European Facility For Airborne Research

European Facility For Airborne Research March 26, 2017, 15:03

Application form guidelines

1. Introduction

Please visit the relevant aircraft (and, if applicable, instrument) aircraft operator’s web pages for more detailed information on aircraft access and availability, operational procedures, instrumentation and contacts. We also encourage applicants to contact the aircraft operator directly to check for availability of aircraft and required instruments.

Applicants are invited to contact the EUFAR Office if any difficulty is encountered in filling out the application form (; +33 5. 61. 07. 98. 37/8)

A fully justified scientific case must support your application for a science project, instrument development or training course.

General research statements alone are not sufficient and the Scientific Case must make specific reference to the benefits the project will receive from using airborne data, together with explicit statements on how processing of such data will be resourced and used in support of the research.

The science case should specifically address the following items:

  • An outline of the scientific problem, in order to provide background, context and justification for the application;
  • Scientific aims and objectives of the research;
  • Methodology: airborne data acquisition, possible ground observations/truthing, data processing, interpretation and assimilation of results;
  • Anticipated outputs from the work;
  • Archiving of datasets;
  • Preliminary plans for publication;
  • Bibliography for any papers etc. cited in the application;
  • General location maps and diagrams illustrating Flight Tracks or Flight Profiles to aid in assessment of feasibility and planning.

2. General information

Project acronym – Self-explanatory

Project title – Self-explanatory

Type – Science project, Instrument development or Training course (see above).

Scientific themePlease enter here the exact title of the Call for Proposals to which you are responding.

Main scientific field / specific discipline - Please provide classification of the proposal from the listed categories. This information will be incorporated in EUFAR reports to the EC.

Participants undertaking research – This information is essential for use by the EUFAR Administration in assessing eligibility. It also provides context and background for the Scientific Reviewers in judging the level of science quality, the ability of the applicants to achieve their objectives, and the likely contribution of the institution or laboratory in which the work will be done. Participants listed in the application form commit themselves to participate to the campaign (either on site or for data analysis). It is desirable to have as comprehensive a view of the size of the potential user group of the project early on in the submission and review process, since this will be used as a guide to its potential user impact, and may be used as a criterion to decide on whether funding will be allocated.
All scientists must, prior to filling in the application form, subscribe on the EUFAR website and fill in their profile with the following mandatory fields: Family Name, First Name, Gender, Birth Date, Nationality, Research status (undergraduate, post-graduate, post-doc, experienced researcher, technician), email, Scientific field 1, Home institution: Type (university, public research institute, SME, private company), Institution name, Town, Country. If the profile is not complete, it will not be possible to add this person to the participant list.
The Lead Scientist must in addition provide (not in the application form, but in his profile on the EUFAR website: Back-Office / Personal Data / Modify / Details on expertise & background) full details of his/her science background and experience – particularly regarding use of airborne data, research aircraft etc. EUFAR provides access to a wide range of European facilities with English as the common language, so an adequate command of the language is essential. The Lead Scientist must specify explicitly whether: “he considers himself to be inexperienced in use of research aircraft” or “he is requiring access to aircraft he has not used before“ or “he is requiring access to aircraft he has already used before“. This information will be used to assist the administrators, aircraft operators and scientific reviewers in judging the application in terms of the proposed science, aircraft suitability and the levels of support to be provided. In the case of new and inexperienced researchers, a CV and/or letter of reference can be attached.

Recent relevant publications by applicant group in last 5 years (up to 5) – Please provide a list of such publications. These may be unconnected with airborne research if you are an inexperienced user.

Scientific problems being addressed by the experiments to be performed. Brief summary of the experiments. - This section provides an overview of the science area and scientific problems to which the research will contribute. The summary of experiments to be undertaken is important for the Science Reviewers / Aircraft Operators in judging the appropriateness of the objectives and methodology, particularly if the Applicant has not selected a suitable aircraft for the project.

Aircraft – The choice should be based on instrumentation and aircraft performance requirements. However, all proposals will be circulated to all operators during a pre-review stage. This will ensure that they are able to make suggestions on instruments of flight patterns to the benefit of the proposal, and to foster clustering with existing flight projects. If you wish to leave the choice of the aircraft blank, the choice of the Scientific Reviewers / Aircraft Operators from the previous section will apply.

