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The new SNOWMASTER app from TechnoAlpin has been available to ski areas since October. The world market leader has provided managers with an unrestricted overview of snowmaking progress and has signaled the next step towards digitization.
Having developed the SNOWMASTER app, TechnoAlpin is the first supplier to provide ski areas with forecasts for snow production. This can only be achieved with the benefit of expertise gathered over many years and meticulous calculations and is made possible by the data from ATASSplus. Taking account of detailed weather forecasts, the SNOWMASTER app projects the amount of snow that it will be possible to produce in the next few days and the amount of water that will be required to do so. These detailed projections make it even easier to plan snowmaking in that the SNOWMASTER app provides a simple overview of the defined snowmaking targets and phases. It shows clearly which phase of snowmaking is currently taking place and how the resources can be best used given the information provided in the forecasts. It also shows the extent to which the set snowmaking target or seasonal target has already been achieved and what progress can be made in the next few days.
The SNOWMASTER app simplifies communications between management and the snowmaking team. All the data is summarized quickly and clearly in the SNOWMASTER app and organized by slope. The app is connected to ATASSplus; therefore, it accesses large amounts of the data collected by the control system on the volume of snow produced, utilization rate, water consumption and temperatures. The system is still controlled by the snow operations manager via ATASSplus, and all the data required to make decisions is displayed quickly and clearly in the SNOWMASTER app in real time.
Another major advantage for Andy Varallo is that the SNOWMASTER app, in combination with the TechnoAlpin weather forecast, has also made much lighter work of the preparations ahead of the FIS Ski World Cup in Alta Badia in December. “Even just a few millimeters of snow make all the difference when preparing for the World Cup,” he continued. “One month before the competition, we provide the FIS committee with daily updates on the slope conditions and the snowmaking status.” The data collected with the SNOWMASTER app is made available to the FIS committee by the ski area during the World Cup preparations. “The FIS receives updates from us in real time. Decisions are then made on the basis of this data.” It has become much easier to work together with the help of this information and the weather forecasts, and it is now possible to make informed decisions. “In many cases, we were making decisions on the basis of unreliable information because we had to depend on weather forecasts from Switzerland or Innsbruck. There would often be one degree of difference from the actual temperatures, which is a very large variation, especially at the beginning of the snowmaking period. We can now rely on the weather forecast to provide us with sound, correct, real and objective data which serves as a basis for our briefings. This has eliminated the need for lengthy discussions because the data is local and compared with the data history,” added Varallo. The weather data is then used for production forecasts and therefore essential for setting dates.
Having developed the SNOWMASTER app, TechnoAlpin is therefore once again demonstrating the importance of an ongoing innovation process for forward-looking solutions in snowmaking.