COmmunity heavy-PAyload Long endurance Instrumented Aircraft for Tropospheric Research in Environmental and Geo-Sciences.


Project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program - Capacities

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COmmunity heavy-PAyload Long endurance Instrumented Aircraft for Tropospheric Research in Environmental and Geo-Sciences.


The COPAL project, funded by the European Commission, is a Preparatory Phase study in the FP 7 Research Infrastuctures ESFRI roadmap. It has the objective of providing the European scientific community with a unique research aircraft platform, capable of operating in any remote area in the world (12 hours endurance) and offering a heavy-payload (10 tons) for the integration of a large range of instruments for multidisciplinary research in environmental and Geo-sciences.

The Consortium, coordinated by Meteo-France, consists of 11 national research funding institutions, a SME and a pan-European law firm.

The objective is to:

  • move from a national approach in the development of airborne research infrastructures to a pan-European approach that will enable the construction of a facility that does not exist yet in Europe
  • operate the aircraft at the most efficient level by attracting a much broader community of users
  • create a European legal infrastructure to manage such a facility.

Relying on the findings of the EUFAR-N3FF activities, COPAL particularly aims at:

  1. Precisely quantifying the construction and maintenance costs of a HPLE (High Payload Long Endurance) aircraft (WP3) Read more
  2. Designating the aircraft and data management operators (WP4) Read more
  3. Establishing a community of experts in airborne measurements to support the development of innovative instrumentation (WP5) Read more
  4. Defining a scientific governance model for allocation of access (WP6). Read more

Besides, the law firm, SJ Berwin will assist the COPAL partners in determining of the most suitable legal infrastructure to manage the facility and the operation (WP2). Read more


Organization (name, city, country)Participant Short Name
1Météo-France, Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques, Toulouse, FranceCNRM
2Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial, Madrid, SpainINTA
3Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, FinlandFMI
4Natural Environment Research Council, Swindon, United KingdomNERC
5Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Lisboa, PortugalFCT
6Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Rome, ItalyCNR
7General Secretariat for Research and Technology, Athens, GreeceGSRT
8University of Warsaw, PolandUW
9Enviscope GmbH, Frankfurt/Main, GermanyEnviscope
10Met Office, Exeter, United KingdomMet Office
11Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, FranceCNRS
12SJ Berwin LLP, Brussels, BelgiumSJ Berwin
13Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., Köln, GermanyDLR