Wyssen Mini Avalanche Tower LS6-5
The deployment box is fixed on the tower. Solar panels are installed at the deployment box as well as the antenna. Inside the box sealed from the elements is the deployment mechanism, electronic control and the prepared explosive charges. Thanks to the smart concept highest reliability is guaranteed.
The explosive charge consists of two orange half-shells with pre-mounted pull activated percussion igniters with slow fuse, which are assembled with 4-5 kg (9-11 lbs) of explosives. The charges are assembled by the operator on-site. Explosives and other pyrotechnical elements are purchased directly by customers from the appropriate suppliers. The plastic is made of biodegradable material.
Practitioners have found that the greatest degree of success for controlled release of avalanches is achieved by a remote-controlled detonation of an effective explosive at the right time and in the right place.
From the avalanche operator’s point of view, a blasting installation must be extremely reliable and effective as well as simple to operate and maintain. The installation in the terrain must be straightforward and the interference of the installation must have minimal impact on sensitive mountain environments. The Wyssen Mini Avalanche Tower is ideal for fulfilling these requirements.
Smallest residual risk thanks to the largest effective range
Highest degree of safety for the operating staff
Reduced closure times thanks to rapid release, around the clock and in all weathers
All in one online platform
The latest software generation includes new hardware for operating, monitoring and data storage of the well-proven Wyssen Avalanche Towers, detection systems and weather stations.
Extensive additional features
Video about operational avalanche control with WAC.3®:
In order to load and operate Wyssen systems, personnel must have attended a certified course by the company and possess a valid certificate for the artificial release of avalanches with explosives. Furthermore, it is very important that the operating staff have the corresponding training and experience for risk assessment, planning of measures, implementation of measures as well being able to assess secondary avalanches and avalanches that could be larger than expected.
Approval for storing explosives: for each tower location authorisation must be requested by the customer from the responsible authorities for storing explosives in the avalanche tower deployment boxes during the period of operation.
Basic Principles of Controlled Avalanche Release
It is known from practical experience and from the theory of how avalanches arise in deep winter, that the effect of a detonation above the snow cover leads to the best results with respect to residual risk of unpredictable avalanches. The explosive devices used should give a high detonation speed and produce a large volume of gas with a high work factor. Tests with numerous experiments show that explosives with the above-mentioned properties and charging positions above the snow cover give the highest effective ranges. The following table from the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF Davos Report no. 53/1996 shows the approximate effective ranges for dry new snow of various explosive charge sizes in different positions with respect to the snow surface.
In order to test and to safeguard the avalanche release zone, the whole of the potential release area must be subjected to an additional stress (e.g. by a detonation). This is necessary, because the location of the so-called „hotspots“ (super weaknesses) are not known in advance. An acceptable residual risk after blasting operations is only then reached if these „hotspots“ have been subjected to a sufficiently high additional stress and high strain rates within the snow cover with high speed of deformation (= high detonation speed).
|Height of Detonation Point||Charge Size||Radius of effective range to prevent a natural release||Radius of effective range to prevent a release by a single skier|
|Blasting above the snow (+3 - 3.5 m)||4 - 5 kg||120 - 130 m||70 m|
|Blasting above the snow (+2 - 2.5 m)||1.5 - 2.5 kg||80 - 90 m||50 m|
|Blasting above the snow (approx. +1 m)||4 - 5 kg||80 - 90 m||50 m|
|Blasting above the snow (approx. +1 m)||1.5 - 2.5 kg||60 - 70 m||35 - 40 m|
|Surface blasting||4 - 5 kg||50 - 60 m||30 - 35 m|
|Surface blasting||1.5 - 2.5 kg||35 - 40 m||20 - 25 m|
|Blasting in snow (approx. -0.2 m)||4 - 5 kg||40 m||25 m|
|Blasting in snow (approx. -0.2 m)||1.5 - 2.5 kg||25 m||15 m|
|Blasting in snow (-0.7 m)||1.5 - 5 kg||10 m||5 - 10 m|
|Mortar 12 cm (0 m)||3 kg||40 m||–|
|RPG 8.3 cm (0 m)||0.7 kg||20 - 25 m||10 - 15 m|
|Mortar 8.1 cm (0 m)||0.6 kg||15 - 20 m||10 m|
Source of the table: SLF Davos Report No. 53/1996