Presentation on theme: "Mapping the Canadian North"— Presentation transcript:
1 Mapping the Canadian North (and working a little DXbetween weather observations)Doug Leach - VE3XKex VE3DWG/VE8 (1957)
2 What’s Ahead1957 summer job was on aerial photo mapping survey of Baffin IsSeveral Ottawa amateurs are survey veteransI’m not the best to tell the survey story but story is long overdueI will cover:Recap of early years and aerial survey methodsThe RCAF, photo survey firms - equipment and areas coveredMy 1957 aerial survey and my amateur radio opportunitiesRecent aerial photo mapping developmentsFirst for those who weren’t there, what about 1957?My summer job, between 2nd and 3rd years at Ryerson in Toronto, was on an aerial survey of Baffin Island, in what is now Nunavut. Ottawa was a major centre for aerial surveying and a number of local radio amateurs worked in that industry.Compared to a long-term industry veteran, I am not the best person to tell the aerial survey story but it is a story that is long overdue to be told.I was not so interested in mapping technology at that time, but now based on recent literature research and many interviews, I will include a brief overview of the aerial survey mapping process.I will also discuss the photographic survey firms, the aircraft they flew and the areas they mapped before covering my survey and amateur radio activity. We will wind up with a few words on progress since that time.The photographic survey activity is only a part of the entire aerial survey business, which includes also airborne mineral exploration technologies and dozens of smaller survey firms I will not discuss.First let’s set the stage for the time-frame of my summer adventure.
3 My Aerial Survey YearPM St. Laurent, President Eisenhower, Chairman KruschevBefore integrated circuits, microprocessors or SputnikBefore the Boeing 707 commercial jet airliners started flyingFirst electric watch, first electric typewriterOnly twelve years since WWII. Only four years since KoreaThe Avro Arrow was Canada’s major technological projectInternational Geophysical Year - peak of Solar Cycle 19 - the highest to that timeSingle Sideband Suppressed Carrier modulation was very new - only the bold pioneers were using it on amateur radioOpening of Distant Early Warning Line (July)First let’s look at The Early Years of aerial survey before 1957For those of you young enough to remember, return with me now to 1957, with political incumbents Louis St Laurent, Eisenhower and Kruschev,Before Sputnik in October that year, before integrated circuits let alone microprocessors,Before the 707 jet airliners, and the Distant Early Warning Line was still under construction.That was the year of the first electric watch and first electric typewriter.Only twelve years since WWII and only four years since the Korean WarThe Avro Arrow was Canada’s major technological project.1957 was the International Geophysical Year and the peak of Solar Cycle 19 - the highest to that time. I was happy to take advantage of that, using the latest communications technology - single sideband suppressed carrier modulation now abbreviated to SSB. SSB is a popular and efficient method of voice communication today, but then only a few pioneers were using SSB amid snide remarks about Donald Duck from the amplitude modulation diehards. By way of introduction to my interesting, and at times dangerous, summer “vacation” of 1957, I will cover the important contribution of the RCAF and two Ottawa aerial survey firms prior to 1957.First let’s look at the early years of aerial surveying and the methods used.
4 The Early YearsAerial camera mounted on Vickers Vedette flying boatPublic Archives Canada Photo PAMaps first plotted from mountaintop photosAerial photography for mapping and forest inventory ’sInter-Departmental Committee on Air Surveys (ICAS) formed - to coordinate requirements.All ICAS survey contracts henceforth had these requirements: photos to be cross-referenced to index map or flight report showing flight path, altitude, film type, film number, date/time of exposure, camera and weather conditions for that run.The quality of aerial survey results was assuredPhotographs taken from mountaintops in Canada were first plotted into maps in This proved to be an attractive alternative to the very arduous and time-consuming land survey process using transits and chains through hostile terrain and heavy bush.By the 1920’s photography from aircraft was in wide use for mapping and forestry inventory.The Inter-Departmental Committee on Air Surveys (ICAS) was formed in 1925 to coordinate aerial survey requirements between federal government departments and with the provinces. The founders had excellent foresight and all ICAS aerial survey contracts from then on contained the requirements that all photos were to be cross-referenced to an index map or flight report indicating flight path, altitude, film type, film number, date/time of exposure, camera and weather conditions for that particular run.This foresight assured the quality of aerial survey results for the decades to come.
5 The Early YearsRCAF Fairchild Super 71 Closeup shows 1936 multicamera installation Public Archives Canada - Photos PA , PANational Air Photo Library (NAPL) also to take charge of all federal non-military air photographs.RCAF primary air surveyor in 20’s and 30’s and their major centre for aerial photography was RCAF Station Rockcliffe1944 RCAF aerial survey of Ungava Peninsula and west coast of Hudson Bay showed existing Arctic maps inaccurateAerial surveying of north tasked to RCAFThe National Air Photo Library (NAPL) was also formed in 1925 to take charge of all federal non-military aerial photographs and associated documentation. The Royal Canadian Air Force was the major aerial surveyor in the 1920’s and 30’s.In 1944, many eastbound air ferry flights to the war in Europe and westbound air evacuation flights across that region were on what was called the Crimson Route.The RCAF did an aerial survey of Ungava Peninsula in northern Quebec and the west coast of Hudson Bay down to Churchill.They found that existing maps were inaccurate and inadequate. They had been limited mostly to the coastal areas that were safer and relatively easier to reach on foot. The government then tasked the RCAF to take on aerial surveying of the north. Their major centre for aerial photography was RCAF Station Rockcliffe, in Ottawa.
