Title Wireless sensors as a tool to explore avalanche internal dynamics; experiments at the Weissfluhjoch Snow Chute
Author Vilajosana, I.; Llosa, J.; Schaefer, M.; Suriņach, E.; Vilajosana, X.
Author Affil Vilajosana, I., WorldSensing, Barcelona, Spain. Other: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain; Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, Switzerland
Source Cold Regions Science and Technology, 65(2), p.242-250, . Publisher: Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISSN: 0165- 232X
Publication Date Feb. 2011
Notes In English. 21 refs. GeoRef Acc. No: 309491
Index Terms avalanches; experimentation; instruments; mass movements (geology); snow; Switzerland; acceleration; accelerometers; Central Europe; dynamics; Europe; experimental studies; mass movements; natural hazards; video methods; Weissfluhjoch; Weissfluhjoch Snow Chute; wireless sensors
Abstract Specially designed wireless accelerometers units were used in a series of experiments at the snow chute operated by the SLF at Weissfluhjoch (Switzerland) during 2008-2009 winter. The purpose of the experiment was to evaluate the best design and the performance of these innovative instruments to provide information on the internal dynamics of flowing snow. The wireless accelerometers were placed in the snow chute starting zone prior to the experiments and traveled within the flow when the avalanche was released. The characteristics of the units (size and density) allow them to evolve like active particle tracers. Acceleration measurements obtained at 85 Hz in the different experiments were analyzed. The analysis methods used include Empirical Mode Decomposition and Kalman filtering techniques. The developed methodologies were used to obtain reliable speed and position values from the single 2D acceleration measurements. The obtained results were compared to independent speed and position measurements. The results show to be in agreement with that obtained from independent speed measurements from optoelectronic sensor arrays and video images and open a new perspective for future avalanche research. The extracted information could provide valuable data related to internal dynamics of the avalanche. Small-scale chutes are the ideal scenario to test these new technologies. Moreover, we consider these sites essential to develop and test new instrumentation (to be deployed), in the future, in full-scale experiments. In addition, the experiments performed show for the first time the potential of the wireless technologies and wireless sensors to study snow avalanches.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.coldregions.2010.09.011
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 65006616