Rolling out new technology to rooftops nationwide
In northern states, heavy snow loads have collapsed roofs and led to perilous conditions, closing residential and commercial buildings such as shopping centers and schools. Because snow can vary in weight depending on how much water it holds, you can’t tell how heavy a snow load is across a flat roof by measuring its depth. Investments of federal EPSCoR and state funds supported development of a sensor used by environmental scientists and now adapted for rooftops.
A small NH company developed the SnowScale, a sensor which measures the weight of snow, to monitor snow melt and flooding from spring runoff. The hardware and software were adapted, with the help of a team of undergraduate students, so the device could be installed on rooftops and programmed to send alerts when snow loads become dangerously heavy. The SnowScale is now being rolled out across the country, helping building managers to determine when snow on the roofs of buildings is becoming dangerously heavy.
As an EPSCoR state, New Hampshire has leveraged $38 million in National Science Foundation (NSF) investments enabling scientists to be successful in obtaining an additional $105 million in new federal research awards. Federal investments in NH EPSCoR, further leveraged by state and private funds, have built high-speed Internet networks, protected human health and safety, developed innovative technologies, reached over 5,000 individuals and established education programs to train new scientists and teachers.