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Mini-meter measures snow properties, shows Johan Casselgren, assistant professor.

Smart tool measures snow quality

Published: 1 March 2021

It is called Bevameter and is a mini version of a larger variant intended for measurements of snow. Researchers and students at Luleå University of Technology have continued to work on the supervisor and scaled it down significantly. Above all, because it should be easy to take in the field and generate benefit in a number of areas.

– It is developed to be able to compare snow on different test tracks and is a new type of portable monitor that is designed and built to measure snow properties in the field, says Johan Casselgren, Associate Professor of Fluid and Experimental Mechanics at Luleå University of Technology.

With the new mini-meter, the researchers want to be able to measure snow properties, which can then be used to understand how the different types of snow on the test tracks differ. Today, it is difficult to find data on mechanical properties of snow related to brake tests on test tracks. Therefore, the researchers have accepted the challenge of developing an instrument that can take into account that the snow's properties change all the time. The snow changes due to aging, climatic conditions and external influences.

– Yes, the measurement procedure is difficult because old snow often contains layers with different densities and hardness, he says.

Useful tool

The purely practical thing about the new measuring tool is that it can be easily connected to a computer and is handheld. Results from initial measurements show that the instrument works for collecting necessary data that can form the basis for modeling the snow's shear properties linked to temperature.

– With some improvements, the surveyor we have designed is a very useful tool that can be used in field measurements of snow properties related to, among other things, test tracks for vehicle and tire tests, says Johan Casselgren.

The mini-bevameter can also be a measuring tool of snow quality and benefit from the large collaborative project that Luleå University of Technology has entered into with SOC, the Swedish Olympic Committee. A new innovative and dynamic ski and snow lab to develop the world's fastest skis is an important part of that collaboration.