6 The Early Years“High oblique” photo (L) - taken with a camera inclined 45º from plumb. Relief shows well, but image wedge-shaped“Vertical” photos taken plumb (straight down).“Tri-camera” mode (R) - comprised one “vertical” and two “high oblique” cameras, mounted transverse to flight path, producing a fan of photos and horizon-to-horizon coverageTri-camera mode sacrificed accuracy and detail for fast coverageThe above two diagrams are about as technical as things will get so I ask your indulgence. The concepts are not that difficult to understand.A “High Oblique” aerial photo, as shown Left, is taken with the camera inclined about 60 degrees up from straight down. This shows the texture of the landscape, including the shadows from the sun, but the image on the film is wedge-shaped and must be corrected for this optical distortion.As the name implies, a “Vertical” aerial photo is taken with the camera pointed straight down or “Plumb”.In order to achieve very fast coverage of the vast Arctic, RCAF employed a “Tri-Camera” configuration shown at Right - one “Vertical” and two “High Obliques”. The flight line is into the diagram. The fan of simultaneous photos covered horizon to horizon.The “Tri-Camera” configuration, provided fast coverage but sacrificed accuracy and optical detail.
7 The Early Years PE Print Layout Room - 1945 Public Archives Canada Photo PARCAF “tri-camera” aircraft flew at around 24,000 ft.“Tri-camera” fans laid out in strips, 16 miles wide, with overlaps at RCAF Rockcliffe #1 Photograpic Establishment to be indexed for the map plotters. Maps were then plotted at 8 mi/inch.Photos allowed for stereoscopic views to be arranged to determine land contour information.Higher accuracy vertical photography was on flight lines 3 miles apart, with overlap of photos. Maps were then plotted at 4 mi/in.The RCAF tri-camera aircraft flew at about 24,000 feet with consecutive photos taken often enough at the speed flown to produce photo overlaps. Following the flight, the resulting horizon-to-horizon films were laid out in 16 mile wide stripsThe photographs were arranged on a grid in the print layout room at the #1 Photographic Establishment at Rockcliffe. Here they were indexed for the government personnel who plotted the maps at a scale of 8 miles per inch. That scale does not show much detail.Because of overlapping photographs taken from slightly different positions in space as the aircraft flew along, the use of steroscopic optical methods could be used to determine land contour information - just like a precision version of the old View-Master toy.The vertical photography runs were taken on flight lines 3 miles apart and maps were plotted at 4 miles per inch scale, twice the resolution of the tri-camera maps.Modern aerial cameras support much higher resolution maps, such as used around ports, airports and cities.
8 The Early Years Installation of cameras in a photo squadron Lancaster Public Archives PA-65920When possible, tri-camera coverage was obtained before vertical photography done in that area.This delayed vertical aerial photo surveys by a year or more, but those coarse 8 mi/in maps filled in many areas that had never been mapped and were used to plot flight lines for the vertical surveysRCAF 408 Squadron did all the tri-camera work.Other squadrons and the aerial survey firms followed with vertical photography.Most RCAF photography used Lancaster, Dakota, and Norseman aircraft, with Canso amphibians doing the survey supply work.The above photo shows a tri-camera installation in an RCAF 408 Squadron Lancaster. The camera operator is shown with oxygen mask as they flew above 10,000 ft, where oxygen was necessary.Whenever possible, the RCAF obtained tri-camera coverage of an area before the more precise vertical photography was attempted. This meant a delay of a year or more in getting to the better maps but the coarse 8 mi/inch scale maps filled in many areas inland from the shore lines that had never been mapped. Also those coarse maps were used to plot flight lines for the later vertical surveys.RCAF 408 Squadron at Rockcliffe did all the tri-camera aerial photography while the other air photo squadrons and commercial aerial survey firms followed up with more precise vertical photography. RCAF used Lancaster bombers, DC-3/Dakota transports and Norseman bush planes for aerial photography and Canadian Vickers-built PBV-1A Canso amphibians for supply. There were seldom runways located where needed in the bush but there were lots of lakes. In later years Canadian Vickers became Canadair Limited and then Bombardier. Experience at Vickers with the PBV-1A amphibian led to the Canadair CL-215 water bomber, another amphibian.
