Links

Infrastructure / Facilities Available


  •    Cold Laboratory & High Altitude Snow Study Centre
  •    Real Time Satellite Imagery Reception System
  •    Snow Chute
  •    Virtual Reality Centre
  •    Remote Sensing Lab
  •    High end computation center
  •    Cold Region Technical Information Center
  •    Cold Concrete Testing Facility
  •    Upper Air Observation Stations
  •    High Altitude Snow Study Laboratory
  •    Thermo-luminescence Laboratory
  •    Electronic and Instrumentation Center.
  •    Data Receiving and Communication Center.
  •    Design Laboratory.


Cold Laboratory and High Altitude Snow Study Centre

Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment has cold laboratory facilities at Manali and field research station Patsio (3800 m). The facility offers a unique set of scientific research capabilities and resources to facilitate the snow and avalanche research round the year. The cold laboratory offers specialized snow and ice sample storage facility, environmentally controlled walk-in cold chambers, equipment, instrumentation, and scientific expertise, with facilities specifically designed for detailed scientific study of snow, ice and related manifestations.

SASE Facilities SASE Facilities

Cold lab & refrigeration systems

Applications :

  • Environmentally controlled experimentation at low temperatures. Studies include :

    •    Creep deformation, strength measurement and failure properties of snow and ice
    •    Fracture mechanical properties of snow
    •    Micropenetrometry
    •    Testing of prototype special test fixtures
    •    Metamorphism, heat / mass transfer analysis and moisture content characterization
    •    Microstructure - properties analysis with X-ray micro CT
    •    Thermal conductivity and diffusion coefficient modeling
    •    Snow and ice fabric characterization, optical microscopy
    •    Thin sections, serial sectioning and 3-D microstructure modeling


General Description :

  • Laboratory-grade chambers (03 walk-in chambers and 04 storage chambers) capable of maintaining temperatures down to -40 ℃.
  • Specialized snow sample preparation and mechanical / physical testing equipments.

    •    X-ray Computed Micro-Tomography system
    •    Sun Simulator
    •    10 KN capacity (DARTEC) hydraulic UTM.
    •    5 KN capacity (LLOYD) UTM
    •    Tri-axial and centrifugal tensile testing machine
    •    SnowMicroPen
    •    Automated field shear and tension apparatus
    •    Sieve shaker, Metamorphism apparatus
    •    Poly-cut Microtome, Stereo Microscopes
    •    Thermal property measurement system
SASE Facilities SASE Facilities SASE Facilities

Material testing machines & Tri-axial Cell

SASE Facilities SASE Facilities

Snow Micro Pen & Centrifugal Machine

SASE Facilities SASE Facilities SASE Facilities

Poly-cut microtome, stereo microscope & 3D modeling







Real Time Satellite Imagery Reception System

SASE has operationalised the real time reception of images from MetOp Polar Orbiting Satellite. AVHRR-3 sensor acquires data in 6 spectral bands, including visible, NIR, SWIR and thermal regions. Its spatial resolution is 1.1 km with radiometric resolution of 10 bit.

Ground station catalogue and browse system of Metop satellite images


Applications :

  •    Mapping of snow and ice cover area
  •    Altitude wise seasonal snow line mapping
  •    Snow surface temperature maps
  •    Change detection studies of avalanche prone areas
  •    Snow characteristics
  •    Temperature and moisture profiles
  •    In estimation of snow depth and snow water equivalent



Snow Chute


Avalanche hazard defence scheme requires accurate estimates of avalanche velocity and associated forces. SASE has created a snow chute facility at Dhundhi research station (3050 msl) for measurement of various flow parameters under controlled conditions. The studies also involve the interaction of control structures with avalanche mass for energy dissipation capability. These studies are very useful for improvement in existing design of structures to enhance energy dissipation characteristics and development of a comprehensive avalanche dynamics model.

Snow Chute

Applications :


  • Simulation of granular flow under controlled environment :

    •    Avalanche dynamics studies
    •    Friction parameters modeling
    •    Validation of numerical models
    •    Model study of control structures


General Description :


  • Total length of chute is 62m, major components are :

    •    Hopper: For release of snow mass to carry out the experiment
    •    A divergent-convergent section below the hopper to ensure the fluidization of snow
    •    Chute Channel Segment I: 22m long and inclined at 30 ℃
    •    Chute Channel Segment II: 08m long and inclined at 12 ℃
    •    Testing Platform: 12m x 4m size with variable inclinations for study avalanche in run-out zone.


Sensors installed on snow Chute :



  •    CCD camera and digital video recorder for flow velocity and profile measurement
  •    Optical sensors to measure depth and velocity of flow
  •    Drag meter to measure the shear force between flowing snow mass and chute bed
  •    Normal impact force measuring system

Avalanche Dynamics Studies

SASE Facilities

Model Testing



Virtual Reality Centre


3D Visualization of Himalayan terrain is an excellent training tool to familiarize users with the nuances of negotiating harsh and hazardous terrain snow bound avalanche prone areas. This can be used as: familiarisation of avalanche terrain, avalanche rescue mission planning etc. Geo-referenced satellite images of summer and winter months are draped over the 3-D terrain model to provide realistic visualization.

SASE Facilities

Applications :

  •    Development of 3D simulation models of Avalanche Hazard areas.
  •    Generation of multi-perspective 3-D User defined fly through models of Avalanche prone areas.
  •    Terrain familiarization of the user before induction to snow bound regions.

Infrastructure Facility :

  •    Stereo Projection Room with a sitting capacity of 22 persons
  •    Active stereo capable 9'x12' screen
  •    BARCO 808s CRT Stereo projector
  •    SGI PRISM Graphics Visualization Server
  •    High end Graphics workstation
  •    ERDAS VirtualWorld software
  •    GeoFusion software
  •    Multigen Paradigm software
  •    Portable 3-D stereo projector
  •    Stereo Glasses
SASE Facilities




Remote Sensing Lab


Time series, multi-sensor satellite data is being analysed to develop suitable models and algorithms for Mapping NW Himalaya regions. Classification of seasonal snow cover, snow pack characterization, DEM creation from satellite data, GIS based avalanche hazard modelling are some of the R&D work being carried out this lab. The state of the art infrastructural facilities are available for storage, archival, analysis & visualization of large digital database. The cutting- edge image processing of GIS tools are being used to carry out the R&D work. Large volume of high -resolution digital data base has been created.




Software Available in Remote Sensing Lab :

  • Image Processing Software -
    ERDAS Imagine, ENVI, IDL, SARscape, Geomatica
  • GIS Software -
    ArcGIS, ArcView, Arc SDE, Arc Image Server

Multi-sensor Satellite Data :

  • Optical Data -
    IRS-AWiFS, WiFS, LISS IV, LISS III, PAN, CARTOSAT-1, Stereo, IKONOS, MODIS, AVHRR, Quidcbird-1, LANDSAT ETM+ etc.
  • Microwave Data -
    ENVISAT-ASAR, TerraSAR-X, RADARSAT-1 & 2, ALOS PALSAR, ERS 1& 2, AMSR-E, SSM/I

Field Instruments :



Spectroradiometer, Dielectric Moisture meter, Ground Penetrating Radar, GPS, Albedometer, Passive Microwave Radiometer, Air borne GPR, Sun photometer, Ozonometer, Snow Fork etc


Softwares Available in Design Lab :



Auto Cad Civil 3D, Fluent, Solid Works, ABAQUS, Autodesk Inventor, EDEM, Autodesk Map 3D,STAAD PRO

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