ABSTRACT

The Antarctic Ice Sheet plays a critical role in global climate and sea level change resulting in it being the focus of international scientific exploration. Airborne platforms have been applied to study large geographical regions of Antarctica that are logistically difficult to reach by other means. For 30 years Chinese Antarctic expeditions, have widely applied ground based platforms in Antarctica. During the 32nd Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition (years 2015/16), the first fixed-wing aircraft (Snow Eagle 601) was deployed by Polar Research Institute of China with special modifications for polar operation and airborne geophysical investigation of ice sheets. Here, the airframe of the aircraft and modifications for science operation in Polar Regions, as well as scientific instrumentation, system integration and its first application in Antarctica are introduced in detail.

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