From very small beginnings, he built up Australia’s National Research Aircraft Facility ARA – Airborne Research Australia, which today is Australia’s only National Facility engaged in using and operating aircraft for atmospheric and environmental research. Today he is ARA’s Chief Scientist, and also holds professorial status within Flinders University. In 2015, he led the establishment of ARA as an independent Not-For-Profit Research Institute funded substantially by the Hackett Foundation in Adelaide.
His research work spans a wide area, with special emphasis on the atmospheric boundary layer, very high resolution airborne remote sensing and the development of innovative instrumentation and measurement strategies using airborne platforms. He is co-author in more than 100 publications in internationally refereed journals and more than 170 Conference Papers. He pioneered the concept of using cost-efficient small aircraft for environmental research, including the research described in the current paper.
JM Hacker holds a pilot’s license with several special endorsements and has more than 8,000 flying hours in a wide range of aircraft, including flying gliders over the Andes in South America up to 12.5km. In the context of his research, he also regularly flies aircraft as low as 10m above the ground.
Together with H.W. Grosse, he holds the World Record for flying a self-launching glider over a 500km triangle at an average speed of 172km/h.