In order to achieve fast and sensitive measurements of aerosol number concentrations and size distributions, we have developed a novel light-weight and low cost optical particle counter with two detectors for measuring and recording the scattering signals of single particles larger than a few tenth of a micron, depending on their chemical composition (refractive index) and physical shape (spherical or a-spherical). From this, we will obtain not only the number concentration and size distribution but also information on the particle shape. The new sensor is currently tested and calibrated at the AIDA (Aerosol Interaction and Dynamics in the Atmosphere) facility which operates a comprehensive number of aerosol generation and measurement techniques.
The sensor design, performance and calibration will be shown together with first measurements of laboratory generated and natural aerosols. The capabilities of the AIDA facility as a platform for testing and intercomparing new aerosol sensors will also be presented and discussed.