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options and recom- mend product combi- nations that have been proven to work well together within your budget.

4. Insist On A Time-And- Action Plan

Have your integrator docu- ment the duration of a typical project including how long your aircraft will be down once all the equipment has arrived at your site.

Your Surveillance Systems Search: 10 Tips For Mission Success

By Richard J. McCourt President, NASS

With the rapid advances and constantly evolving standards in today’s surveillance technology, making intelligent, effective and financially responsible Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) choices can be challenging. Most experts would agree that success is based upon selecting the proper equipment, a dependable supplier and most importantly, a qualified integra- tor. So, whether your system will be used in a law enforcement, military, first responder or broadcast setting, the following checklist is designed to help you navigate wisely, avoid turbulence and land the perfect ISR surveil- lance system for your aircraft.

1. Know Your Mission

Your mission and budget will dictate the level of sophistication of the selected ISR system. Outline what you intend to accomplish. What do you want the ISR system to do when it is completed? Are a video down- link and / or recorder required?


Compare the data sheets of available systems to determine which best fits your require- ments and budget. Determine what the area of coverage will be and whether a downlink is appropriate. What distance is required for video reception? Will you be flying day, night or both? Which EO / IR systems are appropriate for the size of your aircraft? Determine whether you need to record the signal you are viewing. How many hours of recording are required? Does your mission require a moving map display?

2. Have A Realistic Budget

Conduct research in the mar-

ketplace. Ask integrators for detailed cost breakdowns. If you have budgetary constraints, determine if the system can be completed with one budget cycle or if it can be completed in phases.

3. Ask For References

Before you sign a contract,

require integrators to provide references of similar successfully completed projects. Consider using an integration company that can deliver the entire proj- ect turnkey. Typically, these companies can offer a range of


This timeline should be included in any subsequent contract.

5. Verify FAA Certification

Confirm that the selected integrator can provide FAA cer- tification for the installation.

6. Save Money And Time

Ask the integrator if there is a discount for flying your air- craft to their facility rather than having the work completed at your hangar. Often the cost of flying the aircraft to the inte- grator can be significantly less than the cost of the integrator’s travel expenses if the work is conducted at your facility.

7. Guaranteed Training

Ensure that training for your staff is included in the final quotation. Confirm that the training will be conducted at your facility under “real world” conditions.

8. Check The Warranty

And Emergency Contact Information

Know the limitations of the warranty on your equipment. Is it measured in years or number of flight hours? This is very dependent on your operating

profile. Determine the contact plan in the event of a require- ment for emergency response.

9. Be Compatible

If video transmission is

required, check local FCC fre- quencies for compatibility. Determine which frequencies are allocated for your public service department. Ensure that your downlink system is com- patible with other agencies with- in your region.

10. Plan For Downtime

Always take into considera- tion that your aircraft will be down for routine maintenance. Consider having a back-up plan that includes provisioning an additional aircraft. Are you able to move the surveillance equip- ment from one aircraft to another? This option costs a fraction of the overall project expense but will ensure your capability to respond during routine or unanticipated main- tenance.

Purchasing an ISR system is a substantial commitment. While you consider the options that are available today, remember to evaluate where you are now and where your organization will be in the next five years.

In this challenging economy, knowing your mission clearly and asking the right questions will help you maximize the value of the products and services offered in today’s surveillance systems market. Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52