Clifton resident to participate in NASA snow mission



U.S. Navy Lt. Denise Miller of Clifton will participate in NASA’s ground and airborne snow mission exercise to investigate snow and water availability.

NASA is leading a multi-year campaign called SnowEx to test a variety of sensors and techniques from ground to air, to improve measurements of the snow-water equivilant (SWE) over an array of terrain, forest and snow environments.

SnowEx begins in February in Grand Mesa, Colo., and will collect a variety of airborne and ground-based measuements. The SnowEx team includes more than 100 scientists from universities and agencies across the United States, Europe and Canada.

More than one-sixth of the world’s population (1.2 billion people) rely on seasonal snow and glaciers for water. Nearly three-quarters of the water in the Western United States depends on the frozen reserves. Satellites have measured snow cover area for decades, but are not able to measure snow water equivalent or SWE consistently over all snowy environments.

Better and more frequent remotely sensed measurements of SWE are of significant interest to communities across the globe, in particular as it relates to the availability of fresh water, natural hazards, winter-dependent industries and ecosystem impacts.

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