9 The Early YearsRCAF SHORAN camp Joe Snyder (L) and Harry Splett (R) Public Archives Canada Photos PA , PAFor geodetic marker location and later for precision mapping, a navigation method was required to position camera aircraft .The triangulation-based SHORAN radio navigation system was developed during WWII for precision bombing.Ground stations set up at precisely-known ground locations.As camera aircraft flew along prescribed lines, onboard SHORAN equipment interrogated two of the SHORAN ground stations to determine precise air distance from eachFor detail mapping and for geodetic marker positioning a more accurate method was required to position the camera in space over the terrain to be photographed.The SHORAN radio navigation system, based on triangulation, had been developed during World War II for precision bombing.SHORAN ground stations were set up at ground locations with precisely known latitude and longitude coordinates.As the aircraft flew along the prescribed flight line, its onboard SHORAN equipment continuously interrogated each of two SHORAN ground stations on about 300 MHz, to determine its precise air distance from each.The 1949 photo shows Harry Splett (now VE3HHS) of RCAF 408 Squadron, on the right, wearing a pith helmet - his favourite bush headgear. The right photograph shows a SHORAN tower and antennas as used at typical field sites
10 The Early YearsTypes of aerial photographic cameras used by the RCAF in 1945 Public Archives Canada Photo PAKnown ground distance between SHORAN ground stations, and measured distances from the aircraft formed a triangle, with aircraft position in space at the apexCameras mounted in the aircraft photographed the terrain below and SHORAN distance readings were recorded with the corresponding aerial photosBoth air and ground had SHORAN technicians. To avoid wasted flying time, ground stations also had weather observer / radio opsThe known ground distance between the SHORAN ground stations and the measured distances from the aircraft to each ground station formed two triangles with the precise aircraft position at the apex.Applying the technique to aerial photography, the cameras in the aircraft continuously photographed the ground below and the SHORAN distance readings to each of the two ground stations were recorded with each photograph.Both air and ground stations had specialist SHORAN technicians as this was vacuum tube equipment and subject to limited life before tube failure. It was not long before the ground stations also had weather observer / radio operators, for safety of the SHORAN technician and to avoid wasted flying time, in case of bad weather over the target area. Most of the radio amateurs filled that function, at least initially.
11 The Early YearsRockcliffe-based 408 Squadron aerial photographic Lancaster at a Northern base.Public Archives Canada Photo PARCAF use of SHORAN was limited to geodetic workRCAF aerial photos were used in planning of the Alaska Highway, Distant Early Warning Line, and Mid-Canada Line.By 1957 RCAF completed tri-camera coverage of Canada. Gaps due to cloud and other operational problems were common.Survey requirements were now taken over by other departments.Air survey firms, would continue to be coordinated by ICAS, with photos going to NAPL.SHORAN use by the RCAF was limited to geodetic work - the precise positioning of legal survey markers.RCAF aerial photos were used in the planning of the Alaska Highway, Distant Early Warning Line and Mid-Canada Line. By 1957, the year of my aerial survey, the RCAF had completed tri-camera coverage of most of Canada but with gaps due to cloud during photography, and other operational imperatives.Further survey requirements for more detailed maps were taken over by other government departments.The commercial aerial survey firms, who had been active for many years prior to 1957, would continue to be coordinated by ICAS with their photos going to National Air Photo Library for further processing into maps.
12 The Major Aerial Photo Survey Firms Under Canadian law, foreign companies could not own or operate Canadian-registered ships or aircraft in Canada.Only two firms were doing aerial photography for mapping:Canadian Aero Service Corporation, a subsidiary of Philadelphia Aero Service Corporation partnered with Spartan Air Services, a Canadian-owned Ottawa company that owned and flew survey and support aircraft for Canadian Aero’s aerial surveys.Photographic Survey Corporation (PSC), a subsidiary of Hunting Surveys Group of Britain, partnered with Kenting Aviation Ltd, a Canadian-owned Toronto company that owned and flew the survey and support aircraft for the PSC aerial surveys.Both aerial survey firms were supported by SHORAN contractor Offshore Navigation, Inc of New Orleans, LouisianaUnder Canadian law, foreign-owned companies could not own or operate Canadian-registered ships or aircraft engaged in commerce in CanadaThe obvious work-around was for the Canadian subsidiary of a foreign owned company to partner with a Canadian-owned company who would own and operate the ships or aircraft.Hence the two major aerial photographic survey firms - Canadian Aero Service Corporation here in Ottawa (a subsidiary of Philadelphia Aero Service Corporation) partnered with Canadian-owned Spartan Air Services - also in Ottawa at Uplands Airport. In Toronto Photographic Survey Corporation (a subsidiary of Hunting Surveys of Britain) partnered with Kenting Aviation, a Canadian-owned company.Those four companies were the major aerial survey firms doing photographic mapping surveys, though there were many others doing other aerial surveys.Offshore Navigation, Inc of New Orleans, LA provided precision navigation under contract.
