DRI scientist's invention marketed

A snowfall-measurement device invented by a scientist at Desert Research Institute in Reno will be manufactured by Yankee Environmental Systems.

The device was invented by John Hallett of DRI along with Roy Rasmussen of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

It's small enough 5 inches in diameter that it can be placed along airport runways or busy highways to provide realtime calculations of rain and snow.

This, in turn, will allow more efficient de-icing.

Currently, airports rely on snow gauges with buckets that must be emptied manually.

The device invented by Hallett and Rasmussen uses two plates warmed by electric heaters.

It calculates how much power is needed to evaporate precipitation on the upper plate and keep its surface temperature constant.

From this, it calculates a precipitation rate.

The lower plate factors out cooling from the wind.

Yankee Environmental of Turner Falls, Mass., says the sensors will sell for about $10,000 each.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment