The world’s largest avalanche detection system is being built in Canada

Jun 7, 2019 | Ice and snow, News

The world’s largest detection system for avalanches is being built at the Rogers Pass in Canada to improve the winter safety of the Trans-Canada Highway (media releases by Government of CanadaCBC, Revelstoke Mountaineer). Among the detection devices are four avalanche radars from Geopraevent, whereas one has already been in operation since last November (see reference project). Im umfassenden Lawinendetektions-Netzwerk kommt Radar- und Infraschalltechnologie zum Einsatz, welche von unterschiedlichen Standorten aus Lawinen in Echtzeit detektieren. Die Lawinenaktivität liefert wichtige Informationen zur Einschätzung der Lawinengefahr, ermöglicht eine schnellere Reaktion der Einsatzkräfte und insgesamt kürzere Schliesszeiten für den Trans-Canada Highway. Das umfassende Projekt wird von Wyssen Avalanche Control umgesetzt.

The avalanche radar permanently monitors large areas and reliably detects an avalanche in real time regardless of the weather. Once the radar has detected a starting avalanche, it tracks its path and draws the event on an online map, including dimension and intensity. In addition, the integrated camera automatically takes pictures of the event.

The Trans-Canada Highway runs across Canada and passes through Glacier National Park in the Columbia Mountains. The rugged mountain range is one of the snowiest areas in the world: more than 130 avalanche paths threaten the 42 km long stretch across the Glacier National Park. Parks Canada is responsible for the sections through the National Parks and, together with the Canadian Armed Forces, operates the world’s largest mobile artillery program for avalanche control at Rogers Pass.