European Facility For Airborne Research

European Facility For Airborne Research May 16, 2022, 09:44

Research Facilities

Dornier D228 operated by DLR. Photo credit: DLR


Instrumented aircraft have been used effectively in many aspects of environmental and geoscience research. From in situ measurement of atmospheric properties and remote sensing measurements to exploration of atmospheric phenomena, aircraft are widely used to investigate and monitor the Earth’s atmosphere and surface. The high maneuverability of aircraft allows researchers to pursue atmospheric events, especially useful in remote locations, follow their evolution and explore their chemistry and physics from small spatial sales up to thousands of kilometers, and over time scales of fractions of seconds to many hours or even days. Besides being able to reach remote locations, instrumented aircraft allow for remote observations and measurements with very high resolution and with minimum disturbances by the atmosphere between sensor and object.

Research aircraft open to TA

18 instrumented aircraft are open to transnational access under the current project, thanks to the 12 operators who are part of the EUFAR2 partner consortium. The EUFAR fleet therefore comprises a wide range of facilities from a small light-weight aircraft (ENDURO) up to a large 4-engine jet (BAe-146), allowing scientists applying for transnational access, to choose the research infrastructure best suited to their needs. Most of the aircraft carry a standard payload of instrumentation and are equipped for a broad range of atmospheric and in-situ measurements, and also for hyperspectral imaging and other remote-sensing observations of the Earth’s surface.

Learjet 35A operated by Enviscope. Photo credit: Enviscope

Pods installed on the ATR42 operated by SAFIRE. Photo credit: Météo-France

Instruments open to TA

EUFAR2 facilitates access to three remote sensing instruments that can be installed on board specific aircraft. These include the Airborne Prism Experiment (operated by VITO), and the Hyperspectral Imagery Sensor and Synthetic Aperture Radar (both operated by DLR). It is possible to access additional instrumentation that may be installed optionally on the aircraft, at the discretion of a provider separate from the aircraft operator.

See also

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