The humidified tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA) is part of the aerosol observing system (AOS).
It measures how aerosol particles of different initial dry sizes grow or shrink when exposed to changing relative humidity (RH). It uses two differential mobility analyzers (DMA) and a humidification system to make the measurements.
One DMA selects a narrow size range of dry aerosol particles, which are exposed to varying RH conditions in the humidification system. The second (humidified) DMA scans the particle size distribution output from the humidification system.
Scanning a wide range of particle sizes enables the second DMA to measure changes in size or growth factor (growth factor = humidified size/dry size) due to water uptake by the particles. A condensation particle counter (CPC) downstream of the second DMA counts particles as a function of selected size in order to obtain the number size distribution of particles exposed to different RH conditions.