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Automatic snow surface roughness estimation using digital photos

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A surface roughness measurement system for snow is presented. It is based on a background board with scales on the edges and a digital camera. Analysis software is developed for automatic processing of images to produce calibrated profiles. The image analysis and calibration was fully automatic in >99% of the studied cases. In the others, the intensity adjustment or board detection needed manual intervention. Profile detection, control point picking and calibration always worked autonomously. The accuracy of the system depends on the photographing configuration, and is typically of the order of 0.1 mm vertically and 0.04 mm horizontally. The method tolerates relatively well cases of snowfall, traces of wiping the black background dry, uneven shading, reflected sunlight, reflected flash light, litter on the snow surface and a tilted plate. The repeatability of the system is at least 1%.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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