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Photo Gallery of SNOTEL Site Components

Photo Gallery of SNOTEL Site Components

Example SNOTEL site for high precipitation   Example SNOTEL site for low precipitation   Example SNOTEL site   Example SNOTEL site

Examples of typical SNOTEL site installations
Steel snow pillows   Butyl snow pillow   Snow pillow installation with fence protection   Snow pillow without fence  

Snow pillow installations. These bladders are filled with fluid that is used to measure the weight of the snowpack, which is converted to snow water equivalent (SWE). We use both butyl (#1) and steel (#2) pillows. Some are fenced for protection from livestock (#3) while others are not (#4).
Precipitation gauge   Precipitation gauge for areas with high precipitation   Fluid pressure transducer - used for snow pillow and precipitation gauge   

Precipitation gauge. Storage gauges (#1&2) are used to capture precipitation in any form - rain, snow, sleet, etc. These gauges are sized according to the average annual precipitation at each site. A wind shield is mounted at the gauge orifice to reduce wind effect on the measurement. Fluid pressure, from both precipitation gauge and snow pillow, is measured with pressure transducers (#4).
MET tower   Ultrasonic snow depth sensor   Enhanced Sensors   Soil sensors

Other components. All sites have shielded thermistors to measure air temperature, and most sites are equipped with ultrasonic snow depth gauges that are mounted above the maximum snowpack level (#1 & 2). Several sites are also equipped with climate sensors, such as wind speed/direction, solar radiation and relative humidity (#3). Also, several sites have soil monitoring equipment that measure soil moisture, temperature, and salinity (#4).
Radio and datalogger  CR10X datalogger - used for SNOTEL sites with nonstandard sensors   Radio antenna and solar panels   SNOTEL site shelter



Electronics. SNOTEL sites use meteor burst communication technology to transmit data. A standard site uses a Campbell Scientific CR10X datalogger to collect and process data and a MCC 545B radio to transmit data (#1 & 2). SNOTEL sites are solar powered - the solar panels are mounted on a mast with the antenna for radio transmission (#3). All sites have a small shelter that houses the transducers, datalogger, and transmission equipment (#4).