FIELD OPERATIONS AND PROGRESS OF CHINESE AIRBORNE SURVEY IN EAST ANTARCTICA THROUGH THE “SNOW EAGLE 601”
The Antarctic plays a vital role in the Earth system. However, our poor knowledge of the Antarctic limits predicting and projecting future climate changes and sea level rising due to rapid changing of the Antarctic. Airborne platforms can access most places of this hostile and remote continent and measure subice properties with high resolution and accuracy. China deployed the first fixed-wing airplane of “Snow Eagle 601” for Antarctic expeditions in 2015. Airborne scientific instruments, including radio-echo sounder, gravimeter, magnetometer, laser altimeter etc., were configured and integrated on the airplane. In the past four years, the airborne platform has been applied to survey the Princess Elizabeth Land, the largest data gap in Antarctica, Amery Ice Shelf and other critical areas in East Antarctica, and overall ∼150,000 km flight lines have been completed. Here, we introduced the “Snow Eagle 601” airborne platform and base stations, as well as field operations of airborne survey, including aviation supports, daily cycle of the scientific flight, data processing and quality control, and finally summarized progress of airborne survey in the past four years.