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Snow Depth Sensor SHM 30

Compact, reliable and cost-efficient - Accurate measurement of snow depth / snow height sensor SHM30 based on an opto-electronic distance sensor / laser rangefinder technology.

Compact, reliable and cost-efficient. The SHM30 snow depth sensor reliably determines snow depths up to 10 meter within seconds and with millimeter precision. Based on an opto-electronic distance sensor emitting visible eye-safe laser light (laser rangefinder), the SHM 30 allows probing distances up to 30 meter to detect the surface level. Unlike snow depth sensors using ultrasonic methods, the laser distance measuring technique is independent of temperature changes. Even if the measuring process is impaired by precipitation, the SHM 30 reliably finds the snow surface due to its mode of operation. Further evaluation of the transmitted signal strength allows discrimination between snow and grass.
  • Snow depth
  • opto-electronic measuring technique with eye-safe laser sensor
  • Determination of snow depth over long distances, MTBF (meantime between failure) >40.000h, allows discrimination between snow and grass, very compact and weatherproof housing
  • RS232, RS422, analogue output
  • 8365.10, 8365.11, 8365.20
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Advantages of the Snow Height Sensor Lufft SHM 30

  • Determination of snow depth over long distances using opto-electronic measuring technique
  • MTBF (meantime between failure) >40.000h (duty cycle 30% 3 measurements/min)
  • The build in heater does mainly keep the build in laser diode in temperature specs to ensure a long lifetime
  • Very compact and weatherproof housing
  • Efficient background light suppression
  • Allows discrimination between snow and grass

Examples of use of the Snow Height Sensor Lufft SHM 30

  • Part of (alpine) meteorological observation stations from Weather services around the world
  • Traffic and aviation safety, road surveillance
  • Snow depth detection for winter sport areas
  • Water & energy related applications

Product variants - Snow Depth Sensor SHM 30

The laser-based Snow Depth Sensor SHM 30 is available in different product variants:

  • Snow Depth Sensor SHM 30 with RS232, 10m cable (Article no. 8365.10)
  • Snow Depth Sensor SHM 30 with RS232, ext. heat of, 10m cable (Article no. 8365.11)
  • Snow Depth Sensor SHM 30 with RS422, 10m cable (Article no. 8365.20)
Brochure - Lufft - Weather Critical Operations (EN)
Traffic weather, renewable energies and more
Manual - Lufft - SHM30 (EN)
Video - Lufft: a passion for precision (Corporate Video)
Video - SHM 30 Snow depth sensor Training
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Dimensions 302mmx130mmx234mm
Weight 3.3kg
Temperature range -40...+50°C
Relative humidity 0...100%
Heating activity <0°C programmable
Data interfaces RS232 or RS422 (selectable) and analog output
Interfaces modes RS232 2,4...38,4kBaud, 8N1 format
Analogue interface 3mA und 4...20mA
Operating modes Polling, automatic telegram
Client software Any terminal program
Electrical parameters
Power consumption 0.5...1W (without heating), <12W [with heating (heating cycle 0...-30°C, at 24 VDC)] … 24W
Operating voltage 10...30VDC (without heating), 15...24VDC (with heating)
Safety parameters
Laser classifi cation Laser Class 2 (IEC825-1/EN 60825)
Environmental conditions ISO 10109-11
Protection type IP65
EMV EN 61326-1
Snow height
Snow depth 0...10m
Distance to hard targets 0.1...30m without far field stray light protection on natural diffuse reflecting surfaces
Reproducibility 0.5mm on natural diffuse reflecting surfaces
Measuring accuracy ± 1mm on natural diffuse reflecting surfaces; offset corrected sensor 95% statistical spread
Measuring accuracy snow ±5mm 95% statistical spread
Progr. measuring interval 1...600s
Measurement time 10s
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SHM 30: How can I avoid that the sensor will be covered with snow (affected by very strong winds)?

A special tube may be added.


  • Front: 70mm
  • Middle: 100 mm
  • End: 50mm (connection to the sensor)

An extra Lufft accessory is planned for the future

SHM 30: How to defrost a frozen sensor

You can fix a heater mat on the metal tube, e.g. with 10W power. This would also be the best way to defrost the window of the sensor. Hot water on a frozen window can lead to a serious damage and shall be avoided.

SHM 30: What is the life time of the sensor?

Laser Diode Module (LDM) is the most critical part Expected life time:

  • >45,000 h (limited to laser diode MTBF; 4-5 years; runs normal between 100 000 to 200 000 hours)
  • MTBF: 45,000 h