The popularity of backcountry skiing and snow scooter driving has resulted in an increase in avalanche fatalities. Understanding what triggers an avalanche during skiing is essential and several approaches are already used. Remote devices and sensor arrays are installed to monitor and predict avalanches.
Most skier involved avalanches are triggered by the skiers themselves. Very often a persistent weak snow layer causes the avalanches and often loss of human life. However, measuring snow properties during skiing is not yet established and is part of our research.
We will present a radar-based solution-under-development for skiers where a radar sensor device (SKNOW®) is connected to the ski. The device digitally measures the snow profile as well as slope gradient and applied forces. This data will be stored on a cloud for further analysis and to find similarities between different skiing areas regional and even between different countries.
SKNOW® platform goes beyond safety alerts, offering GPS tracking, weather information, local avalanche bulletins and maps including slope and aspect measurements. By combining this information with real-time snow data, we aim to empower for safer trip planning, helping skiers avoid avalanche risk areas even before venturing in the backcountry.
Monica Vaksdal is the CEO and founder of Think outside, the company behind Sknow. She is an experienced skier, climber, and loves winter camping.
The boring stuff: Cand.Scient.Petroleum Geology (UiB), Cand.Mag.Sociology (UiB), Master of Management (BI). 16 years experience from various position in the petroleum industry