Why this aircraft best suits the experiments. Proposed alternative aircraft – If you have made a choice of aircraft in the preceding section, then the review process may suggest alternatives. Aircraft operators will be encouraged to link TA proposals to their own activities in order to raise the scientific quality. Applicants will be free to revise any initial choice of aircraft as a result of feedback received from the pre-review stage, but they may also leave the final choice to the User Group Selection Panel (UGSP).


3. Description of the experiments

Scientific objectives / Proposed work / Anticipated output – Please describe your science objectives in order of priority. Indicate those essential in achieving a successful outcome, and those that are useful but non-critical to the outcome of the project. If you propose clustering with another campaign you must provide evidence that your proposal has different measurable objectives (e.g. attach a document containing a declaration of the other campaign's scientific aims). Summarise also the proposed work and methodologies you intend to apply. This must include:

  • acquisition of data (instruments/measurements and flight conditions – see also Section 3 where this should be addressed in greater detail);
  • any requirements for simultaneous or related ground observations or satellite overpasses – see also below in Section 2 and in Section 3 where this should be addressed in greater detail);
  • data analysis and, where appropriate, validation/calibration procedures;
  • interpretation and assimilation of results (see Section 4 where this should be addressed in greater detail);
  • anticipated outputs and wider benefits of the work;
  • archiving of datasets, including any data that are generated in addition to those from the aircraft;
  • plans for publication and dissemination of results (refereed publications, conference presentations/posters, PhD/MSc thesis etc);
  • bibliography covering citations in your description.

Weather conditions - Please provide a description of the preferred or acceptable weather/cloud/wind conditions, for example completely blue sky, some fraction of cloud cover or completely overcast (or in oktas notation), no haze or slight haze acceptable, etc. Please be as flexible as possible on timings. A severe time constraint will reduce the chance of the experiment being flown - particularly in the context of prevailing good weather conditions. Relaxation of requirements may mean the difference between no data under the optimum conditions as opposed to acceptable data obtained under less favourable conditions. Indication of the degree of flexibility that you are able to accept will assist aircraft operators in clustering the proposal with their own existing projects.

Time constraints – Please indicate if there are special timing needs, such as start dates for associated or clustered projects, seasonal or tidal windows, satellite overpasses etc. For example, for Remote Sensing research, you might include crop cycle /harvest times, satellite overpass calendars, tide tables etc. Please see also the comments under “Weather Conditions” regarding flexibility of timing of data acquisitions.

Location(s) and reason for that choice – You should attach here any relevant location maps and diagrams illustrating Flight Lines, Flight Tracks or Flight Profiles to aid in assessment of feasibility and planning. Please provide as much detail as you are confident to give e.g. 90E (due East) for each of the flight tracks, ‘L’ shaped or box patterns, of minimum 50 km length per leg, at heights between 1000 ft and 6000 ft etc.
Please indicate the critical nature of the chosen site or experiment location. Flexibility in availability of alternative sites may improve the ability of the chosen aircraft operator and/or aircraft in supporting the Application. As flight hours are typically about 10-15 per project, long transits may restrict the hours available for scientific flying. In the case of distant science locations, Applicants should consider the location of the proposed aircraft operator vs. the chosen site, or investigate the clustering of several projects with a view to pooling of allocated hours.

Number of flights / flight hours and flight patterns – It is expected that flight hour allocations will normally be around 10-15 per application but more may be justified for a proposal of sufficiently high scientific quality. You may, however, give here your own indication of what is considered to be the minimum and optimum number to achieve the scientific aims of the project. Please also give any information on the special flight patterns that are required to obtain data that meet the aims of this project. If you are modifying a proposal that has already been through the pre-review stage then you may indicate if the practicality of these flight patterns has already been discussed with an aircraft operator.

Other constraints or requirements – Please provide any other information not provided above.


