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Instrument: SNOW FORKS
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Description
[Adapted from Snow Fork: A portable instrument for measuring the properties of
snow, http://personal.inet.fi/business/toikka/ToikkaOy/snowfork.htm]

Snow forks are explicitly designed for field use. They are designed to operate
in extreme conditions, ranging from rainy weather to as low as 40 °C below
zero. The sensor is a steel fork used as a microwave resonator. Snow forks
measure electrical parameters: resonant frequency, attenuation and 3-dB
bandwidth. The measuring results are used to calculate accurately the complex
dielectric constant of snow. Further, the liquid water content and density of
snow are calculated using semi-empirical equations. All data will be shown
immediately on the display and can be stored in a solid-state memory.

Measurements made by a snow fork are reliable because:

* there is no sampling

* the fork does not compress the snow pack

* the measurement is easily repeatable

* the instrument can be checked by calibration measurement in the air.