In March 2017, 3SDL was awarded the contract to deliver a turn-key Airborne Remote Sensing Programme to King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), a government institution that supports and enhances applied research.
3SDL led the design, procurement, integration and introduction to service, of an innovative airborne ISR capability, working with multiple technology and service vendors in the UK and in Saudi Arabia. 3SDL continue to provide through life support to the capability, including the management of engineering and ground operations. The contract was delivered in 3 phases:
• SPECIFICATION AND PROCUREMENT - This phase involved the specification, selection, procurement and build of a suitable aircraft to meet stringent targets for flexibility and reliability. 3SDL led the procurement process, working closely with aircraft and sensor manufacturers to ensure that the specification and design met the exacting standards and requirements of KACST. In parallel to air frame production, 3SDL specified and procured the sensor suite, incorporating Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) and Hyperspectral Imaging Sensors and cockpit workstations.
• INTEGRATION AND CERTIFICATION - 3SDL led all aspects of the integration of the sensor suite along with the certification of the aircraft in preparation for import into KSA. In addition to overseeing sensor integration and calibration, 3SDL worked with Saudi delivery partners and the air frame supplier to ensure availability of in-country aircraft and equipment storage.This phase also involved the registration of the aircraft with the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), gaining the required export licenses, and achieving the Certification of Airworthiness (C of A).
• OPERATIONS AND OPERATOR TRAINING - Following successful completion of the integration and certification work, 3SDL led the development and procurement of bespoke in-country Sensor Operator Training Courses, culminating in training,calibration and test flights and bringing the capability into day to day service.
3SDL’s Remote Airborne Sensing Programme has been an outstanding example of successful integration and collaboration across international borders, languages and technical disciplines to achieve exceptional results.