Sensing Techniques
Sensitivity and accuracy of different sensing techniques. Photo credit: Matthew Sturm
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SWE and Snow Energy Balance
Distribution of snow-water equivalent and snow energy balance. Photo credit: Randi Hausken
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Sensing Techniques
SWE and Snow Energy Balance

NASA SnowEx Overview

NSIDC DAAC will archive and distribute data products from the NASA SnowEx campaigns focusing on collecting snow data in forested regions with airborne multi-sensor and in situ validation observations.  Year 1 snow measurements, collected in February 2017, took place in Grand Mesa, Colorado, with a secondary site located at Senator Beck Basin, Colorado. The mission utilized a suite of airborne instruments such as Lidar, SAR, Passive Microwave, Multi-spectral/hyperspectral VIS/IR, and others, as well as ground measurements, to study Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) in forested areas. The next SnowEx campaign is scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2019 and plans to include sites in Colorado, California, Idaho, New Mexico, and Utah.

About the Project

The NASA HQ/Terrestrial Hydrology Program, with contributions from participating scientists and researchers, has initiated a multi-year airborne and ground campaign to collect observations to enable studies for snow satellite mission designs, with the following objectives:

  • develop/test algorithms for measurement of SWE in forested and non-forested areas by providing multi-sensor observations of seasonally snow-covered landscapes
  • develop/test energy balance models and snow distribution models of beneath-canopy snowpack using appropriate field measurements
  • explore how best to combine sensing technologies with modeling and data assimilation methods to produce the most accurate products

Related Resources

SnowEx Project at NASA
Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) Project at NASA JPL
Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) Data at NSIDC
iSWGR - NASA International Snow Working Group Remote Sensing
NSIDC User Services
Let It Snow! Webinar