BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese researchers have used a huge floating airship to conduct water vapor observation at an altitude of over 6,200 meters in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
This marks the first time that a floating airship has been used to measure water vapor at such high altitudes.
This huge floating airship, named "Jimu No.1," has a volume of 2,300 cubic meters and contains 1,400 kilograms of helium. Its surface is made of composite fabric, and it can withstand low temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius.
It rose about 3,000 meters vertically, arriving at an altitude of over 6,200 meters above sea level in Linzhi in southeast Tibet earlier this week.
The monitoring project, part of China's second Qinghai-Tibet research mission, was carried out by more than 40 researchers from the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research and the Aerospace Information Research Institute of the CAS. It will help researchers understand the source of the water supply and water transmission route in the plateau.
Dubbed as the "third pole" and "the water tower of Asia," the plateau provides the water supply for many Asian rivers including the Yangtze, Yellow, Indus and Mekong.
The airship will conduct observation on the Mount Qomolangma and is expected to reach an altitude of over 10,000 meters in the future, according to the CAS.