Laser monitoring system to predict avalanches

Laser monitoring system to predict avalanches

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India: SiteMonitor laser monitoring system, developed by 3D Laser Mapping and first used to monitor gold mines in Africa, is being employed to predict avalanches in the Himalayas. It is being distributed by Elcome Technologies, Gurgaon, India.

Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) is now using SiteMonitor technology to monitor the snow cover build-up, as well as access its displacement with passage of time and provide valuable inputs for improving the accuracy of avalanche prediction in the Himalayas. Using the laser monitoring system, it is now far quicker and safer to capture accurate, reliable and repeatable measurements for the calculation of snow mass, displacement etc.

SASE is an establishment of the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO), one of Asia’s largest R&D organisations, working under the Indian Ministry of Defence. Located in Chandigarh / Manali, SASE has been set up to combat the hazards of snow and avalanches not only to help inhabitants live safely in the mountains but also to accelerate the pace of socio-economic growth of the inaccessible snowbound hill regions.

A state-of-the-art laser monitoring system ‘SiteMonitor’ includes the latest 6km range scanner; a Riegl LPM 321, which can capture up to 1,000 point measurements per second, to an accuracy of 25mm and at a range of up to 6,000m with specialist software to accurately measure snow accumulations and track movements over time that may pre-empt an avalanche.

Installed in a heated glass house, the unit can operate at temperatures as low as –20° centigrade, the system also includes a calibrated and accurately orientated high-resolution digital camera.

Source: Mining Technology