"The real plus of our collaboration is the continuous exchange of information. This is how we get the best antenna and drive the development and customization of future materials. "

Prof. Marco Pasian, the University of Pavia


University of Pavia,
Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering

Pavia, Italy

3D printed antenna


Forecasting avalanche formations with microwave radars and innovative antennas

The University of Pavia is one of the oldest universities in Europe, dating back to 1361. Today Pavia is a Research University, carrying out research in close association with public and private institutions, enterprises and companies. Premix is happy to be one of those companies. Recently, we’ve collaborated in the lifesaving Snowave project led by University of Pavia and its research team members Prof. Marco Pasian, Pedro Fidel Espín-López, Lorenzo Silvestri, Prof. Massimiliano Barbolini and Prof. Fabio Dell’Acqua. Snowave intends to provide information on the snowpack stability and equivalent water content.  The radar has been under testing for three years in several Alpine and Arctic locations.

Added safety for both people and the infrastructure

Today, a manual analysis of the snow cover is the most used and accurate technique to monitor the internal structure of the snowpack. However, due to the technique's restrictions - it is time-consuming, expensive and restricted to small and safe areas and good weather conditions - it has been suggested that microwave radars could be a viable alternative solution.

- The capability of delivering forecasts about the avalanche formation is very important to trigger safety measures to protect ski areas, villages, roads, and other infrastructures. In addition, the information about the water content in a given mountain basin in the winter and spring season is very valuable for agriculture and hydroelectric power plants, for planning their water management in the summer and autumn season, tells Marco Pasian.

Snow cover monitoring Pedro Fidel Espin-Lopez

Pedro Fidel Espin-Lopez

The Snowave is completely innovative and able to deliver a solution for both portable and buried systems. In developing new antennas for this microwave radar, the Pavia team mainly uses 3D printing for prototyping antennas and microwave components. The advantages over traditional manufacturing techniques (e.g., milling) in terms of costs, speed of fabrication, and design possibilities, are remarkable.

Continuous exchange of information is the key to success

When it comes to the collaboration with Premix, Marco greets the availability of a broad range of materials and filaments, not only with excellent dielectric properties, but also exhibiting great robustness, waterproofness, and lightness. All these properties are a must when it comes to outdoor applications, as it is the case for Snowave.

- However, the real plus of our collaboration is the continuous exchange of information about the fabrication process, the characterization of the dielectric properties, and the material performance in general.

This is how we make the most out of the manufacturing process, to get the best antenna - and to drive the development and customization of future materials.

Click below to read more about the results of our collaborations in the SNOWAVE project or check out our blog post on the subject!

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