EUFAR supports and develops airborne research projects to boost earth system understanding and weather prediction innovation in Europe
EUFAR is an integrating activity concerning airborne research which is funded and supported by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme (FP7). The project brings together 24 European institutions and organisations involved in airborne research, operating 19 instrumented aircraft and 5 separate remote-sensing instruments. The available aircraft range from an Enduro microlight to a 4-engined Bae146 capable of carrying around 4 tons of instrumentation and up to 19 scientists on board.
EUFAR’s overall goal is to provide researchers with easy and open access to airborne research facilities that are most suited to their needs and that are not available or financially accessible in their home country.
There is a long history of airborne observational research contributing incremental developments in the scientific understanding of earth-system processes. These developments have proceeded in parallel with similar developments in the capabilities to observe these processes on a global scale from space and to model them in operational numerical weather prediction (NWP), climate and earth system models.
EUFAR’s key goals include developing transnational access to national infrastructures, optimising the use and development of research aircraft and instruments, improving the quality of services provided by aircraft and instrument operators by strengthening expertise through knowledge exchange.
It also aims to, develop and maintain a central database of airborne data and to develop standards and protocols for this database to be fully interoperable with other environmental science and earth observation databases, and promote the use of research aircraft and instruments, especially for young scientists.
EUFAR also supports education and training which is designed to attract early stage researchers to airborne research, as well as to educate and train early-stage researchers and trainers (e.g university lecturers) in airborne atmospheric research observations and airborne remote sensing of the Earth surface. By the end of its present contract, EUFAR will have supported a further four summer schools on airborne research topics hosting approximately 80 students.