SNOWsat proves its value in practice!

Saves machine-made snow and diesel fuel while reducing hours of labor and CO2 emissions


PistenBully 600 E+ with SNOWsat LiDAR

An important factor for operating ski resorts cost-effectively is efficient snow management. Especially in the current situation, when the challenges facing the ski industry are constantly growing: The number of snow days is decreasing while the costs of water and energy are rising.

The available resources must be utilized as efficiently as possible – SNOWsat provides the pool of data needed to help you make decisions and base your planning on. For more than 12 years SNOWsat has been a reliable partner of ski resorts around the world, which now number more than 370. Despite difficult conditions, customers have a positive assessment after the season and tell us about how SNOWsat supported them in successfully running their ski operations:

Revolution in snow depth measurement
Corsin Clopath, Director of slope and rescue service in Laax, Switzerland, is enthusiastic about the new snow depth measurement feature with SNOWsat LiDAR: "The technology has highly optimized everything. […] With the old system you always had to drive over an area once at first to get an idea. […] Now we are able to make decisions based much more on facts – decisions about how much artificial snow we have to produce, how much snow we have to push and where we have to push it to. Earlier all of that was done much more by gut feeling." Corsin reports impressive numbers for conservation of resources: "I would say we definitely need ten percent less artificial snow and do not have to push as much snow around. Which, in turn, decreases CO2 emissions, use of diesel fuel and hours of labor." 

Efficient snow management 
PistenBully operator Martin Kaufmann from the Männlichen ski resort in Switzerland tells us about the valuable support he has experienced by using SNOWsat for his snow grooming work. The system proved to be extremely reliable and effective, particularly in conditions with little snow and thin snow cover: "We have to be thrifty with the snow. We have to do that even when we have a lot of fresh snow – but now with thin snow cover we are at risk of damaging the ground." When this work is done where every centimeter counts, SNOWsat provides the needed support: "This screen always shows me how thick the snow cover is under the machine," explains Martin. 

Scientifically proven: 
Up to 30% reduction in the production of machine-made snow
In an interview with Swiss news portal Watson, Fabian Wolfsperger, a technical staff member of the renowned WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, convincingly summarizes the advantages of snow depth measurement systems such as SNOWsat. Drawing on his longtime experience and expertise in the field of technical snowmaking and snow management, he explains how systems such as the SNOWsat can help in making ski operations more successful while also being more cost-effective.

"It makes the operator's work immensely easier. He can properly distribute the snow much more easily. He always sees where the snow cover is already thick enough and where there is still a lack of snow. And then he distributes the mounds of snow evenly." When asked how much machine-made snow can actually be saved thanks to the support of SNOWsat, Fabian reports impressive numbers: "A few years ago the Mayrhofen ski resort in Zillertal calculated […] savings of about 25 to 30 percent." 

Corsin Clopath Laax

Corsin Clopath, Head of Slope and Rescue Services, Weiße Arena Gruppe Laax, Switzerland

Fabian Wolfsperger

Fabian Wolfsperger, Technical employee of the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research