Avalanche Monitoring & Alert
iTem has developed and produced an automatic Avalanches Alert System based on the real-time location of infrasonic waves produced by a snow avalanches while moving downhill. The business idea comes from more than twenty years of research on infrasound acoustics carried out within the Laboratory of Experimental Geophysics of the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Florence.
To date, avalanche risk assessment is mainly based on the analysis of probabilistic models and it relies on the experience of the avalanches forecasters, while a quantitative risk assessment should rather require a continuous quantitative monitoring of avalanche activity. Avalanche activity is instead mainly monitored by a posteriori direct visual observation, with strong limitations due to the site accessibility, poor visibility and weather conditions.
iTem has developed the hardware and the software technology to detect and locate in real time the acoustic waves produced by snow avalanches. This product allows a 24h monitoring of avalanches in any visibility condition and within areas as large as up to 70 km2. The system provides emails or SMS alerts with a <2 minutes latency from the snow avalanche onset, and it is thus paving the way for a first robust Snow Avalanches Early Warning system.
This product is an innovative tool for snow avalanches detection and monitoring, and will have a strong impact for improving the reliability of avalanches forecast and risk assessment, and it is answering to a market needs, always more interested in automatic stand-alone tools for real time monitoring of snow avalanches.