Sweden’s ST Airborne Systems has completed the first MSS 6000 system upgrade for Transport Canada on its Dash 7 aircraft. The work was subjected to a factory acceptance test at ST Airborne Systems’ facility in Sweden at the end of March, witnessed by the customer’s representative. Thereafter, the system was reinstalled and flight-tested at Transport Canada’s facility in Ottawa in April. In connection with the flight test, refresher maintenance training was also given to Transport Canada’s personnel at the Ottawa base.
With the freshly updated system on board, the Dash 7 is now ready to move for its annual deployment in the Canadian Arctic for the next five months.
In the meantime, a second system has been upgraded in Sweden on one of Transport Canada’s two Dash 8s, which will be verified in flight with participation of personnel from Transport Canada and ST Airborne Systems in early June.
Finally, a third system on the second Dash 8 is planned to undergo the same work in mid-August.
The MSS 6000 systems, which were initially installed on the three aircraft between 2006-09, are used to help protect Canada’s ocean resources including its fragile marine ecosystems. ST Airborne’s MSS 6000 serves to detect, classify and track all targets of potential interest, one example being marine oil spills. Having such a capability allows a more effective enforcement of Canada’s domestic pollution legislation. The three systems enable Transport Canada to track and identify polluters in all weather conditions on a 24-hour basis.
The MSS 6000 is a mission management system that links all available information together to provide a situation overview. It is based on Geographical Information System (GIS) technology which is presented against a backdrop of a digital nautical chart. It works with a side-looking airborne radar (SLAR) for the detection of small objects and anomalies on the sea surface, advanced search radar for tracking all target movements, advanced forward-looking infrared (FLIR) for close-up observation and the real-time transfer of videos, images and tactical map situation. Alan Warnes