New satellite technology tested in the Schnalstal/Senales valley to measure the thermal conductivity of snow and monitor water resources
In the past few days, a small Cessna aircraft carrying an experimental technology flew over the Senales Valley in South Tyrol between Vernagt /Vernago Lake and Grawand /Croda delle Cornacchie. Over the course of two flights, over a clearly defined path, a sensor measured the heat exchange between snow and air. On the ground, along the same routes, eight teams led by Eurac Research experts measured snow depth with scaled rods and weighed the snow to determine its type. If analysis of the data collected proves the technology is reliable and the measurements match those taken on the ground, it could go on to be mounted on satellites to help monitor how snow depth changes over the course of the season more accurately, and how much melted snow slides downhill as a result. The study came about through a collaboration between Eurac Research, Milano Bicocca University and the Italian space agency (ASI), with the participation of the Office for Hydrology and Dams of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, the foresters of Naturns/Naturno, ARPA Valle d'Aosta (Regional Environmental Protection Agency) and the CNR IRPI (National Research Council), and the support of the Alpin Arena Schnals Senales.