13 Offshore Navigation, Inc ONI was formed to provide electronic navigation services to the US oil exploration industry marine surveys in Gulf of Mexico.Soon spread to Canada, Caribbean, Latin America, and world.ONI provided teams of SHORAN technicians and equipment.ONI teams travelled and lived with client field teams.As its corporate name suggests, Offshore Navigation Inc was formed to provide electronic navigation services to the US oil exploration industry, first in the Gulf of Mexico and then in the Caribbean, Latin America and Canada.ONI provided turn-key SHORAN services, complete with both ground and airborne equipment and specialist technicians to install, operate and service the equipment. The ONI air crews flew with the aerial survey aircraft. ONI also provided one ground technician per SHORAN ground station, augmented by the weather observer / radio operator at that ground station.
14 Canadian Aero / Spartan - Ottawa Canadian Aero Services, partnered with Spartan Air Service had been active in various aspects of the aerial survey industry since the 1940s, with the former actually running the survey and the latter running the aircraft.They used a variety of aircraft types. For high-level photography (at altitudes above 20,000 ft) one of their aircraft types was the British Dehavilland Mosquito shown above.Both Canadian Aero / Spartan and Photographic Survey Corporation / Kenting had the newest compact aerial cameras with superior optics.Canadian Aero / Spartan had been doing aerial photo survey work since 1940`s - covering much of CanadaDeHavilland Mosquitos (like CF-HMP shown) provided some high-level aerial photographic surveys (RCAF CF-100 in rear)Chapter 70’s Bob Zieman - VE3ATN was camera operator aboard the Mosquito and other aircraft during period.
15 Canadian Aero / Spartan - Ottawa Another aircraft used by Spartan for high-level photography was the American P-38 Lockheed Lightning, shown above.The high-level vertical photography was used to both fill in gaps in earlier coverage due to cloud or other operational limitations, as well as to provide improved photographic quality for the more detailed maps to come.An interesting aside is that the P-38 was one of Kelly Johnson’s early aircraft designs. He went on to design the Lockheed U-2 and the SR-71 Blackbird spy planes. The latter still holds performance records.P-38 Lightning also used for high level aerial photo surveys. Photo shows Spartan P-38 CF-GCH in its earlier WWII paint scheme.High-level vertical photo surveys resulted in more detailed maps, and also filled in gaps in tri-camera coverage (due to cloud, etc)
16 Canadian Aero / Spartan - Ottawa The Cessna 310 was another Spartan aircraft on which Bob Zieman flew as a camera operator doing low level photo surveys during the 1956 to 1960 period.The Airborne Profile Recorder, developed by National Research Council, also provided them with measurement and recording of height over ground using a precision radar. Some of you may know Don Davidson who later worked at Bradley in Carp on aircraft radios and instruments, who was part of the NRC APR development team.Bob Zieman also flew many hours as camera operator aboard the Spartan Cessna 310 similar to the above for low level workBoth Spartan and Kenting had new superior compact cameras and Automatic Profile Recorder radars to better establish height above ground.
17 Canadian Aero / Spartan - Ottawa Our Bob Zieman - VE3ATN was camera operator aboard Spartan DC-3/Dakota CF-ICU (L). Supercharged engines allowed flight at 20,000’ (with oxygen masks for the crew)Air & ground calibration was required before a survey. Canadian Aero SHORAN calibration truck at Uplands Airport (R).Other Spartan aircraft include Avro Anson and Lockheed VenturaThe DC-3 or Dakota shown was used by Spartan primarily for low level work, but was modified for operation above 20,0000 ft.Fitted with superchargers to provide more air for the engines and oxygen masks for the crew CF-ICU (shown) carried our Bob Zieman - VE3ATN all over Canada, during his five year period with Spartan from 1956 to 1960.For calibration of equipment before a survey, the Canadian Aero Services SHORAN calibration truck carries a SHORAN antenna similar to what was used on the SHORAN field sites.Other Spartan aerial survey aircraft, used primarily for lower level work, included the British Avro Anson and Lockheed Ventura.
18 Canadian Aero / Spartan - Ottawa Canadian Aero / Spartan 1950’s aerial survey bases across CanadaYukon - WhitehorseNWT - Inuvik, Norman Wells, Yellowknife, Sawmill Bay, Pelly Lake, Cambridge Bay, Coral Harbour, Frobisher Bay (Iqaluit)Ontario - Armstrong, Ottawa (St Lawrence Seaway surveyed several times to update forecasts of flooding)Quebec - Val d’Or, Roberval, Mont Joli, Sept IlesNew Brunswick - FrederictonNova Scotia - HalifaxMany of the same bases were used in those years by competitor Photographic Survey Corporation / Kenting Aviation.Both Spartan and Kenting lost too many aircraft and crews during that period. Aerial survey and mapping was dangerous.This slide lists the many bases from which Spartan operated aerial survey aircraft in the 40s, 50s and 60s. It covers most of Canada.Competitor Photographic Survey Corporation partnered with Kenting Aviation operated aerial surveys out of many of those same bases, though not necessarily covering the same survey areas, nor in the same years.Kenting aircraft include Boeing B-17 bombers for high-level photography as well as P-38 Lightning, Lockheed Hudson and a variety of other aircraft for low level workAt this point, I must acknowledge the sacrifice of the many lost crews and aircraft of these aerial survey firms and their various smaller competitors.Remote runways and navigational aids in those years were primitive. Many survey aircraft were war surplus. Even with very conscientious maintenance, equipment failure could be expected.Crews were not as rigidly controlled in terms of flying hours as they are today.Aerial survey flying was a dangerous business - especially before GPS navigation and the advanced weather prediction services we have today.
