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ASO – Airborne Snow Observatory

The Airborne Snow Observatory began July surveys of select basins of the eastern Sierra Nevada for the California Department of Water Resources.  These surveys were especially important to DWR as nearly all of the conventional ground snow sensors have melted out and are no longer providing data.  ASO is therefore the only source of insight into the snow depth of the remaining snow in the upper elevations of the Sierra Nevada.

ASO – Airborne Snow Observatory

ASO completed its April 1 California snow survey flights and successfully delivered data products for the Tuolumne, San Joaquin, Lakes, Lee Vining, and Rush Creek basins.  Fun fact: the sum total snow water equivalent (SWE) for the Tuolumne Basin in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 is 92% of the 2017 snow water equivalent estimate.

ASO – Airborne Snow Observatory

ASO completed a successful campaign with NASA’s SnowEx mission, flying a total of five sorties over the Senator Beck and Grand Mesa basins.  The SnowEx mission also collected UAVSAR data and GLISTIN Ka-Band interferometry data nearly coincident with ASO data.  This collection of airborne and ground measurements will be hugely beneficial for future spaceborne missions to understand the global water cycle and snowpack interaction.  


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