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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Prof Jim McElwaine

Ash, M. Brennan, P. V. Chetty, K. McElwaine, J. N. & Keylock, C. (2010), FMCW Radar Imaging of Avalanche-Like Snow Movements, 2010 IEEE International Radar Conference. Arlington, Virginia, IEEE, Piscataway, 102-107.

Author(s) from Durham


High quality field measurements of avalanche flows are required for calibrating computational models which are an essential tool in managing the threat posed by these flows. In this paper we present a new C-band FMCW radar system developed at University College London for gathering highresolution avalanche flow data. The radar employs a full deramp hardware architecture, a diverse set of frequency ramps, and an 8-channel receiver array. We also show initial results of a small-scale field trial carried out using a single channel prototype radar deployed in a snow chute. The results are presented as range-time plots. A simple calculation of the expected flow velocity due to gravity agrees with the estimated experimental value. The results demonstrate the capability of the radar system to record high range resolution microwave images of snow movements. The experiments reported here were carried out as a precursor to full trials of the radar system during which images of full scale avalanche flows will be captured.