Applied Physics B

, Volume 81, Issue 4, pp 567–576 | Cite as

Measurement of aerosol size distribution functions by wavelength-multiplexed laser extinction

  • L. Ma
  • R. K. Hanson


Previous work on the measurement of aerosol size distribution functions (SDFs) by laser extinction mainly relied on light sources from a relatively narrow wavelength range. This paper investigates the potential advantages of extending the extinction method to a general wavelength-multiplexed laser extinction (WMLE) concept by incorporating an arbitrary number of laser sources from a wider wavelength range. This extension improves the sensitivity of SDF measurements over wider aerosol diameter ranges and enables a stable algorithm to invert the extinction data to obtain SDFs. These advantages are illustrated by an example WMLE scheme employing wavelengths in the spectral range from 0.25 to 10μm to measure SDFs of water aerosols. Application of this approach to other aerosol systems is also considered. The WMLE scheme was found to provide stable determination of a variety of SDFs with Sauter mean diameters ranging from sub-micron to about 10μm. The sensitivity of such determinations was evaluated to reveal the optimum applicable range of the wavelengths employed. The analyses performed here provide theoretical background and motivation for practical applications of the WMLE concept.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering, High Temperature Gasdynamics LaboratoryStanford UniversityUSA

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