Laboratory for Aerosol Science, Spectroscopy, and Optics

Lab Description

The Laboratory for Aerosol Science, Spectroscopy, and Optics (LASSO), directed by Dr. Hans Moosmüller, is a facility for the development and use of modern optical techniques for atmospheric and emission measurements. Laboratory work has been focused on the development and use of innovative optical and acoustic instrumentation for the real-time quantification of particulate matter (PM) and its optical properties. State-of-the-art instrumentation is being used for both ambient and laboratory measurements to better understand air quality, dust entrainment, biomass combustion processes, aerosol-cryosphere interactions, and more.

Hans Moosmüller
Dr. Hans MoosmullerLASSO Director, Wildland Fire Science Center Director, Research Professor
Dr. Moosmüller’s interests include experimental and theoretical research in optical spectroscopy as well as its applications to atmospheric, aerosol, and climate physics. His research focuses on development and application of real time, in situ measurement methods for aerosol light absorption, scattering, extinction, and asymmetry parameter, and new optical remote sensing techniques. These measurement methods are being used for ambient air monitoring and vehicle, fugitive dust, and biomass burning emission studies. His latest research interests are fast, ultra-sensitive measurements of elementary mercury concentrations and fluxes and aerosol morphology and its influence on aerosol optical properties with a focus on fractal-like chain aggregates found in combustion particles. Dr. Moosmüller has also participated in the planning, fieldwork, and data analysis of several major air quality studies. During his first three years at DRI, he was responsible for the airborne ozone lidar research program under a cooperative agreement with the USEPA.

Current Graduate Students

  • Nicholas D. Beres
  • Megan J. Rennie

Affiliate Faculty

  • Dr. Pat Arnott
  • Dr. Adam Watts
  • Dr. Vera Samburova
  • Dr. Andrey Khlystov
  • Dr. Kurt Ehlers

The following publications exemplify the abilities of LASSO research, instrumentation, team members, and affiliated researchers:

Samburova, V., Connolly, J., Gyawali, M., Yatavelli, R.L., Watts, A.C., Chakrabarty, R.K., Zielinska, B., Moosmüller, H. and Khlystov, A., 2016. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in biomass-burning emissions and their contribution to light absorption and aerosol toxicity. Science of The Total Environment, 568, pp.391-401.

Tian, J., Chow, J.C., Cao, J., Han, Y., Ni, H., Chen, L.W.A., Wang, X., Huang, R., Moosmüller, H. and Watson, J.G., 2015. A Biomass Combustion Chamber: Design, Evaluation, and a Case Study of Wheat Straw Combustion Emission Tests.Aerosol and Air Quality Research, 15(5), pp.2104-2114.

Chakrabarty, R.K., Beres, N.D., Moosmüller, H., China, S., Mazzoleni, C., Dubey, M.K., Liu, L. and Mishchenko, M.I., 2014. Soot superaggregates from flaming wildfires and their direct radiative forcing. Scientific reports, 4.

Arnold, I.J., Moosmüller, H., Sharma, N. and Mazzoleni, C., 2014. Beam characteristics of fiber-based supercontinuum light sources with mirror-and lens-based beam collimators. Optics express, 22(11), pp.13860-13869.

Chakrabarty, R.K., Arnold, I.J., Francisco, D.M., Hatchett, B., Hosseinpour, F., Loria, M., Pokharel, A. and Woody, B.M., 2013. Black and brown carbon fractal aggregates from combustion of two fuels widely used in Asian rituals. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 122, pp.25-30.

Chakrabarty, R.K., Garro, M.A., Wilcox, E.M. and Moosmüller, H., 2012. Strong radiative heating due to wintertime black carbon aerosols in the Brahmaputra River Valley. Geophysical Research Letters, 39(9).

Gyawali, M., Arnott, W.P., Zaveri, R.A., Song, C., Moosmüller, H., Liu, L., Mishchenko, M.I., Chen, L.W., Green, M.C., Watson, J.G. and Chow, J.C., 2012. Photoacoustic optical properties at UV, VIS, and near IR wavelengths for laboratory generated and winter time ambient urban aerosols. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12(5), pp.2587-2601.

Moosmüller, H., Chakrabarty, R.K., Ehlers, K.M. and Arnott, W.P., 2011. Absorption Ångström coefficient, brown carbon, and aerosols: basic concepts, bulk matter, and spherical particles. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 11(3), pp.1217-1225.

Moosmüller, H., Chakrabarty, R.K. and Arnott, W.P., 2009. Aerosol light absorption and its measurement: A review.Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 110(11), pp.844-878.

Chakrabarty, R.K., Moosmüller, H., Chen, L.W., Lewis, K., Arnott, W.P., Mazzoleni, C., Dubey, M.K., Wold, C.E., Hao, W.M. and Kreidenweis, S.M., 2010. Brown carbon in tar balls from smoldering biomass combustion. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 10(13), pp.6363-6370.

Hints For Usage

The compiled version of the program presently runs a single fractal. A subroutine analysis can be compiled and run with “File” > “Run Subroutine” that allows for the processing of many fractal aggregates.

If you have difficulty viewing the micrograph of a fractal, attempt to expand the micrograph window to fullscreen. Also, be aware that minor graphical bugs exist.

Hints For Compiling

This version of FracMAP with a graphical user interface was developed using Microsoft Visual C++.  A subfolder called /unixfractal contains files sufficient for developing your own unix command-line application.

To compile, you must have downloaded, installed, and compiled wxWidgets.

Under Project > Properties for the solutions:

  • Configuration Properties > C/C++ > General > Additional Include Directories should reflect something similar to the following (relative to your own wxWidgets installation):
  • Configuration Properties > C/C++ > Preprocessor > Preprocessor Definitions
    For release: WIN32;__WXMSW__;_WINDOWS;NOPCH;%(PreprocessorDefinitions)
    For debug: WIN32;_DEBUG;__WXMSW__;__WXDEBUG__;_WINDOWS;NOPCH;%(PreprocessorDefinitions)
  • Configuration Properties > Linker > General > Additional Library Directories
    This should be changed to reflect your wxWidgets installation: C:\wxWidgets\lib\vc_lib;%(AdditionalLibraryDirectories)
  • Configuration Properties > Linker > Input > Additional Dependencies
    This should be changed to reflect the proper version for your wxWidgets installation: wxmsw28d_gl.lib;opengl32.lib;glu32.lib;wxmsw28d_core.lib;wxbase28d.lib;wxtiffd.lib;wxjpegd.lib;

If you have any questions, please contact Mark Garro.


Hans Moosmüller, Ph.D.
Lab Director 


Desert Research Institute
2215 Raggio Parkway
Reno, NV 89512


Atmospheric Sciences