19 Photo Survey / Kenting - Toronto Photo shows PSC/Kenting B-17G CF-HBP as it was at Foxe Main in 1957.PSC undertook the first commercial Arctic survey in 1957Two-year survey of northern Baffin Island used B-17G for high- level photos, newest ground station gear, and licensed hams as weather observer/radio ops. Based at Fox Main (now Hall Beach)I was first hired of the PSC weather / radio ops, and recruited seven more at Ryerson.Maximum effort to get ham and commercial phone licenses.The aerial survey I was on in 1957 was PSC/Kenting’s first of a two-year contract to map the northern half of Baffin Island and into the high arctic islands.They made every effort to field a first-class operation using the best equipment and methods available at that time. This included their B-17G CF-HBP, with Pilot Bob Beaton, backed by their B-17E CF-ICB that was doing another aerial survey out of The Pas, Manitoba.The newest technology 100 watt military-quality single sideband transmitters and receivers were to be used to better ensure communications across the large area covered by the survey. Operation could be almost 24 hours due to Arctic daylight.I was the first candidate to show up in answer to a newspaper ad for aerial survey radio operators. I committed to getting a commercial Radiotelephone General Licence if hired.I told them our ham club had all the candidates they needed.Seven more were signed based upon passing both heir Ham and at least Restricted Radiotelephone exams.The theory was easy for the Ryerson Electronic Technology students. Regulations and the Morse Code were difficult but we managed to get most of their 10 words/minute code over one intensive weekend.That just proves that motivation makes the difference.
20 Photo Survey / Kenting - Toronto MCA DC-4 CF-MCD loaded at Malton in mid-May 1957.With entire survey team and freight aboard, there were still seatsAfter re-fuel at Churchill, flew north to Fox Main.Crashed York freighter, short of Fox Main runway.Much activity at Fox Main - 24 hour sunlightAfter few more days preparation, we began to deploy field sites.When the big Sunday mornng came, most of the survey equipment and crews were loaded aboard a DC-4 (CF-MCD) chartered from Maritime Central Airways.Even with all the equipment aboard we still had enough seats and seat belts for all the passengers.After departure from Malton Airport and a refuelling stop at Churchill we flew on to Fox Main. A crashed Avro York freighter (converted Lancaster bomber ) off the end of the Fox Main runway was a sobering reminder that this was not going to be just another summer Boy Scout camp.Fox Main was a busy place as the construction and systems people were just completing the DEW Line installations ready for official opening that summer. It was the height of the Cold War. This was still a few months before Sputnik changed everything.Our firm had its own buildings complete with photo lab to process the aerial camera film, a stereo plotter to view film in 3D, a kilowatt SSB station for communication with Toronto headquarters, a full kitchen with staff, and bunkhouses for several dozen.We had a few more practice drills on installation, operation and maintenance of our gear and we were ready for deployment of the ground stations.
21 Photo Survey / Kenting - Toronto Chartered DC-3/Dakotas on skis (L) delivered ground stationsLanding at Clyde weather-delayed so helped install Gilliam site.When 2nd Clyde attempt, stayed on DEW site. New charter.Our station (R) set up in early June. Tower on a geodetic marker.Both gensets and VHF groundplane antenna in foreground. Fuel drums part of two USAF avgas caches - one WWII era. The supply tent was mostly for food cartons - “K Rations”The photo (L) shows one of several DC-3 / Dakota aircraft used to carry the equipment and crews to the various ground station locations across the survey area.Though it was late May, there was lots of snow, ice and cold weather in the Arctic. The aircraft usually landed on skis on a frozen lake. What might be expected to be a nice soft landing or take-off on snow is quite rough. There is often broken and refrozen ice under the snow to rattle your teeth or worse. One of our other aircraft ripped the wing tip off one wing and the pilot had to fly the crippled plane south for repairs to get home.Before my deployment to the Clyde River site several in our group helped haul the Gilliam station up to their mountain site, helped by some of the Belleville McFarlanes Junior Hockey team, hired for the weekend.Our landing at Clyde River was delayed by weather three times. When the charter contract expired we had to wait at a DEW Line site for several days. When another chartered DC-3 arrived, it was flown by another college student on his summer vacation from Ontario Agricultural College. I know I was impressed.When we finally arrived at Clyde River, the Inuit crew to take us up the mountain to our site was waiting with dog-teams and their freight sleds called komatiks. These men and boys were small in stature but they were strong and had enormous stamina. Their dogs were not pets and also had great stamina. They hauled our camp gear up the mountain without too much effort.The photo (R) shows our initial setup - the Jamesway hut, SHORAN tower and shorter VHF air-ground ground-plane antenna. There were two fuel caches on site, one from World War II. That was available for our use, but with the caveat that it might be contaminated by silt and water. It was. I spent many hours cleaning the carburetor on the Onan. The supply tent was for our K-Rations.
