The importance of quantifying the water resource stored in the snow pack is strategic for its management for agricultural, industrial and domestic purposes.
Finapp assesses the available Water Resource through the determination of the Snow Water Equivalent.
The Finapp probe is an integrated sensor for the measurement of ambient neutrons, generated by cosmic rays, which allows the estimation of SWE, i.e., water content in snow.
The principle of operation is the same as already described for soil moisture, but the peculiarity of this measurement is the presence of a pair of Finapp probes:
- The first is placed above the snow pack. This probe is used to measure incoming neutrons from space before they interact with the snow.
- The second is placed at ground level, burying it slightly, when the ground is free of snow. The snow cover will completely cover the probe, which will then count neutrons that have already interacted with the snow pack.
The difference in neutron counts between the two probes gives us an accurate measure of how much water is present in the snow pack.
Pros and Features
- Large-scale: radius of more than 20m
- At depth: saturation limit of about 2’000mm
The same probe, thanks to the measurement of muons, a sub-atomic particle always generated by cosmic rays, is able to provide a backup measurement of SWE with a saturation limit > 10’000mm, again in real time, albeit over a radius reduced to about 1m. This is a unique feature in the SWE market, thanks to a patented innovation.
When the snow is fully melted, the probe will provide soil moisture, again on a large scale, in depth and in real time, thus becoming a multifunctional instrument.