The Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera (MASC) takes 10 to 30 micron resolution photographs of
hydrometeors from three angles while simultaneously measuring their fallspeed. The
cameras are triggered by a vertically stacked bank of sensitive infrared motion sensors
designed to filter out slow variations in ambient light. The triggering is auto-calibrated, and
sensitive to snowflake sizes ranging from 100 micrometers to 3 cm (30,000 micrometers).
Fallspeed is derived from successive triggers along the fall path. Photographs are obtained at
a speed of up to 1/40,000th of a second and the hydrometeors are illuminated by three 40 W
LEDs rated at 2700 lumens each.
The instrument is robust to cold and weather and runs unattended. Calibration is limited to
occasional camera alignment and lens focusing using a calibration tool that attaches
to the instrument. Software is included for image and fallspeed acquisition and display
on PC platforms and for creating a live internet feed from the installation site. The
executables include lossless (png) image compression to facilitate with data
management. Tens of thousands of images might be obtained in a single day. Scientific
analysis scripts are available for detailed post-processing.
Technical details are available in the specifications PDF.
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