22 Our “K Rations”One carton per week per person provided three meals per dayNo bread - just hard-tack biscuits that tasted like cardboard.Baked ham, Salisbury steak, pork, sausages, chicken or turkey dinners. TV dinners but the technology of 50 years ago.Butter, bacon, corned beef, Spam. Jam. Peanut butter. Tea. Coffee. Corn syrup. Egg, pancake and milk powders and potato flakes (yuk). Dry cereal. Oatmeal. Chocolate. Hard candy. Canned fruit. Canned juices. Peanuts. Fruit cake. Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk. Catsup. Sugar. Salt. Pepper - all in sealed packs.My ONI partner slathered his own Louisiana Hot Sauce over all he ate - breakfast, lunch and dinner - “not that damned Tabasco”We did not suffer from lack of food. In fact some items were never touched by either of us.Think “TV Dinner”but with the technology of fifty years ago. We joked that the K-Rations were Korean War surplus but PSC probably paid top dollar for them.My favourite was the Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed milk. It was intended for cooking but we used it as a rich sweet sauce on the canned fruit cake. We both looked forward to that one meal of the week.I disliked the hard-tack biscuits we used as a bread substitute, but I came to loathe the whipped potatos made from potato flakes. Fortunately the canned meats usually included gravy we could use to kill that scorched taste.My New Orleans partner had his own supply of Louisiana Hot Sauce that he slathered on everything - three meals a day. Like many Louisianans I have met since, he hated “that damned Tabasco Sauce”
23 Photo Survey / Kenting - Toronto Above photos show layout of Jamesway hut. Heating by Coleman fuel-oil stove at rear (L). Very comfortable in cold “summer”.Floor canvas-covered 1/2” plywood over 2”X4” frameAN/CPN2 SHORAN, TMC GPR-90 SSB Receiver/VFO and Eldico SSB-100 MIL Transmitter and VHF AM a/g radio (R)Personal locker in front of the bunk (background left)Food preparation table with camp stove opposite radio gearStepping back a bit to the erection of our camp, you can see from the photos that we had far better facilities than one would see in a Provincial Park.The Jamesway Hut was first class with its prefab plywood over wood frame floor covered by canvas to seal out drafts. The aluminum frame was strong but light. It was covered by a white sheet nylon sandwich filled with fiberglass insulation. A Coleman oil stove ensured we were always comfortable in the hut.The SHORAN, TMC GPR-90 Receiver and VFO and Eldico SSB-100-MIL 100W SSB transmitter, and VHF AM air-ground radio gear were to the left front with a personal locker in front of my partner’s bunk. My bunk was opposite, on the other side of the oil heater, with my locker in front of that and the food preparation table and camp stove opposite the electronics.I was responsible for taking weather observations every four hours around the clock and radioing them to Fox Main base for flight planning of the B-17. I had a wet and dry bulb thermometer (sling psychrometer), an altimeter plus a knowledge of cloud formations.Between radio schedules and weather observations I was free to talk to DOT Station Clyde River or US Coast Guard Station Cape Christian on the air/ground radio, explore, write letters, listen to Voice of America or my old station CFRX in Toronto on 6070 KHz, play cards or chess, or use the SSB radios for amateur radio contacts and phone patches home. I will discuss my ham radio activity later.
24 Photo Survey / Kenting - Toronto Icing fog frequent at Clyde River station much of summer 1957Our first ice storm (L)Prolonged heavy icing resulted in collapse of 50 ft aluminum SHORAN tower (R)Collapse occurred five times over the “summer” due to successive ice stormsTower shrank to 30’ - SHORAN antenna looked worse each timeBecause we were 1570 ft above Davis Strait, we were frequently in cloud, while our neighbours at sea level were under the overcast that was enveloping us. That cloud was often icing and our initial setup was soon a victim of a severe ice storm.We had a number of such ice storms in the early summer before the weather warmed up. The first time we had to patch the SHORAN tower and antennas with scrap packing case lumber. Only 40 ft of the original 50 ft could be salvaged. It was an amazing feat for the two of us (mostly Big Ed Barney) to get even that 40 ft of patched tower and antennas walked up Fortunately the side guys remained intact so I could haul up on the far guy while Ed picked up the antenna end, got under it and walked it up to 45 degrees where I could assist by pulling on the far guy.By the end of the summer, our tower was down to 30 ft and we had to hoist that several times. That was much easier.
