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Snow measurement

precise, zero-maintenance snow sensors that reliably measure record-breaking snowfall

aerial photo clean road curves through a snow-covered forest | source AdobeStock

Monitoring snowpack to manage flood risk & forecast water supplies

For snowpack-reliant watersheds, sustaining water supply depends on understanding snowmelt.

Three major factors better predict the impact of climate change on critical snowmelt-driven water supplies:

  • amount of total winter snowfall is available at the end of the winter
  • rate at which snow melts
  • when snow melts

Snow data helps water managers and reservoir operators anticipate the amount of spring and summer runoff that will move through water storage and delivery systems as temperatures warm. The information is vital to drinking water districts, farmers, cities and flood control systems, especially in vulnerable and already flooded regions.

Moreover, scientists are closely examining the relationship between snow and fire. In many Western mountain forests, Colorado State University researchers have found that more fires are leading to faster snowmelt and reduced water, which are drying out soil and plants — making forests more flammable.

Your benefits

1

High accuracy monitoring data

Integrated temperature compensation & filtering of snow and rainfall using intelligent spectrum analysis make these sensors popular with meteorologists, avalanche warning services in ski regions, research stations and the energy sector.

2

Extremely low energy consumption

Deployed in alpine & high alpine terrain, these sensors are suitable for extreme weather conditions including Alaska. Energy-saving sleep modes also ensure reliability.

3

Virtually maintenance free sensor design & materials

The non-contact, ultrasonic design and sealed components, shielded against ice and snow, make these zero-maintenance sensors – a benefit in remote monitoring locations.

Portfolio highlights

  • Snow depth sensor

    Snow depth sensor

    Ultrasonic technology guarantees precise snow depth measurements of up to 10 m (33 ft), even with snow drift conditions.

    The non-contact USH-9 is ideal for continuous monitoring of snow depth without compromising the snow pack.

    Snow depth must be measured regularly as the development of the snow pack is subject to strong regional & temporal fluctuations. Since snow depth is significantly influenced by actual weather — snowfall, rainfall, air temperature, wind, etc. — the use of ultrasonic sensing adds accuracy.

    The sealed ceramic membrane protects the advanced measuring cell against ice and snow, making device maintenance-free.

    Pair this low-energy consumption sensor with solar-power measuring stations for even more reliability.

  • Snow drift sensor

    Snow drift sensor

    This ultra-robust acoustic instrument measures solid particle flux intensities and wind speeds.

    The device is totally sealed with no moving parts, ideal for deployment in harsh weather.

    The cylindrical sensing part of the instrument comprises an anti-abrasion, anti-adhesion and anti-rime coated tube supported by two strong stainless-steel arms.

    The impact of drifting snow and the friction of laminar wind induces a change in internal acoustic pressure. The excitation by snow and wind is discriminated by a specific acoustic, mechanical and electronic design for high accuracy data.

  • Snow melt analyzer

    Snow melt analyzer

    This instrument detects early melting processes in the snow and in turn, the water run-off can be ascertained and used for flood forecasts or for water management.

    Use the snowmelt analyzer to record snow water equivalent (SWE), snow density, liquid water content and ice content.

    Installation and configuration are simple; no calibration is necessary.

    Pair this low-energy consumption sensor with solar-power measuring stations for even more reliability.

  • Snow pack analyzer

    Snow pack analyzer

    Determining snowpack properties can be challenging as they vary significantly in space and time.

    This instrument measures the volumetric contents of ice and water within a snowpack sample.

    Pair with the snow depth sensor to calculate the snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow density.

    By measuring the complex impedance along multiple, 4.8 m long, ribbon-shaped sensors, this analyzer acquires area-averaged data about the snowpack at different depths.

    The dual sensor combination establishes an automatic measurement system to continuously monitor snowpack development for hydrological, agricultural and other applications.

  • Fluidless snow scale

    Fluidless snow scale

    Also known as a fluidless snow pillow, this instrument precisely measures snow water equivalent (SWE) using the measuring principle of load cells.

    The scale con­sists of 7 perforated plates; each plate measures 31.44 in x 47.16 in. A center panel is surrounded by 6 panels, allowing water to percolate. Water percolation minimizes thermal differences between the center panel and surrounding panels, buffering the SWE measurement in the center panel from stress concentrations that develop along the perime­ter.

    The snow pillow delivers accurate measurements — even during periods of rapid snow settlement after large snow accumulations.

    A broad outer frame of plates minimizes the effects of ice bridging commonly experienced late in the measurement season. In addition, lightweight aluminum materials minimize thermal resistance — improving heat flow throughout the device for better emulation of natural conditions.

    Installation and implementation in the field, on the ground, is quick and easy.

     

We know snow

Let us know your goals & challenges.

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