Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

FMCW radar

A high-performance profiling C-band radar based on the principle of continuous-wave frequency modulation has been developed jointly by the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) and the Institute for Communication Technology and Wave Propagation (INW) of the Technical University of Graz. The purpose of this device is to measure the flow depth, the erosion rate and-by cross-correlation of the signals from a pair of radars positioned in the flow direction-vertical profiles of the internal longitudinal flow velocity.

Its outstanding features are
-high spatial resolution (< 0.15m),
-high temporal resolution (> 100 profiles/s),
-narrow beam width in the flow direction, allowing to place the radars as close as 2m without cross-talk,
-a detection range > 15m, and
-rugged construction withstanding unattended operation during an entire winter season in a cavern inside an large avalanche track.

Further development has the objective of simplifying the device (at the expense of a reduced measurement rate) to the point where it can be manufactured as a low-cost snow-cover monitoring sensor. The intended use is primarily in inaccessible release zones of avalanches that endanger settlements or traffic routes. From the evolution of the snow cover depth, safety responsible obtain decisive information on the likelihood of an avalanche release and can more securely and accurately time evacuation decisions. Under suitable circumstances (single release zone, long avalanche path, short endangered segment of traffic route), such radar systems may also be used for triggering a traffic light closing the segment as soon as an avalanche is released. Where avalanches are released artificially under storm conditions, the FMCW radars can also be used to verify whether the snow mass was indeed released, even when it does not arrive on the valley floor. NGI has an agreement with an electronics company that will produce and market such radars after positive test results from the research system at the Ryggfonn test site and the construction of a prototype of the simplified system.

Informations connexes

Reported by

Norwegian Geotechnical Institute
Postboks 3930 Ullevaal Stadion
N-0806 Oslo