Photoacoustic measurement of the optical absorption of aerosols

John Arthur Case, Robert W. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Atmospheric optical absorption, including the contribution from aerosols, is important in modeling propagation of laser beams and for climate research. Photoacoustic methods have been used in the past for this purpose, as they directly measure absorption, rather than the sum of absorption and scattering. Acoustic operating frequency determines the sensed aerosol size range. The design of a windowless double-Helmholtz photoacoustic aerosol sensing system, operating at an acoustic frequency near 150 Hz, with the capability to measure an optical absorption with a 1/e length of 1 Mm, will be presented. In this design, environmental noise limits the instrument sensitivity. To improve immunity to environmental noise with an open resonator, an aluminum acoustic enclosure was built around the system, with welded vacuum flanges for inputs and outputs. Inlet and outlet acoustic mufflers were designed to limit the in-band noise entering the measurement system. A modulated 10 W 1064 nm fiber laser was used as the excitation source, and a high-sensitivity microphone placed within the open-cell cavity was used to measure the internal photoacoustic pressure fluctuations. The system was modeled using various computational tools, including MATLAB, Simulink, and ANSYS, and then was constructed and tested. Lab measurement results will be presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number45003
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 23 2022
Event182nd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, ASA 2022 - Denver, United States
Duration: May 23 2022May 27 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


Dive into the research topics of 'Photoacoustic measurement of the optical absorption of aerosols'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this