Polar 5 Basler BT-67 research aircraft of Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research was built in 1942 during the WWII.
The mission of the Basler BT-67 research aircraft is to measure Arctic sea ice thickness and changes in the Arctic Ocean. The Alfred Wegener Institute is the only institute in the world providing an airplane-based Arctic sea ice thickness study, producing highly accurate, direct ice thickness data using an electromagnetic instrument.
The PAMARCMIP (Polar Airborne Measurements and Arctic Regional Climate Model Simulation Project) winter sea ice thickness measurement campaign by Alfred Wegener Institute has been running since 2009 and this year scientists have found the multi-year ice has decreased in the Arctic Ocean and disappeared in observed area in the Beaufort Sea, which is an area that has always had a mix of first year and multi-year ice. The major change happens in the eastern part of Beaufort Sea where the sea ice thickness decreased by 30 % since 2011. In 2011 sea ice thickness was 2 meters and in 2017 it was only 1.4 meters, which was the second lowest after 2016.