New from Lufft: The laser-based snow depth sensor SHM31

In future, one of our new products will support weather services, road operators, operators of winter sport areas and energy producers in the field of environmental monitoring: The SHM31 is able to deliver snow depths of up to 15 meters. It represents an advancement of the SHM30, which came onto the market in mid-2009.

New snow height sensor SHM31 compared to its predecessor SHM30

In contrast to the SHM30, which has one interface only, the new SHM31 snow depth sensor is equipped with the three communication interfaces RS232, RS485 and SDI-12. Two of them can be used simultaneously. In addition, the sensor is compatible with the Lufft standard UMB protocol.

As the new sensor design doesn’t require an extra protection tube, it’s more compact and about 1 kg lighter than its predecessor. However, the outer weather protection housing fits on both SHM versions. An automatic angle meter simplifies the installation a lot.

Furthermore, the avoidance of snow and ice accumulations in front of the lens became more effective. A disc heating and an remotely controllable defrost mode ensures that the laser output is always ice-free.

Overall, the SHM31 has a is more stable measurement principle than that of the older model, lower power requirements and even a lower price. It doesn’t let users down, even under extreme conditions.

Technology of the SHM31

The measuring principle is based on a spectroscopic laser distance sensor (rangefinder) with a visible and therefore easily adjustable beam. The technology allows the penetration of snow layers in depths of up to 15 meters on diffuse reflective surfaces and works with millimeter-precision. Through the evaluation of the signal intensity, the sensor is capable to differ other materials, e.g. grass from snow.

Its laser-based measuring method is independent of temperature fluctuations and has a higher measurement accuracy than usual ultrasonic snow depth sensors. Other possible interference factors, e.g. strong precipitation, are compensated by the smart sensor with ease.

A further decisive advantage is that the snow depth sensor’s robustness and drift-free measurement principle ensure that it runs maintenance-free over the entire operating time. Using the available reference plate set, operators can however verify the accuracy of the measured data directly in the field at any time.

The SHM31 features at a glance:

  • Millimeter precision
  • Measurement over long distances (up to 15 meters)
  • Various, remote controllable heating functions
  • Long lifetime
  • High-quality measurement data in all weather conditions
  • Compact and weatherproof housing
  • Differentiation between snow and other natural surfaces
  • Simple verification in the field
  • Maintenance-free

You want to learn more about the SHM31? Watch the…

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  1. Avatar
    Howard Chiang

    Is it possible for SHM31 to detect the thickness of ice on the road? Because the road usually becomes icy and dangerous before the snow come, thanks!

  2. Helena Wingert
    Helena Wingert

    Dear Howard,
    Sorry for my late reply: We forwarded your question to the product experts – they will contact you soon.
    Warm regards from Fellbach,

  3. Avatar
    Klaus (

    Dear Howard,
    The SHM31 is mainly designed to measure snow depths. The measuring principle is not foreseen to measure pure ice or water. Please find further information in our FAQs in short.
    For ice and water on roads please view also our road sensors like NIRS31, MARWIS/StaRWIS and ARS/IRS31Pro,
    Best regards,

  4. Avatar
    Evan Wines

    Hi…I recently bought a Lufft type 8003 barograph from a marine supply store. There was a tag on it that said it needed to be fixed, but the owner of the store did not know what was wrong with it. He said the barograph had been sitting in his store for quite some time. So, naturally he had no paperwork (ie. a manual) or anything for it. I have searched the internet and I am having a difficult time finding any information. I would appreciate it greatly if you could provide me with any information on the unit. I can send photos of the barograph and the name plate if you’d like.
    Thank you in advance,
    Evan Wines

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