European Facility For Airborne Research

European Facility For Airborne Research June 25, 2024, 08:17

COPAL (2007 - 2011)

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


The COPAL project, funded by the European Commission, is a Preparatory Phase study in the FP7 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


  N°Organization (name, city, country)Participant Short Name
1   Météo-France, Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques, Toulouse, France CNRM
2   Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial, Madrid, Spain INTA
3   Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland FMI
4   Natural Environment Research Council, Swindon, United Kingdom NERC
5   Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Lisboa, Portugal FCT
6   Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Rome, Italy CNR
7   General Secretariat for Research and Technology, Athens, Greece GSRT
8   University of Warsaw, Poland UW
9   Enviscope GmbH, Frankfurt/Main, Germany Enviscope
10   Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom Met Office
11   Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France CNRS
12   SJ Berwin LLP, Brussels, Belgium SJ Berwin
13   Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., Köln, Germany DLR

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