NASA aims to measure vital snow data from satellites

Published: Feb. 21, 2017

Ryan Webb

Ryan Webb towing the Ground Penetrating Radar sled to collect snowpack information along a transect at SnowEx.

DENVER (AP) — Instrument-laden aircraft are surveying the Colorado high country this month as scientists search for better ways to measure how much water is locked up in the world's mountain snows — water that sustains a substantial share of the global population.

A NASA-led experiment called SnowEx is using five aircraft to test 10 sensors that might one day be used to monitor snow from satellites. The goal: Find the ideal combination to overcome multiple obstacles, including how to analyze snow hidden beneath forest canopies.

"It would be, I would say, a monumental leap in our ability to forecast water supply if we had this kind of information," said Noah Molotch, a member of the science team for the experiment.

Read more by Dan Elliot and the Associated Press.