aerosol Counting, Composition, Extinction and Sizing System) suite of instruments is a great solution for applications like Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), personal exposure monitoring, and any mobile platform requiring small size, low weight, and low power usage. The ACCESS line includes multiple modules for deployment individually or together as a suite. The Base Module (Model 9400) provides a compact, ruggedized PC and user interface software to control and communicate with all connected modules at the same time, making it incredibly easy to add modules in real time simply by just connecting a USB cable!

Learn more about ACCESS here

Brechtel helps customers make difficult measurements in challenging places!

Breakdown of Applications Served by Brechtel Products
  • Human Health 11% 11%
  • Air Pollution 18% 18%
  • Climate Change 33% 33%
  • Aerosol-Cloud Interactions 21% 21%
  • UAV-Aircraft Sampling 17% 17%

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