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Experimental validation of a dual-receiver radar architecture for snowpack monitoring

  • Marco Pasian (a1), Pedro Fidel Espín-López (a1) (a2), Lorenzo Silvestri (a1), Massimiliano Barbolini (a1) (a3) and Fabio Dell'Acqua (a1)...


Microwave radars can be used to monitor the internal structure of the snowpack, delivering real-time and non-destructive measurements. Recently, the working principle of an innovative radar architecture able to identify some of the most important snowpack parameters, without external aids, has been demonstrated. A key point of this new architecture is the use of two independent receiving antennas, and one transmitting antenna. This paper presents a comparison between two different implementations, either based on one physical antenna miming two receiving antennas, or based directly on two physical receiving antennas. The different advantages and disadvantages of both solutions are discussed, highlighting the superior accuracy achieved by the implementation based on two physical receiving antennas. Then, this paper also presents the field results achieved by this type of radar architecture, on the grounds of a 5-day experimental campaign that took place in winter 2019 in the Italian Alps on dry snow. The comparison between the radar measurements and the ground truth (manual snowpit analysis, in terms of snowpack depth, dielectric constant, bulk density, and snow water equivalent) is provided. Overall, a root mean square error of around 3.5 cm, 0.05, 27 kg/m3, and 2.5 cm is achieved, respectively.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Marco Pasian, E-mail:


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Experimental validation of a dual-receiver radar architecture for snowpack monitoring

  • Marco Pasian (a1), Pedro Fidel Espín-López (a1) (a2), Lorenzo Silvestri (a1), Massimiliano Barbolini (a1) (a3) and Fabio Dell'Acqua (a1)...


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