Sensor for Determining the Quality of Artificial Snow

The aim of the project is to develop a sensor concept with which the quality of fresh artificial snow can be determined. The sensor concept is to be selected in such a way that integration on a snow cannon is possible. The quality of the artificial snow is to be measured in real time and the parameters of the snow cannon are to be autonomously readjusted so that the optimum snow quality and quantity is always produced with minimum power and water consumption. The time window for using snow cannons is becoming shorter and shorter. The goal is to produce as much snow of high quality as possible with the best energy and water efficiency. However, weather and environmental conditions have a massive impact on the generation process. The more water is injected into the snow cannon, the more snow it produces. However, if the water droplets in the air cannot freeze completely and crystallize, they do more damage than good. The estimate of snow cannon manufacturers is that with the sensor - in addition to massively improved snow quality - electricity and water consumption can be reduced by up to 30%. Since the composition of the artificial snow produced by a snow cannon can change considerably during the snowmaking process due to environmental influences such as wind, temperature, etc., it is essential to measure the snow produced directly at the deposition point on the ski slope. This is to ensure that snow of optimum quality can be produced at any time. Due to this requirement, optical measuring methods in particular offer a wide range of possible solutions. The concept of snow quality is determined here on the basis of a model from measured parameters, namely the average grain size and moisture content of the artificial snow.


Optronia GmbH

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Duration: 14.10.2020 - 13.10.2021

Funding Source: FFG General Programme

Coordinator: Ulrich Hausmann / Optronia GmbH