Elucidating Snow Heights for Avalanche Assessment from Automated Data Processing from UAS and New Winter Hazards Station

Alaska Department of Transportation maintenance and operation (M&O) crew near Atigun Pass battles with more than 180 avalanches a year that block the road. Road blockage due to snow is also a consequence of blowing snow that aggregates as snowdrifts on the road. The focus is on Atigun Pass, where the Dalton Highway crosses the Brooks Range, the most northern mountain range in the North America Content, and well above the Arctic Circle. Atigun Pass is a unique environment because blowing snow is the principal factor in creating avalanche conditions. Blowing snow at the pass also generates snowdrifts that block the road, occasionally occupying the small M&O crew for days on end. The research team aims to create two new tools to optimize the effort in keeping the road free of snow. The first tool applies UAS (unmanned aircraft system) in conjunction with in-house developed software to elucidate snow surface height (digital elevation models). The software will keep track of hazardous snow features such as a hanging cornice or how much snow loaded is in a gully above a road. The second tool is a new Winter Hazard Station (WHZ). The team placed the WHZ near the pass, close to the brunt of peak wind conditions—the WHZ measures; local meteorological conditions, direct blowing snow, and sampling through delayed-camera views

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $120000
  • Contract Numbers:

    69A355174110

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium

    University of Washington
    More Hall Room 112
    Seattle, WA  United States  98195-2700

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Alaska University Transportation Center

    University of Alaska, Fairbanks
    P.O. Box 755900
    Fairbanks, AK  United States  99775-5900
  • Project Managers:

    Connor, Billy

  • Performing Organizations:

    Alaska University Transportation Center

    University of Alaska, Fairbanks
    P.O. Box 755900
    Fairbanks, AK  United States  99775-5900
  • Principal Investigators:

    Connor, Billy

  • Start Date: 20210616
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220615
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01784885
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: 69A355174110
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Oct 15 2021 5:13PM