Item: Flowcapt: a newacoustic sensor to measure snowdriftand wind velocity for avalanche forecasting
Title: Flowcapt: a newacoustic sensor to measure snowdriftand wind velocity for avalanche forecasting
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1998 International Snow Science Workshop, Sunriver, Oregon
Authors: Chritin V., Bolognesi R., Gubler H.
Abstract: Wind can create even greater unstable accumulations of snow in mountainous areas than heavy snowfalls. But knowing wind conditions is not sufficient to predict these accumulations because their formations also depend on the snow quality of the snowpack surface upwind of the release zone. Consequently, assessment of snowdrift is required to improve avalanche forecasting. In accordance with this assumption, a new acoustic sensor was developed. The sensor includes a mechanical part designed to form a closed acoustic enclosure. The acoustic enclosure contains a microphone connected to an electrical amplifying and filtering device. Because the output information delivered by the instrument is proportional to the wind velocity and to the flux of solid particles (ice grains) drifted by the wind, the instrument is called an anemo-driftometer. Prototypes of the instrument were first tested in a wind-tunnel and then at an experimental site in the Alps. Then an operational version, called FlowCapt, was developed and connected to an automatic weather station at 2700 m in the Aminona ski resort (Switzerland). During the winter, snowdrift is recorded on the test site along with other meteorological parameters, and avalanche activity, to provide extensive on-site calibration and testing of the sensor. The experiment demonstrates that the instrument is a useful component of the avalanche forecasting chain.
Keywords: snow drifting, snow engineering, avalanche forecasting, acoustics, jet roof
Digital Abstract Not Available