The University of Colorado and Scintec Corporation signed an exclusive technology license agreement on operational bright-band snow level detection using Doppler radar. The underlying patent was jointly developed by the University of Colorado and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Environmental Technology Laboratories (ETL).
The bright-band snow level is also called melting layer. It is the height range where falling precipitation transforms from ice (snow) to water. Knowledge about the height of the melting layer is important for air and ground traffic, precipitation forecast such as in winter sports, emergency management, cloud dynamics research and global change assessment. More applications will be identified with increasing understanding of the atmosphere and related information needs.
The inventors Allen White, Daniel Gottas, Eric Strem, Martin Ralph, and Paul Neiman point out that the brightband height detection algorithm has the potential to benefit a large number of individuals and organizations who require information about the snow level. A detailed illustration of this was provided by them in terms of streamflow forecasts using the NWS operational hydrological model.