MSIR field test and expert group meeting on communications 2013

Installation of MSIR equipment on an AS332 Super Puma belonging to the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
Equipment installation at the Marka Airbase, Jordan.
Multispectral Imaging equipment installed on the helicopter.

From 17 to 22 November the CTBTO conducted two parallel pre-IFE14 field tests in Jordan to test ground-based communications (EGMC) and recently acquired Multispectral Imaging, including Infrared Equipment (MSIR).

The objective of the MSIR field test was to test the operation of the newly integrated airborne sensors that form the MSIR system, as well as identify and address any technical or operational issues that might arise. The system has been designed to acquire information in different parts of the spectrum, primarily in the visible and thermal regions. Whilst the system can be installed on a plane or helicopter, for this particular test it was installed on an AS332 Super Puma belonging to the Royal Jordanian Air Force.

The operational test of the MSIR system was made possible by the generous donation of funds from the European Union (EU) for the development of an airborne multispectral system. The system comprises two distinct parts: (i) instruments purchased as part of EU funding; and (ii) instruments provided by Hungary as a contribution-in-kind.

With the help and support of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, the system was installed in the central hatch of the helicopter so that the sensors would have a clear view of the ground. Flying at a height of 1,400 metres above ground level, test data were acquired of an area north east of Amman, Jordan. Results indicate that the system performs well on the Super Puma and that it is operationally ready for IFE14.

It is very pleasing that the system performed as planned during the test. This is a complex system and the installation and operation on-board a helicopter of this type is not standard, so it is even more satisfying to see the end results.Rainier Arndt, Chief, OSI Equipment Section
Installation of communications equipment on a field team vehicle.
Ground-based communications vehicle east of the Dead Sea, Jordan.

The primary objective of the EGMC was to evaluate the technical performance of the inspection team’s communications system in a difficult terrain and to identify necessary updates and/or maintenance issues. The exercise involved 24 participants divided among five field teams testing HF, VHF, UHF, satellite and mobile communications systems across an area of almost 1,000 square kilometres. Several exercise objectives were met, including:

  • Communications equipment and associated procedures validated;
  • Mapping of communications coverage was achieved - the data gathered will be very useful in developing a radio coverage map of the area;
  • Safety procedures related to the potential scenario of an accident/incident as well as communications during emergency situations were tested and worked well.
The exercise was executed as per the plan, with no issues with the equipment or field teams issues. Our Jordanian hosts were very cooperative and did their best to support the exercise. Looking forward to IFE14, we are confident our custom-designed communication systems will be fully functional.Ashraf Abushady, Communications Officer