Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science


Based on the concept of the laboratory instrument ZINC and the experiences we gained with it we developed the field instrument PINC with a small and lightweight cooling system and a shorter chamber so that it is easily transportable. One goal of the development of this instrument was the possibility to do field studies and fly on research aircraft with limited space and power supply. Unlike ZINC, PINC has a couple of portable refrigerant compressors (Danfoss BD series) to directly cool the walls of the chamber without the use of an intermediate cooling liquid. In this configuration, the instrument is able to measure ambient ice nuclei (IN) concentrations at conditions as cold as -40°C and relative humidities exceeding water saturation1.

The instrument has already successfully participated in a couple of laboratory campaigns2,3 in Switzerland and Germany. Our main focus now lies on field campaigns. PINC has measured
ambient IN concentrations on the High Alpine Research
Station Jungfraujoch
during several campaigns since 20081. Recently, we participated in CLACE2013 and CLACE2014, two large campaigns at the Jungfraujoch
which aimed at investigating mixed-phase cloud properties. Furthermore, we launched together with our partners from AEMET,
the CALIMA (Cloud
Affecting particLes In Mineral dust from the sAhara) 2013 campaign at
the Izaña Observatory on Tenerife, Spain. Here, we looked at the
effectiveness of mineral dust acting as ice nuclei as well as cloud
condensation nuclei

In the future, more field campaigns are planned for the PINC, such as
CALIMA2014, taking place again at the Izaña Observatory. In the PIMCA
set-up a field study on biological IN on the Höngger Berg in Zürich will
be conducted. In the moment, two PhD students are working with the
PINC: Monika Kohn
on the role of bio - IN and Yvonne Boose on mineral dust acting as IN.


1 C. Chou et al. (2011), Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 4725-4738

2 C. Chou et al. (2013), Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 761-772

3 Z.A. Kanji et al. (2013), Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 9097-9118


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