Microscope inspects the properties of snow

Working in conjunction with the German ski wax producer Zipps and optomechatronic systems builder Opto (Graefelfing, Germany), an engineer at the German Ski Federation has developed a portable microscope to inspect the properties of different types of snow.

Microscope inspects the properties of snow
Microscope inspects the properties of snow

Working in conjunction with the German ski wax producer Zipps and optomechatronic systems builder Opto (Graefelfing, Germany), an engineer at the German Ski Federation has developed a portable microscope to inspect the properties of different types of snow.

In doing so, Enrico Heisig, the German Ski Federation’s chief engineer, hopes to create a reference resource which would define the optimum composition of wax that should be applied to skis according to the type of snow and weather conditions present on the slopes.

The Opto snow microscope supports a number of LED-based illumination modes to enable it to accurately capture images of the shape and size of snow crystals in situ. The analysis of the images is then performed by software on a laptop connected to the instrument.

-- by Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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