Professional snow and fleet management

More and more ski areas are investing in the SNOWsat snow and fleet management system from the house of Kässbohrer.

Within just one week, the SNOWsat snow and fleet management system went into service with the ropeway companies in Alpbach (Austria) and on the Titlis (Switzerland), a development that attracted keen media interest. In addition, Alpbacher Bergbahnen became the first Austrian ski area to acquire a PistenBully 600 E+ and thus a snow groomer with the very latest drive technology.

Always in the picture

SNOWsat keeps operating personnel and ski area management in the picture at all times, generates significant savings on a continuous basis and offers greater safety for groomer drivers. The system helps ski areas maintain top-quality trails and at the same makes a real contribution to the environment.

The new system has been completely redesigned and further developed for use in all snow groomers. Equipped with a high-performance, latest-generation industrial computer, external touch screen and unrivaled GPS technology from Trimble, SNOWsat sets the bar as high as it will go in this field. As a result, the system is guaranteed to meet future requirements without new hardware. SNOWsat also delivers extremely reliable and accurate data on changes in snow depth in the ski area.

How is snow depth measured?

The elevation of the groomer is continually determined to within a few centimeters. Following deduction of the height of the vehicle, the reading is compared with the elevation according to a digital cartographic model stored in the system (reference elevation). The difference between the two values is the depth of the snow underneath the groomer. This professional snow and fleet management system offers advantages in terms of economics, snow quality, fleet operations and also the environment.

No limits to map size

There are practically no limits in terms of map size. SNOWsat covers 200 hectares of slopes in one map, regardless of the size of the area displayed. The relief map or an orthophoto can be uploaded as the background visualization, and various user-specific layers can be added – and individually activated as required – such as buildings, danger spots (walls, cliffs, crevasses), contour lines, roads, pits, lines etc. SNOWsat is also able to divide the slopes up into sectors. With regard to the water-snow factor, the system calculates the water requirement for the snow neeeded in each sector from the difference between the previously defined minimum snow depth and the measured snow depth. The system then automatically handles the water allocation to the snow guns in the sector.

Because SNOWsat is so simple to use, the driver can be left in charge of the system after a very short period of instruction. With its logical symbols for intuitive working, and functions and controls perfectly tailored to requirements, the driver immediately feels at home with the system and operating errors are avoided. The driver can choose between displaying snow depth or lanes or a combineation of the two

Decisive features

Consistent efficiency, optimum snow quality, efficient fleet management, user-friendly and practical snow management, ground-breaking technology and positive results in terms of economical and environmentally friendly operation are just some of SNOWsat's striking features. The open system design and thus investment protection are further advantages.

Official handover in Alpbach of a PistenBully 600 E+ fitted with the SNOWsat system for Austria. Top photo (from the left): Minister of the Environment Andrä Rupprechter and Jens Rottmair, CEO of Kässbohrer. Bottom photo (from the left): Horst Biechl, Area Sales Manager Kässbohrer, Peter Hausberger, General Manager of Alpbacher Bergbahnen, and Peter Soukal, Managing Director Kässbohrer Austria. Photo: C. Amtmann

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