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FP7

Periodic Report 2 - COPAL (COmmunity heavy-PAyload Long endurance Instrumented Aircraft for Tropospheric Research in Environmental and Geo-Sciences)

Project ID: 212205
Funded under: FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES

Abstract

This is the second periodic Report of COPAL funded under the European Commission (EC)'s Seventh Framework Program (FP7) following a proposal submitted to European strategy forum on research infrastructures (ESFRI) for the construction of a pan-European instrumented aircraft for tropospheric research. The objectives of the COPAL project, distributed over six work-packages, are:

1. to acquire, modify and equip for research a heavy-payload (10 tons) and long endurance (10 hours) aircraft for research in the lower and middle troposphere;
2. to propose a legal structure for joint management of the COPAL aircraft;
3. to quantify the costs for procurement, refurbishing, modification for research, certification, and operation of the COPAL aircraft;
4. to designate the aircraft operator and scientific operator of the COPAL aircraft;
5. to constitute a network of academic laboratories and small and medium enterprises for development, maintenance and operation of research instrumentation;
6. to define the governance model for access proposals evaluation and allocation of flight time.

Moreover, surveys and studies have been performed during COPAL preparatory phase to evaluate the technical feasibility and the costs of the aircraft project. It has been concluded that the technical feasibility is not an issue whilst the main bottleneck for the implementation of the project is the lack of national commitments for investment.

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