Flying laboratory launches open opportunity for environmental researchers

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The FAAM Airborne Laboratory in the UK has launched a new scheme that will provide environmental researchers with the opportunity to use the specially adapted research aircraft for up to 10 flying hours.

Research Runway is a pilot initiative designed to allow researchers at every stage of their career to access the observation platform to study topics ranging from climate change and severe weather to air pollution. It will provide up to 10 flying hours on board the FAAM Airborne Laboratory for campaign ideas set to take flight in July and August this year.

Dr Hannah Price, FAAM Airborne Laboratory, said, “Research Runway aims to open up our flying laboratory to new users by providing funding for small-scale and standalone experiments. It opens a new pathway for people to see what we can offer, and will hopefully encourage a new generation of users to our facility.”

Managed by the UK’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), the FAAM Airborne Laboratory can measure a wide range of atmospheric properties relating to meteorology, chemistry, aerosol, cloud physics and remote sensing. Planned investments in the laboratory over the next five years will further increase the range of services and capabilities available, including adopting sustainable practices.

All applicants will be fully supported by the facility’s team of scientists, engineers, flight technicians and project managers to plan their experiments ahead of time.

The FAAM Airborne Laboratory team hopes that Research Runway offers a new pathway for scientists to access the facility – and could help researchers to collect preliminary data for a study, or to support a proof of concept in advance of a larger grant, for example.

To help run the scheme, Research Runway stipulates that flights should fly from Cranfield Airport, Bedfordshire, and take advantage of the aircraft’s existing set of instrumentation.

As the FAAM Airborne Laboratory is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), applicants must be eligible for NERC funding to be considered.

Applicants should first contact the FAAM Airborne Laboratory team via the organization’s website by April 5, 2023 to start the application process.

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Dan first joined UKi Media & Events in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As editor, he now produces content for Meteorological Technology International, unearthing the latest technological advances and research methods for the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest meteorological news, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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