Using an Ultrasonic RangeFinder for Snow Level Measurement
When winter arrives at our production facilities in Minnesota, we see a lot of snow. An ultrasonic rangefinder for snow detection is a great way to measure just how much snow Old Man Winter brings. Ultrasonic sensors traditionally struggle to detect snow because it acts like a sound dampener. You can gain further understanding of how snow dampens sounds at this link on Ultrasonic Rangefinder Target Acoustics.
At MaxBotix Inc., we produce a range of weather resistant and snow ultrasonic sensors that help you successfully overcome the difficulties of detecting soft targets like snow. The reliability and accuracy of a measurement are two main concerns when detecting snow. A true and accurate reading depends upon a range of factors surrounding both the snow and the ultrasonic sensor.
This makes it important to find a solution that was designed with snow in mind. We maintain successful and accurate readings by compensating our ultrasonic rangefinders for temperature, voltage, and target size while maintaining proper sensitivity to detect the density of fresh snow. Learn more about our Snow Level Measurement Ultrasonic Rangefinders Accuracy.
Using a MaxBotix Ultrasonic Rangefinder HRXL 7366
Once you have your hands on a proper ultrasonic range finder, a final yet extremely important step for snow level measurement is the mounting of the ultrasonic sensor. The height and distance of the ultrasonic sensor from surrounding obstacles is a key point in mounting the ultrasonic rangefinder. This includes where and how you measure the temperature for proper range compensation. You can read the details and instructions for proper mounting in our article Mounting an Ultrasonic Range finder for Snow Level Measurement.
The MB7334 and the MB7354 will produce great results for most snow depth measurements. The accuracy was measured over 5 days on three million continuous readings with ultrasonic snow sensor data presented here.
The graph below shows the outputs from our three of our ultrasonic sensors. These sensors filter the outputs and the graph shows what happens when a target is moved 10cmm over a 90 second time period. Snow doesn’t come down that fast, so the sensors don’t need to respond that quickly so MaxBotix designed ultrasonic sensors to specifically make snow sensing much more reliable.
The following ultrasonic rangefinder sensors will give you the results you expect for all your snow measurement applications.
High Performance Ultrasonic Precision Rangefinder – HRXL‑MaxSonar®‑WRS™. The industrial high resolution outdoor HRXL-MaxSonar-WRS sensors have a robust PVC housing designed to meet IP67 water intrusion. Theses sensors provide reliable measurements for snow depth and liquid level applications. The HRXL-MaxSonar-WRS outdoor ultrasonic sensors have high power output, noise rejection, auto calibration, temperature compensation, and factory calibrated beam patterns. To view all the products in the HRXL-MaxSonar-WRS Sensors Product line click here.
High Performance Ultrasonic Precision Rangefinder – SCXL‑MaxSonar®‑WRS™. The SCXL-MaxSonar-WRS sensor line introduces an effective self-cleaning capability designed to reduce the impact of condensation in closed or high-moisture (dew, frost, etc.) environments. This sensor is a cost-effective solution for applications where precision range-finding, low-voltage operation, space saving, low-cost, self-cleaning, and IP67 weather resistance rating is needed. This innovative sensor component module allows users of other, more costly precision rangefinders to lower the cost of their systems without sacrificing performance. To view all the products in the SCXL-MaxSonar-WRS Sensors Product line click here.
High Performance Ultrasonic Precision Rangefinder – MB7354 HRXL-MaxSonar®-WRS5™. The weather resistant HRXL-MaxSonar-WR is a rugged, ultrasonic sensor component module. This outdoor sensor provides very short- to long- distance detection and ranging in a compact, robust PVC housing. The ultrasonic sensor meets the IP67 water intrusion standard and matches standard electrical 3/4‑inch PVC pipe fittings. The MB7354 HRXL-MaxSonar-WRS is a cost-effective, rugged ultrasonic snow-depth sensor that is designed for reliable snow-depth measurement. The MB7354 is the recommended sensor for snow depth measurement. The MB7354 has an internal filter that is a recent biased exponential weighted average. This filter is limited to change a maximum of 7mm per second. View Sensor
High Performance Ultrasonic Precision Rangefinder – MB7554 SCXL-MaxSonar®-WRS5™. The weather resistant SCXL-MaxSonar-WRS self‑cleaning sensor is a rugged ultrasonic sensor component module. This outdoor sensor provides very short to long distance detection and ranging in a compact, robust PVC housing. The ultrasonic sensor meets the IP67 water intrusion standard and matches standard electrical 3/4‑inch PVC pipe fittings. The MB7554 SCXL-MaxSonar-WRS5 self‑cleaning sensor is a cost-effective, rugged ultrasonic sensor designed for reliable snow-depth measurement. View Sensor