Simulation and Validation of the InfraSnow: An Instrument to Measure Snow Optically Equivalent Grain Size

Abstract

Quantifying snow grain size is crucial to analyze radiative transfer and mechanical interactions in the snow cover. We present a nondestructive method for fast measurements of snow optically equivalent diameter (OED). The method consists of diffuse near-infrared reflectance measurements by a compact integrating sphere setup to derive OED. This principle is realized in the handheld InfraSnow instrument. The correlation between snow OED and reflectance is calculated by applying Monte Carlo ray tracing to a 3-D implementation of the measurement geometry. Including the geometrical boundary conditions is essential to obtain a good agreement between modeled and measured InfraSnow reflectance values. In addition to InfraSnow reflectance, snow density is required as second input parameter to the OED analysis. Our InfraSnow OED measurements agree with reference OED measurements by micro computed tomography (micro-CT) within 25% for seven of the ten tested snow blocks. Furthermore, the relative differences between both measurement methods are close to the estimated uncertainties of the InfraSnow methodology. If density is measured by micro-CT and then used as InfraSnow model input to derive OED, an average agreement with the reference micro-CT OED values within 13% is found. If density is measured by a permittivity sensor, the average agreement is within 20%.

DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2013.2280502

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Cite this paper

@article{Gergely2014SimulationAV, title={Simulation and Validation of the InfraSnow: An Instrument to Measure Snow Optically Equivalent Grain Size}, author={Mathias Gergely and Fabian Wolfsperger and Martin Schneebeli}, journal={IEEE Trans. Geoscience and Remote Sensing}, year={2014}, volume={52}, pages={4236-4247} }