Snow pillow behavior under controlled laboratory conditions

TitleSnow pillow behavior under controlled laboratory conditions
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1981
AuthorsSmith, F. W., and Boyne H. S.
Conference Name49th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 49th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1981
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationSt. George, Utah
KeywordsSnow pillow, Snow sensor, Snowpack

This paper describes a series of experiments which have been conducted on metal snow pillows of the type used in the SNOTEL (for SNOwpack TELemetry) data acquisition system. The tests were conducted in specially designed pressure chambers so that the conditions to which the pillows were subjected could be controlled. The test results reported in this paper include response to uniform pressure, the effect of varying tubing size and type, the effect of the stiffness of the metal pillow skin and the response of the pillow to the application of nonuniformly distributed load.A theoretical model is also presented which is intended to describe the behaviour of snow pillows under uniform loading conditions. The model includes the effect of skin stiffness and the effects of differing temperatures on different parts of a snow pillow/manometer installation.It was found that the theoretical model accurately predicts the snow pillow behaviour for uniform loading conditions and that the effects of skin stiffness are negligible for that case.