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The PermaSense Consortium


PermaSense ultra low-power wireless sensor nodes collect and transmit sensor data in real-time from the slopes of the Matterhorn


The Matterhorn field site is situated at 3450 m a.s.l. on the north-east ridge (Hoernli ridge) just above the second couloir about 20 min from the Hoernli hut. The sensor cloud is located around and within the detachment zone of the prominent rock fall from July 15, 2003 that relased approximately 1500m2 and led to an evacuation of 84 climbers.

Sensor positions on the Matterhorn field site

In contrast to the Jungfraujoch installation, the Matterhorn site aims to investigate the temperature evolution in singular clefts and the corresponding cleft dilatations. For this purpose a combination of sensorrods and commercial crack meters are integrated measuring quantities such as temperature, rock moisture, water pressure, cleft dilatation and ice strain at different positions. The initial installation was made in October 2007 with an extension in the summer of 2010.

In addition the field site is equipped with an automatic weather sensor, a high-resolution camera and a remote controlled web cam. In collaboration with the CCES project "COGEAR" we host a precision GPS receiver for geodetic measurements on the Hoernli ridge site.

Matterhorn Sensor Inventory

  • PermaSense 4-channel Sensor Rods (Position 8, 10, 11, 12)
  • PermaSense 8-channel Thermistor Chains (Position 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • PermaSense 8-channel Thermistor/Moisture Chains (Position 5, 7)
  • Crackmeters, Stump Forapot (Position 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 20, 21, 22)
  • Rock surface temperature (Position 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12)
  • Self potential (experimental) (Position 13)
  • Pressure sensors (experimental) (Position 5, 7)
  • Webcam (Position 23)
  • High-resolution camera, Nikon D300s 24mm/F 2.8 (Position 19)
  • Weather sensor, Vaisala WXT520 (Position 25)
  • L2 GPS receiver, Leica GNSS1200+ (Position 26)