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Real Time Avalanche Detection for High Risk Areas
  • Published Date:
    2014-12-01
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-2.12 MB]


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  • Abstract:
    Avalanches routinely occur on State Highway 21 (SH21) between Lowman and Stanley, Idaho each winter. The avalanches pose a threat to the safety of maintenance workers and the traveling public. A real-time avalanche detection system will allow the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) avalanche forecasters to remotely monitor the major avalanche paths on this corridor. Information from the real-time system will aid avalanche forecasters in determining the current avalanche hazard, provide information about the timing and location of avalanche activity, initiate response/clearing of roadway, and provide information for when the road may be safe to open. The overall project objective was to develop a real-time avalanche detection system that could be easily deployed and expanded to other avalanche areas within Idaho. In addition, the system developed through the research needed to be capable of providing information to avalanche forecasters in a format they can interpret. In this project, we demonstrate that: 1. Avalanches can be detected using our low-cost sensor arrays that measure infrasound (sound below the threshold of human hearing, less than 20 Hz). 2. These arrays can be reliably deployed for continuous remote monitoring throughout the winter. 3. The multi-sensor high resolution data can be processed on-site and high level information can be relayed back to ITD avalanche forecasters.

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