What to expect when getting the SnowGage Snow-depth Measurement system installed at your resort

In this article, we are going to take a look at what to expect when we visit to do a SnowGage Snow-depth Measurement system install at your resort. Whether you’ve already purchased the solution or you’re getting a demo installed, this is what you can expect from your SnowGage install.

What is SnowGage?

SnowGage Snow-depth Measurement system by Juniper Systems is a real-time snow depth measurement solution that provides crucial data to make mountain grooming and snowmaking decisions more efficient. SnowGage differs from competitors by using a sensor with ultra-wide band radar to collect real-time snow depth data. The data collected can be seen in the cab and in the office. It is easy to display the previous day’s data and make appropriate grooming decisions right in the cab of the groomer.

The SnowGage Snow-depth Measurement Solution consists of three hardware components and the SnowGage software. The hardware is made up of a sensor that is mounted to the bottom of the snow groomer, the Mesa Rugged Tablet running Windows 10 in the cab, and the Geode Sub-meter GPS Receiver for accurate latitude and longitude positions.

The Geode, Mesa, and SnowGage sensor make an entire solution.
The Geode, Mesa, and SnowGage sensor make an entire solution.

Before we start, let’s answer some questions 

Can the system be installed on any snow groomer?

Yes. SnowGage can be installed on any model of snow groomer. It’s been successfully installed on just about every brand and model, including PistonBully® and Prinoth® groomers. If we haven’t seen it, we will research and find the best install process for your snow groomer.

How long does the install take and how long can we test it for?

The demo period is 30 days and usually takes about four to five hours to fully install. Following the install, we provide an in-depth training both in the cab and in the office.

For other commonly asked questions visit our SnowGage FAQ.

Step 1: Installing the Mesa Rugged Tablet and SnowGage software for viewing real-time snow depth data in the cab

SnowGage is only as valuable as the data you capture. This solution makes snow depth data available to you right in the cab of the snow groomer. The Mesa Rugged Tablet is installed on the center console in conjunction with the standard display that most groomers have. This installation is seamless and looks natural in the cab. The Mesa provides a large 7-inch touchscreen for easy interaction with the SnowGage Software and is easily seen from the driver’s seat.

The function of the Mesa is to compile and display snow depth data in real-time as crews groom. The data is presented in a satellite map view and displays snow depth in a heat map behind and under the groomer. Data can be displayed from in front of the groomer with data taken earlier that day or days prior. Snow depth can also be viewed in a line graph to quickly identify low and high snow areas. The Mesa is also equipped with cellular connectivity for sending snow depth data for easy access to those in the office.

Learn more about the Mesa 3 Rugged Tablet here.

Step 2: Geode Sub-meter GPS Receiver for accurate snow depth information

The Geode, a high-precision GPS receiver, is mounted in the cab of the groomer to collect sub-meter accurate positioning data as the groomer moves along the mountain side. For even better accuracy, we run a patch antenna outside the groomer and position it in the middle of the groomer toward the roof of the cab. This antenna gives an accurate and centered GPS signal. GPS is used to provide plot points along trails and ski runs. Each point on the map is color coded with corresponding snow depths. The Geode is a powerful tool and provides the accurate location data needed to make smart grooming and snowmaking decisions. 

Learn more about the Geode Sub-meter GPS Receiver here.

Step 3: Installing the SnowGage snow depth sensor

The SnowGage sensor is built rugged, just like the Mesa Rugged Tablet and Geode GPS Receiver. This sensor will live underneath your snow groomer. Mounted just behind the engine, the snow depth sensor sends a pulse to the ground each second to collect accurate depth-measurement data. This data is combined with GPS data and complied within the SnowGage software on the Mesa. The sensor, Mesa Rugged Tablet, Geode create a hardware solution that allows for all of the detailed data you need. The sensor is wired into the Geode and Mesa. The hardware is cleanly wired underneath the center console of the groomer. The extra wires and accessories are not seen once the install is complete, creating a seamless solution.

Step 4: Training on slopes

After we have finished installing SnowGage on the groomer we head out on the slopes and start training you immediately. As soon as we start up the groomer the Mesa and complete SnowGage system will power on and start collecting data. As we drive the mountain you will begin seeing real-time snow depth measurements on screen in the cab. That data is also being sent to the cloud for easy access from the office. The easy start-up sequence of the system doesn’t add extra work to crew members driving the groomer.

Note: The easy start up sequence of the system doesn’t add extra work to crew members driving the groomer.

Key highlights and features of SnowGage in the groomer:    

  • The SnowGage system starts automatically when the Mesa is powered on
  • View snow depth and GPS position data in real-time
  • Plan more efficient grooming routes by viewing snow depth maps from previous days
  • Data is automatically sent to the office via Wi-Fi or cell modem

Step 5: See your data in the office

After we hit the slopes we take you into the office and show you how all of SnowGage’s features come together for easy viewing and reporting. We will walk you through our secure site, SnowGage Lodge, where you can access detailed resort snow depth maps, select date ranges of data, filter maps, and easily send reports.

Key highlights and features of SnowGage in the office:

  • View detailed snow depth maps of the resort
  • Make informed decisions to cut grooming costs and improve resort operations
  • Easily login to the secure SnowGage Lodge to view snow depth maps
  • Determine grooming priority
  • Develop strategic snowmaking strategies
  • Quickly share trail status with resort operators

If you would like to learn more about the SnowGage installation process, please reach out to us here. We can offer you additional insight on how SnowGage can benefit your resort and can discuss demo opportunities with you for the current or upcoming season.

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