Magee Scientific is the originator of the Aethalometer®, the most-widely-used instrument for the real-time measurement of Black Carbon aerosol particles in the atmosphere. These particles reduce visibility; adversely impact human health; and contribute to local and global climate change. Aethalometers are installed on all continents: from cities in China to the South Pole, from the Sahara Desert to the Amazon jungle.

In addition to Aethalometer models, Magee Scientific also makes technology to support scientific research in remote regions, specifically Antarctica. Solar-powered enclosures with satellite radio communications have been used for autonomous webcams; underwater cameras, extremely low-temperature-rated equipment and winter-survivable instrumentation have been developed and used on ‘The Ice’ for more than a decade.

Research into methods for the real-time measurement of light absorbing aerosols began in Berkeley in approximately 1978.  The first-everAethalometer® was deployed in a field study in the summer of 1980: the first aircraft measurements were made in 1982, and in 1986 an Aethalometer started making measurements of aerosol Black Carbon at the most remote location on the planet, the South Pole Observatory.  Magee Scientific Company was established that same year to develop the Aethalometer further and make it available to the aerosol research and monitoring community.  From 1999 to 2001, the instruments were also distributed by Andersen Instruments Inc. and subsequently Thermo Environmental Instruments as identical hardware, but with the chassis painted in ‘Andersen’ or ‘Thermo’ colors and name.  Distribution by Andersen/Thermo has now been discontinued.

Aethalometers have been used in increasing numbers over the years: a large number of reports have been published in the open scientific literature.  A compendium of these reports is found at the literature link.