Item: A fiber optic probe for indexing snowpack properties
Title: A fiber optic probe for indexing snowpack properties
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1992 International Snow Science Workshop, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA
Authors: Bulent Sensoy (a) and Rand Decker (b) (a) Research Assistant, (b) Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering University of Utah, 3220 MEB, S.L.e. UT 84112
Abstract: Snowpack observations are made for the purposes of avalanche forecasting and control. In general, snow depth, density, relative hardness of individual layers, snow temperature, grain type and bonding between and within the layers are important to the forecaster in predicting the potential for an avalanche to occur at a specific slope. This method of forecasting is difficult, time consuming and sometimes dangerous. A fiber optic snowpack probe is developed to simplify this task. The instrument uses reflected LED light intensity to index the void sizes between snow crystals. Results indicate that, with further improvements on the probe, snowpack properties can be indexed with less effort and time. Results from the experiments corralated with the manually obtained data. Different snow layers in the snowpack were detected with the fiber optic probe.
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Keywords: snow depth, density, hardness, snow temperature, grain type
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