The Sea Ice section is using the new Basler BT-67 research aircrafts, POLAR 5 and POLAR 6. The aircrafts are based on the vintage DC-3 airframe, and are rebuilt and modernized by Basler Turbo Conversions, LLC (Oshkosh, WI) for scientific purposes with state-of-the-art advanced avionics and navigation systems, and turbo prop engines. The AWI aircrafts include large retractable doors in the belly, several large openings in the cabin, wing stations for antennas and probes and more powerful generators for 15.4 KVA of electrical power as well as a special designed winch for the EM-Bird measurements.
The Sea Ice Section uses different aircraft missions for its scientific objective, like PAMARCMIP (Polar Airborne Measurements and Arctic Regional Climate Model Simulation Project) campaigns since 2009 and TIFAX (Thick Ice Feeding Arctic Export) campaigns since 2010. The main objective of both aircraft missions is high resolution sea ice thickness measurements of first and multi-year sea ice. PAMARCMIP is concentrating of Arctic spring every two years with operation area between Spitsbergen and Alaska. Additional black carbon and trace gases measurements are part of a joint investigation of sea ice and atmosphere processes. The TIFAX campaign is scheduled for every year in summer with the main operation base Station Nord in Greenland.
More details on the AWI research aircraft you will find here.