A new dataset has been released for the SnowLab campaign, which took place between 2015 and 2019 in Switzerland.
ESA conducts airborne and ground-based campaigns to support the development of new instruments, and calibration and validation of existing instruments. These campaigns simulate satellite-based instruments and are conducted all over the world in support of a wide range of applications.
SnowLab’s goal was to provide a comprehensive multi-frequency, multi-polarisation, multi-temporal dataset of active and passive microwave measurements over snow-covered grounds to investigate the relationship between effective snow and ground parameters and the resultant signals detected by microwave radars and radiometers.
The campaign primarily used the SnowScat scatterometer instrument (9-18 GHz), which was installed at the Gerstenegg test site in 2015 and 2016, and Laret, in Davos, from 2016 to 2019. Based on the team’s experience with SnowScat, the WBScat scatterometer instrument was developed and added to the test site in 2018. It acquires data over a wider frequency range (1-40 GHz) in almost all weather situations and temperatures between -40° and 50°.
Acquisitions started from the beginning of the snow season each winter until the snow completely melted. Complete sets of multi-frequency and polarimetric data were gathered at six-hour intervals.
SnowLab was successful, gathering data on the origin of electromagnetic signatures associated with scattering effects, as well as more than 500 X- to Ku-band tomographic profiles over the test site in addition to in-situ data.
Following the conclusion of SnowLab, data acquired during the campaign are freely offered for download following submission of a data access request.