If there is a better way track snow cover then winter disasters like roofs collapsing under heavy snow and flash floods can be avoided. This is why Institut national de la recherche scientifique are working on a sensor that can track snow depth daily. With this sensor it will be easy to track the perfect time to clear the snow off the roof and to determine whether or not melted snow poses a flood risk.
Building a prototype sensor
The researchers are planning to build a prototype sensor which will measure snow density every day.
Researchers say that cheaper sensor will cover a larger area and it will also bring down the travel and labour costs. The sensor needs to be installed and then connected to a satellite via a cell phone to collect data. The scientists are also thinking about using solar energy to power the sensor.
There are other sensors as well in the market, but those are heavy and expensive and they only measure overall snow density. As snow settles in layers of varying densities that changes over a period of time. So, it is important to have data of all the layers of snow.
The team of researchers has developed a new sensor technology by using infrared radiation reflectance.