HeliSnow (2007-2008)

Technical Support for the Deployment of Sensors during HeliSnow 2008. ESA Study, Prime Contractor ENVEO, Contract 21146/07/NL/FF.

HeliSnow-2008 is aimed at the acquisition of experimental backscatter data of snow and ice over various background targets. The main motivation is the need for Ku- and X-band backscatter data sets for geophysical retrieval algorithm development in context of the COld REgions Hydrology High Resolution Observatory (CoRe-H2O) mission.

Prime Contractor


Contract Number



University of Hamburg, Germany


  • acquiring polarimetric backscatter data at X- and Ku-band frequencies with a helicopter based scatterometer system;
  • performing ground based measurements during the helicopter campaigns;


During winter 2007/2008 two measurement campaigns (13-19 December, 13-15 January) were carried out with a helicopter based scatterometer system (MultiScat) developed and operated by the University of Hamburg. The MultiScat system measures the polarimetric backscatter data at L-, S-, C-, X- and Ku-band frequencies.



The helicopter based Multi3Scat system measures polarimetric backscatter data at 5 frequencies.


On both dates backscatter data of snow and ice over five alpine test sites, having different background targets, were measured:

  • Natters - agricultural areas, cultivated meadows
  • Seefeld - cultivated meadows, frozen lake
  • Leutasch - cultivated meadows
  • Kühtai - high alpine vegetation
  • Sulztal - moraines, glaciers, high alpine vegetation

During the MultiScat acquisitions measurements of the physical snow and ground properties are carried out.