CHANGCHUN, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Snow Eagle 601, China's first fixed-wing aircraft for polar flights, will be used to explore the Amery Ice Shelf in eastern Antarctica, a senior engineer said Thursday.
Guo Jingxue, senior engineer with Polar Research Institute of China, disclosed the news at an annual conference held in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province.
Guo said the aircraft will be used to collect data on unknown fields such as the inner structure of the ice shelf and its freezing and thawing conditions beneath the water.
The data is crucial to the study of the ice shelf's stable and dynamic features and the ecosystem under the shelf.
Snow Eagle 601 was deployed during China's polar scientific expedition in 2015. It was outfitted with advanced research equipment including an ice radar system, airborne gravimeter and airborne magnetometer.
Ice shelves are floating ice platforms between glaciers and the ocean surface. The Amery Ice Shelf has long been seen as a sensitive indicator of changes on the southern ice cap.