4. Key measurements required to achieve science aims

Parameter/measurement required – please provide a detailed description of the measurements listed in Section 2. You should indicate if these are essential to achievement of the science aims or merely desirable additions, for example so as to achieve a measure of redundancy in a particular measurement.
If you know, please indicate which instruments will be provided by the hosting aircraft operator. A basic list of instrumentation provided by each aircraft operator can be found on the EUFAR website. Please consult the individual aircraft operator websites for detailed descriptions of the instrument characteristics and performance limitations, or contact the aircraft operator directly to discuss. During the pre-review stage, aircraft operators and/or tutors of the Expert Working Groups may provide additional feedback on key instrument requirements.

If applicable, instrument required – to be filled in only if you also require Transnational Access to one of these instruments.

Instruments to be provided by hosting aircraft operator – refer to the EUFAR website to find the basic instrumentation available on your aircraft that you would need.

Instruments to be provided by scientific group – This information is critical for the aircraft operator to assess the feasibility of accommodation of non-standard equipment and instruments. Please indicate any previous airborne deployment, and provide detailed information on dimensions, mass, power consumption, special inlets/ports, field of view, etc.

Instrument operators on board (in addition to those provided by the aircraft operator? If so how many? – Operational constraints may restrict the ability of the aircraft operator to accommodate extra operators: staff may have to be trained to operate on behalf of the Applicant.

If applicable, plans for simultaneous field work/ground equipment to be used – Please detail any special requirements or constraints associated with coordinating ground and airborne observations.


5. Data Processing and analysis

Methodology for handling the data and analysis of output – Please provide details of data management, calibration, validation and archiving. Describe your plans for interpretation of results, data assimilation etc. For example, if you have a key hypothesis, how will this be tested using the measurements that you will obtain? Applicants should consider carefully the volume of data that their proposal will generate - particularly in the context of the cost to the aircraft operator for processing, and the effort required to analyse and present results from the full data set.

Resources available to support the project beyond the flying/data acquisition period – Please provide details of resources allocated for the whole of the project. This must include any dedicated funding for ground observations, access to laboratories and analytical procedures or services, institute staff /PhD/MSc students assigned to the project etc. It is essential that sufficient manpower be in place to ensure proper analysis, interpretation and reporting. Details of other funding sources must also be provided, including collaboration with external and /or commercial bodies.


6. Planning

Acceptable dates – Flexibility by means of wider windows of acquisition may enhance the ability of the aircraft operator to support your project. A data acquisition requiring a single narrow window (tidal state combined with sun elevation/illumination angle for example) may not be achieved due to weather or technical problems, whereas a series of acceptable (but not perfect) data sets may be easily achievable within less restrictive constraints.

Agreement to share aircraft time – Applicants are encouraged to be flexible in sharing of aircraft access and costs in order to maximize EUFAR resources. Such flexibility may be essential in enabling the aircraft operator to accommodate your requirements., An example of this may be the sharing of mobilization and transit flying.


7. Other Useful Comments

Training benefit of the project - Please give the training potential of your project: how you will include inexperienced scientists and/or research students in your project, in order to promote awareness and expertise in the acquisition and analysis of airborne data; etc. A clear statement of the training benefits associated with your application could be influential in the final decision to allocate EUFAR support.

If possible, 3 scientific reviewers that EUFAR may contact - Please provide the names and contact details of 3 suitable reviewers for your application. At least one of these may be asked to provide an assessment of the scientific quality and logistical feasibility of your proposal, in addition to the existing pool of EUFAR Scientific Reviewers.

Sources of funding of the project and of related project – Please list all other sources of funding that will be associated with, or provide additional support, for your project or related projects. Note that EUFAR will not support the simple addition of flight hours to a project already funded. It will, however, allow or recommend clustering with existing projects that have existing support either from national or other EC funding. In this case, you should detail here how your project will add complementary aims to those of the already-funded field measurement campaign.

Scientific training provided by lead scientist to other EUFAR sponsored scientists within the fields of your proposed experiments and analysis - In other words, can you host students (supported by EUFAR) during the campaign and the data analysis (in the frame of EUFAR Education & Training "Join an existing campaign" activity)?– Please indicate your willingness and ability to usefully accommodate less experienced airborne users or research students from other institutes in your campaign.

Related documents - Upload here the Travel & Subsistence costs estimate (available at, Travel&Subsistence link). Other documents are optional.

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 312609

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