News Network: NASA Scientists Using Lasers To Measure California Snowpack Chris Remington Tuesday, March 13, 2018 | Sacramento, CA Listen / download audio Update RequiredTo play audio, update browser or Flash plugin. This map shows the basins that NASA's Aerial Snow Observatory currently flies over. The blue and white hues show depth for nearly all the snow in the basins compared to the averages taken through snow surveys and sensors (represented by the circles).NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory / Courtesy Drought and heat waves are increasingly common in California, forcing researchers to be creative about how they conserve water and how they measure it. NASA scientists are piloting new technology that uses aerial lasers for accurate continuous measurement of the snowpack. The new technology will also help scientists determine how quickly the snow will melt which is critical for conservation efforts. Capital Public Radio's environmental reporter Ezra David Romero explains the new methods, and also discusses why snowmobiles are proving dangerous for the environment.