25 Photo Survey / Kenting - Toronto Photo (L) shows repaired SHORAN antenna and tower after first loss - now only 40ft high. Only ex-Marine “Big Ed” Barney could walk up that tower, even with me at full effort on guys.Rock ledge (R) looked down 1500 ft to the beach on Davis Strait.Occasional polar bear along beachMy ONI partner’s tale of Cuban rebels, Batista, & Miami mafiaThe photo at left shows the 40 ft patched tower and SHORAN antenna.Proving I had more bravado than sense at 19, I am pointing down the cliff to the Davis Strait beach. That was a favourite spot for sight-seeing and watching for the occasional Polar Bear walking the beach a quarter mile below. By mid-summer noon temperatures got up to as high as 75F but we had a lot of winter to get through before that. My ONI partner, Ed Barney, had spent the previous four years on the Gulf Coast, Canada, Latin America, and Cuba on various surveys - usually SHORAN positioning of seismic exploration boats. While on a SHORAN ground station in the mountains of southern Cuba, Ed got to know a group of rebels opposing the corrupt and vicious Cuban regime. The leader was Fidel with a brother Raoul and one of the rebels was an Argentine doctor named Che. Ed was very impressed with them and spoke frequently about his hopes they could unseat President Batista and the Miami Mafia from Havana.Of course, they did succeed and I have oftened wondered how Ed felt after the Bay of Pigs, the 1963 Cuban Missile Crisis, and the CIA attempts to assassinate Fidel.I will never know as Ed Barney passed away years ago.
26 Photo Survey / Kenting - Toronto Aerial view of station atop higher peak.(R) USCG Cape Christian LORAN A Station at point - 7 miMountain is a pile of rocks - no true ground to be foundThe site for our station is at the top of the higher peak.Looking north on the photo right you can see Cape Christian, 7 miles away.We spoke to one or another of the US Coast Guard personnel daily on the air-ground radio. It was a comfort to know we were not that far from civilization.The right photo foreground also shows our mountain to be a huge pile of loose rocks.For our 5680 KHz survey frequency we used a horizontal wire dipole that was independent of ground.There was no radio frequency ground so any vertical antennas had to have more than one or two radials before they would work effectively.
27 Photo Survey / Kenting - Toronto Home-brew two -element quarter-wave vertical array oriented south (director in front). Third mast (foreground) is for one end of VXW-69 dipoleMy initial attempts at phone patches showed that I needed a bigger signal.The above photo in front shows the mast for the far end of the survey wire dipole, that stretched from the SHORAN tower.The other two masts are my home-built two-element vertical beam pointing south.My first attempt failed to take into account the very poor ground atop our huge pile of rocks.Without test gear and only a copy of the 1956 ARRL Antenna Book, with nothing on vertical arrays there was much cut and try. Once I added enough radials using whatever wire I could scrounge, it worked. I got far better signal reports on 20M than was possible with the survey dipole or other wire antennas I tried.I was happy that it worked at all. Unfortunately I lacked material to build a third element for my vertical yagi.Initial 20M SSB ham radio weekly phone patches with Fred - VE3AIU in Goderich showed that I needed a bigger signal.We had no test gear ARRL Antenna Book had little on vertical arrays. But with cut and try, it worked!I lacked material for a third element for my vertical yagi.
28 Photo Survey / Kenting - Toronto First supply-mail air drop in early July mixed success.Photo (L) shows Kenting Canso CF-IJG overhead and first dropPhoto (M) shows the fuel drum drifting down wind.Photo (R) shows the chute disappearing over cliff.Subsequent air drops (with mail) landed ok.These three photos capture the drama of our first aerial supply drop. The wind was variable that day and the cargo handler on the Kenting Canso misjudged when to drop the chute with the 20 gallon drum of gasoline. It drifted down-wind and over the cliff.What is not shown is Ed Barney looking up while running after the falling drum and almost going over the cliff himself.All subsequent air drops that summer were flawless.We really looked forward to those with mail as a letter from home was far better than a phone patch. I still have my letters from home.A minor aside: When I was doing the research for this talk I was amazed to find that our Canso CF-IJG, had been on a PSC/Kenting aerial survey of the Falkland Islands just before our survey!Canada really was a world leader in the aerial survey business in those days.
29 Photo Survey / Kenting - Toronto Invited to visit Cape Christian the day their supply ship was expected, by the C.O. Lt Ed Daniels K4LLA.LORAN A antenna array (L), with customary distance sign.Also visited USCG Icebreaker Westwind on LCVP. Rode back to camp on Bell 47 helicopter (just like in MASH)After daily schedules with Cape Christian and visits to our site by several of their hams, the Commanding Officer - Lt Ed Daniels K4LLA invited me to hike down down for a visit on the day their supply ship was to arrive. He promised me a surprise. I was treated very well in my tour of the Cape Christian Coast Guard station, its huge LORAN A antenna system and multi-kilowatt transmitters. The ham station was a Barker & Williamson 6100 SSB/CW transmitter with National HRO-60 Receiver. When the Icebreaker Westwind arrived I found that my surprise was a visit to the ship aboard their LCVP, a very nice meal in the officer’s dining room and a flight back to my station on their H-13 Sioux (Bell 47) helicopter - just like in MASH. I was in heaven…. literally. Ed Barney was stunned to see me arrive back like royalty. That was a first in his survey career.
