"A Special Snow Satellite is Headed for Orbit"

"New space mission will reveal global snowpack data"

"New avalanche safety technology, like this ski-mounted radar system and a wearable avalanche alert system, being developed in Norway and Germany will need a lot of data to be fully operational, and some of it will come from new satellites sent into orbit specifically to study how global warming will affect snow at the global level.

Hans-Peter Marshall, a snow and avalanche scientist at Boise State University hypothesizes that ten years from now, such satellites will provide enough data it will be like having a full snowpit every 150 feet in some areas.

As part of his snow research, Marshall is fine-tuning ways to use satellites to get super-detailed snowpack readings. “It’s tricky,” he says. “Information you need for avalanches and for snow hydrology and climate are on different time and space scales. The avalanche world is saying, ‘I wanna know what’s going on this exact slope right now.’ The tech requirements are so much greater in the avalanche field. We’re still a fairly long way away from being able to make deterministic avalanche forecasts (based on aerial and satellite data).”"

Bob Berwyn reports for Powder May 8, 2019.

Source: Powder, 05/13/2019