Millimeter-Wave Radar Sensor for Snow Height Measurements

Ayhan, S. ; Pauli, M. ; Scherr, S. ; Göttel, B. ; Bhutani, A. ; Thomas, S. ; Jaeschke, T. ; Panel, Jean-Michel ; Vivier, F. ; Eymard, L. ; Weill, A. ; Pohl, N. ; Zwick, T.

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A small and lightweight frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) radar system is used for the determination of snow height by measuring the distance to the snow surface from a platform. The measurements have been performed at the Centre des Études de la Neige (Col de Porte), which is located near Grenoble in the French Alps. It is shown that the FMCW radar at millimeter-wave frequencies is an extremely promising approach for distance measurements to snow surfaces, e.g., in the mountains or in an Arctic environment. The characteristics of the radar sensor are described in detail. The relevant accuracy to measure the distance to a snow layer is shown at different heights and over an extended time duration. A dedicated laser snow telemeter is used as reference. In addition, the reflection from different types of snow is shown.
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