At the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) in Maryland, you will find the US Department of Agriculture’s Low Temperature Scanning Electron Microscope (LT-SEM). One of the LT-SEM’s uses is for the study of snow crystals. Hydrologists study photographs of the grain sizes, shapes and associations in relation to passive microwave remote sensing in an effort to determine the water content of the winter snow pack. This information is critical to the determination of the nation’s water supply as well as protection from flooding.
Beltsville Electron Microscopy facility