Polar 5 peers into permafrost


A BASLER BT-67 operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is to be used to better understand climate processes in the Arctic.

The AWI operates two BT- 67s specially modified for flying research missions in extreme polar conditions over the Arctic and Antarctic, C-GAWI (c/n 19227), callsign Polar 5, and C-GHGF (c/n 25964), callsign Polar 6.

A modular aerial camera system (MACS) developed by the DLR (Deutsches Zentrum f├╝r Luft- und Raumfahrt, or German Aerospace Centre) has been installed in Polar 5. The MACS will capture high-resolution visible and near-infrared images, enabling DLR, AWI and the German Research Centre for Geosciences scientists to measure changes to permafrost soil and create a high-precision 3D reference model.

Both BT-67s have a specially adapted landing gear that combines skis and conventional tyres, as well as de-icing systems, heating mats for the batteries and engines and advanced navigation systems. Mark Broadbent