Introducing the Video In Situ Snowfall Sensor (VISSS)

Maahn, Maximilian; Moisseev, Dmitri; Steinke, Isabelle; Maherndl, Nina; Shupe, Matthew D.

The open-source Video In Situ Snowfall Sensor (VISSS) is introduced as a novel instrument for the characterization of particle shape and size in snowfall. The VISSS consists of two cameras with LED backlights and telecentric lenses that allow accurate sizing and combine a large observation volume with relatively high pixel resolution and a design that limits wind disturbance. VISSS data products include various particle properties such as maximum extent, cross-sectional area, perimeter, complexity, and sedimentation velocity. Initial analysis shows that the VISSS provides robust statistics based on up to 10 000 unique particle observations per minute. Comparison of the VISSS with the collocated PIP (Precipitation Imaging Package) and Parsivel instruments at Hyytiälä, Finland, shows excellent agreement with the Parsivel but reveals some differences for the PIP that are likely related to PIP data processing and limitations of the PIP with respect to observing smaller particles. The open-source nature of the VISSS hardware plans, data acquisition software, and data processing libraries invites the community to contribute to the development of the instrument, which has many potential applications in atmospheric science and beyond.



Maahn, Maximilian / Moisseev, Dmitri / Steinke, Isabelle / et al: Introducing the Video In Situ Snowfall Sensor (VISSS). 2024. Copernicus Publications.


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