Innovative Instrumentation for the Study of Atmospheric Aerosol Optical Properties

  • Vera BernardoniEmail author
  • Alice C. Forello
  • Federico Mariani
  • Bruno Paroli
  • Marco A. C. Potenza
  • Alberto Pullia
  • Francesco Riccobono
  • Tiziano Sanvito
  • Sara Valentini
  • Gianluigi Valli
  • Roberta Vecchi
Conference paper


Aerosol optical properties (i.e. scattering and absorption) are of great importance to assess aerosol effects e.g. on visibility and Earth radiation balance. In this paper, we present innovative optical instrumentation developed at the Department of Physics “Aldo Pontremoli” of the University of Milan: a multi-wavelength polar photometer (PP_UniMI) and a Single Particle Extinction and Scattering (SPES). PP_UniMI is a filter-based device providing the aerosol absorption coefficient of aerosol at 4 wavelengths (λ). Such measurements are of interest to have insights into the λ-dependent behavior of aerosol absorption properties, which is still poorly understood especially for what concerns weakly absorbing aerosol components. SPES allows to determine the size and refractive index of single particles. In case of absorbing particles, also information on the imaginary part of the refractive index—very important especially in the field of global models—can be provided with little assumptions. We describe the main features of the two instruments and their advantages and limitations. Examples of application are also presented.


Aerosol optical properties Scattering Absorption Ångström absorption exponent Particle size 



The authors are grateful to F. Cavaliere and D. Viganò of the Mechanical Workshop of the Physics Department for technical support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics “Aldo Pontremoli”Università degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.INFN-MilanMilanItaly
  3. 3.Joint Research Centre, European CommissionIspraItaly
  4. 4.EOS s.r.l.MilanItaly

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