In the atmosphere, physicochemical properties of aerosol particles evolve due to several atmospheric processes. Aerosol particles have different chemical, physical, and optical properties at different altitudes. Understanding meteorological conditions in the atmosphere is also critical to understanding the evolution of aerosol physicochemical properties.
The Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory’s multifunctional size and time-resolved aerosol collector (STAC) allows scientists to not only investigate how aerosol physicochemical properties evolve but also their effects on climate. Using the STAC system, aerosol can be collected both at ground level and by deploying with an unmanned aerial system, such as a tethered balloon system, to collect atmospheric particle samples and to monitor the environmental conditions surrounding the sample. This sample collection platform has a variety of different sensors that monitor temperature, pressure, and particle concentration.
EMSL staff researchers work with users to identify which analytical technique will be used after a sample is collected. STAC samples can be analyzed using multimodal instruments to analyze properties like particle chemical composition, morphology, and the ability of ice nucleation ability to understand how aerosols affect the climate.
Supporting the Terrestrial–Atmospheric Processes Integrated Research Platform, STAC can be used to study properties of atmospheric particles including chemical composition, morphology, hygroscopicity, volatility, carbon functionalities, phase state, and ice nucleation.