European Facility For Airborne Research

European Facility For Airborne Research Jan. 25, 2021, 23:15


Welcome to EUFAR, The unique pan-european portal and network for airborne research infrastructures dedicated to environmental sciences.

Created in 2000, EUFAR was born out of the necessity to create a central network for the airborne research community in Europe with the principal aim of supporting scientists, by granting them access to research aircraft and instruments otherwise not accessible in their home countries. In this way, scientists all over Europe can have an equal chance to carry out various atmospheric and in situ measurements on board research aircraft. In essence, EUFAR links scientists with operators of research facilities, and financially supports this collaboration by providing funding for flight hours as well as for travel and subsistence during campaigns.

With time EUFAR has grown, introducing new activities and objectives to place itself as the unique network and portal of airborne research for the environmental and geosciences in Europe. From organising summer schools, expert workshops, and serving as an interactive and dynamic hub of information, to maintaining a central data archive, and developing tools and standards to collect, process and analysis data, EUFAR continues to improve the operational environment for conducting airborne research.

EUFAR2 Objectives

  • Facilitate and promote transnational access to national research aircraft and instruments

  • Reduce redundancy, fill the gaps, and optimise the use and development of airborne facilities to conduct research

  • Improve the quality of the service by strengthening expertise through knowledge exchange, development of standards and protocols, constitution of databases, and joint instrumental research activities

  • Promote the use of research facilities, especially for young scientists from countries where such facilities are lacking, by providing education and training opportunities on airborne research

  • Support both market pull and technology push driven innovation in airborne research, and develop a culture of cooperation between EUFAR experts and SMEs to transfer airborne research instruments, methodologies and software into new products.

The current EUFAR project (2014-2018) encompasses the following activities:

Networking Activities under EUFAR2 (1.83 M€)

  • Strategy and European Integration (N1 SEI)

    Constitutes a Strategic Advisory Committee made up of representatives from research institutions and industry, which provides the EUFAR Consortium with recommendations on EUFAR objectives, scientific priorities and long-term guidance on establishing EUFAR’s legal sustainable structure.

  • Transnational Access Coordination (N2 TAC)

    is the unified management structure facilitating transnational access to research aircraft and instruments by providing fully-funded flight hours.

  • Future of the Fleet (N3 FF)

    evaluates the performance of the existing fleet, and the long-term development and harmonisation of the fleet.

  • Expert Working Groups (N4 EWG)

    aim to improve the scientific expertise in the field of airborne research, to facilitate the transfer of expert knowledge to users, operators, and funding agencies, and to compile supplementary material to the EUFAR handbook on “Airborne Measurements for Environmental Research – Methods and Instruments”.

  • The Technology Transfer Office (N5 TTO)

    supports both market pull and technology push driven innovation, and aims to foster a culture whereby EUFAR experts and SMEs will closely interact and develop partnerships to transfer airborne research instruments, methodologies and software into new products.

  • Education and Training (N6 ET)

    provide training opportunities (theoretical and practical) in airborne atmospheric research, field campaigns and remote sensing of the Earth surface, with the aim to develop a community of young researchers.

  • Standards and Protocols (N7 SP)

    aims to develop common protocols for airborne operators with recommendations on best practice and state-of-the-art software, and to develop and publish open source software toolboxes for higher level data.

  • Data Base (N8 DB)

    Will provide a centralised gateway to in situ and remote sensed airborne data, and improve access to and use of the data collected within EUFAR.

  • E-Communication (N9 EC)

    Will contribute to the improved access to and use of the infrastructures via the website, by elaborating new solutions for the EUFAR web portal providing easy access to up-to-date information on the European fleet of research aircraft, opportunities for users within the EUFAR fleet, and education and train opportunities offered by EUFAR; and improving the proposal-submission system and developing new tools to support collaborative and networking activities.

Joint Research Activities under EUFAR2 (991 k€)

  • Joint Research Activity 1 (HYLIGHT)

    aims to develop methodologies and tools for the integrated use of airborne hyperspectral imaging (HSI) data and airborne laser scanning (ALS) data in order to produce improved HSI and ALS products.

  • Joint Research Activity 2 (TGOE)

    aims to develop robust calibration systems for the core gas-phase chemical measurements currently made on-board research aircraft. This activity aims to reduce the uncertainty in these key parameters, facilitate improved cross-platform research by ensuring that the measurement technologies are all tied to a common baseline, and make critical comparisons between numerical models and between different satellite observations.

EUFAR2 Project Presentation

The current EUFAR project covers a 4-year period (2014 – 2018) and is financed by the European Commission under its 7th Framework Programme (FP7) under grant agreement 312609. Following three previous contracts dating 2000, the current project is governed by a consortium of 24 European research organisations originating from 11 countries, including 12 research aircraft and instrument operators.

Chemistry payload intercalibration day in Cranfield for the FAAM, ARSF Dornier-228 and MOCCA Cessna 421 research aircrafts, July 2014. Photo credit: FAAM

Transnational Access Activities under EUFAR2 (2.76 M€)

  • Access offer

Access is offered to 17 instrumented aircraft and 3 remote-sensing instruments. This includes fully-funded flight time, scientific engineering support for integration of instruments, data analysis and planning of the field campaign, and covers a travel and subsistence allowance for participating researchers.

  • Action Plan

A total of approximately 430 flight hours (about 38 projects) will be funded by EUFAR2 during the period 2014 - 2018

More information about:


Management of the EUFAR2 Consortium (420 k€)

  • Project coordination

The EUFAR Office will support the overall legal, ethical, financial and administrative management of the EUFAR2 project, linking together all the project components, organising steering committee and general assembly meetings and maintaining communication with the European Commission. Together with the scientific coordinator, the EUFAR Office will be responsible for reporting, which involves collecting individual activity reports from activity leaders, and financial statements from each of the partners, and preparing a final report at the end of each reporting period to be submitted to the Commission.

For information about the previous EUFAR projects (2000 - 2013) click here
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