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The detection of fissures/cracks in the snow structure is of utmost importance to predict early warnings of natural calamities like snow avalanches or snow slides to prevent the loss of lives and property. Before actual snow avalanche, a crack develops in the snow structure that generates acoustic emissions (AE), which can be detected by the AE sensors. SSPL has developed Acoustic sensors with -180 dB sensitivity. In these sensors, a ring-structured Piezo-material (PZT) of 12mm diameter and 6mm thickness is used as sensing element and epoxy as an encapsulating material. Artificially, AE signals are generated in ice slab of density 1-8 gm/cm3 by developing fissures/cracks in it by mounting the slab firmly on a bench-vice in the laboratory. The crack was produced by applying equal pressure rapidly on either side of the ice slab until the fissure would form. We observed a sharp spike at the point of fracture. Based on these results, the AE sensors can be utilized for AE detection in snow with a vision of developing an early warning system for snow avalanches.
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