Measuring the snow that fell last year

Measuring the snow that fell last year

December 13, 2005

The hydropower business desire improved methods for calculating the amounts of water that will drain into their reservoirs. Norut IT will develop new methods for remote sensing of snow in the mountains.

The snow that accumulates during winter has great impact on the hydropower production. It is very useful for the hydropower producers to be able to measure the amount of water in the snow during the winter in order to calculate the expected water runoff to the magazines.

Norut IT has been selected to develop new remote sensing methods for the hydropower business. The snow measurements shall be done in Dividalen and Altevatn in Troms County, via satellite. The satellite acquires images over the areas during summer and winter. The scientists can calculate the water content of the snow by comparing these images.

Today, snow measurements are performed once per year by manual field measurements. This is a very time consuming process. The hydropower business hence wishes improved methods for the task. In addition to reduced costs, remote sensing of snow will also grant measurements during the whole winter will. This will improve the hydropower producer's control of the water reserves.

Norut IT will also consider potential commercialization of the methods. The project has been financed by the hydropower companies TromsKraft and Statkraft, and RDA (a fund based on regional differential employment tax).

Contact person

Seniorf Scientist Eirik Malnes