Not long ago Campbell Scientific released a new snow water equivalent sensor. The CS725 (formerly known as the GMON3) uses an innovative, non-contact method of monitoring snow water equivalent (SWE) for any type of snow or ice. It measures SWE by passively detecting the change in naturally occurring electromagnetic energy from the ground after it passes through snow cover.
The CS725 has many features that make it an excellent replacement sensor for the traditional snow pillow and snow scale. Its wide measurement area (approximately 100 m2) is five to ten times larger than the measurement area of the closest competitor. Additionally, the CS725 is not affected by adverse weather, does not cause snow drifting, and requires less site preparation than snow pillows.
Testing has shown that sites free from wooded vegetation and man-made structures (within a 48 m radius), or sites that will experience lower SWE values (< 300 mm) may not require the collimator. Because of this, we've made the collimator optional, which in some cases will reduce costs and greatly simplify installation.
SWE measurements are used in a variety of applications including surface water runoff modeling, water cycle studies, and climate prediction. Our CS725 is ideal for providing the data used in these studies, and we look forward to the contributions this sensor will make to these applications.