After investing years to measure Sierra snowpack, California from the sky, NASA is now thinking to develop the same kind of systems for space.
There is a great amount of snow gathered around the high granite reservoirs that located in the mountains of Sierra Nevada due to an unusually dry winter. Once the weather cleared, two NASA scientists fly on a small plane from the Mammoth Yosemite Airport on Sunday Morning.
The pilots lift off the first flight of the Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) this season after having some security checks. ASO equipped with a pair of sensors that point across a glass cutout situated below the plane. The volume of the mountain snowpack will be calculated by the lidar, whereas a spectrometer measures the reflectivity. Both of these tools offer a right estimate about the quantity of water that will run off from the mountain during the spring. Additionally, it will also calculate the time of the flow through the state’s warren of aqueducts, reservoirs, & dams.
The water authorities will become successful in controlling the hydroelectric water plants that charge through the water with the help of this data. Additionally, they will get much-needed assistance to feed the cities and boost up the country’s most agricultural locations. It is pretty vital to complete that job adequately because the California state is already struggling due to the floods & droughts recently because of the changes in climate.
According to ASO Program’s principal investigator Thomas Painter, the thing that can’t calculate can’t manage. This program managed by the Jet Propulsion Lab of NASA that situated in Pasadena.
The total area of Sierra Nevada is 400 miles that stretch across the state’s Southeast Border. Approximately 1/3rd of California’s water comes from the melting of snowpack every year. It is pretty tricky work to manage this resource. The technicians of this reservoir have to work adequately for recharging groundwater, avoiding floods and supply adequate water to the industries & towns.
The ASO program started during the spring of 2013 when pretty bad drought hit the California state. The main motive of this program is to find the reason behind shifting of snowpack conditions as it will be pretty vital to managing the water within a system. Additionally, ASO will help the technicians for preventing the water to overtop the basins during wet years.