30 Photo Survey / Kenting - Toronto Clyde not typical siteDaily VHF QSOs with Cape Christian and DOT Clyde RiverFirst visit by USCG personnel (L) included W8QNF on right19 yr old Doug Leach and ONI’s Ed Barney flank visitor C.O. Lt Ed Daniels K4LLA (M)Same Inuit team (R) helped get our gear down to Clyde River ready to load onto our aircraft using fishing boats.Of all the ground stations I think Clyde had the most activity to help pass the long summer months.In addition to the daily air-ground radio contacts we had several visits to our site by US Coast Guard people. The Left photo shows W8QNF from Cleveland with two other “Coasties”. The Right photo shows Lt Ed Daniels between Ed Barney and me on a warm late summer day.When the day came to evacuate our site Ed and I had all the gear packed and ready to pick up by the same Inuit crew that had brought us up there by dog teams. Going back down there was no snow so the dogs had a more difficult time hauling the komatiks over the rocks so all of us had to help push.It was an exhausting trip down but we got to the shore-line of Clyde River Inlet by late morning ready for our Canso to arrive after lunch.
31 Photo Survey / Kenting - Toronto Tour of the DOT Clyde River (L).AT-3 and HRO-60. Launched weather balloon.Cook offered meal before departure.Bought two souvenir Eskimo carvings at Hudson Bay storeKenting Canso CF-IJG (R) needed three passes before floating ice opened safe landing path to pick up gear and crew.Our early arrival before lunch left time for our first shower in weeks followed by a nice home-cooked meal complete with real fresh-baked bread provided by the DOT cook.After lunch we had a visit to their radio station - a Marconi AT-3 Transmitter and National HRO-60 Receiver. They launched a weather balloon while we watched. We had time to visit the Hudson Bay store and buy some Eskimo carvings.The Canso had to make three low passes to blow back the ice floes enough to clear a landing path. The pilot was anxious to get loaded and airborne before the ice closed in again.Our return flight to Fox Main was uneventful and we were looking forward to flying back to Toronto in a day or so. Fat chance!
32 Photo Survey / Kenting - Toronto Re-deployed to Basin, most southern site - for a weekBetween two small lakes, one with remains of RCAF Canso that tried to land on shallow water.One day awoke to rustling sound - surrounded by caribou.When Canso electrics failed on takeoff. Pilot Bob Pettus managed to land on the deep end of the right lake! That was TOO close!Ed and I flew home via Frobisher and Mont Joli. Taxi to Montreal and train to Toronto.All my 35mm colour slides lost in mail. Just b&w snapshots left.Back at Fox Main I was told that I was being re-deployed to our Basin ground station to relieve another radio operator who had been evacuated due to an accidentBasin was our most southerly site and located on a small hill between two small lakes. On landing we flew over the scattered remains of an RCAF Canso that had tried to land on the wrong lake.Basin was completely different from Clyde. It was tundra with grass and wild-flowers and sunny weather. I had a different ONI partner. The highlight of that week was waking one morning to a strange rustling noise and shadows on the walls of the hut. We opened the flap to find ourselves surrounded by caribou (reindeer) as far as we could see. They were not afraid of us and we didn’t bother them. By noon they had moved on. At the end of our week, I was the last aboard the Canso. The only place left to sit was next to the aircraft elecrical panel facing back with the rowboat against my chest and my back against a bulhead. We were barely airborne when the electrical panel exploded with lots of acrid smoke. Both engines stopped. I was sure my time was up as I couldn’t see living with a rowboat in my chest.Pilot Bob Pettus managed to land and on the deep end of the right lake. It was some time before I could breathe.With the fuse panel repaired by the Flight Engineer, we were soon back at Fox Main.A couple of days later Ed and I were on the way home via Frobisher Bay (now Iqaluit) and Mont Joli. Having just missed the train from Halifax, we had to take a cab to Montreal to catch the train to Toronto. My seat mate on the train had just arrived from Britain and couldn’t stop raving about the latest British craze - Skiffle and Lonnie Donnegan. Welcome to civilization!I had taken hundreds of spectacular 35mm colour slides over the summer. On arrival back in Toronto I sent dozens of rolls to Kodak which they said never arrived. The Post Office was completely unhelpful.
33 PSC 1957 Shoran Sites and Call Signs Clyde (Clyde River - Baffin Island) VXW69Home (Cape Dyer - Baffin Island) VXW70Bernier (Bernier Lake - Baffin Island) VXW71Kendall (Kendall Lake - Baffin Island) VXW72Gilliam (Gilliam Lake - Baffin Island) VXW73Basin (Basin Lake - Baffin Island) VXW74Fox Main (Hall Beach) VXW75 (Flight Base - no SHORAN)Simpson (Fort Simpson) VXW76Poor weather plagued our 1957 survey. Few days had required max 10% cloud cover on aerial photos so B-17 was grounded most of the summer.Our survey sites and call signs are listed here to the best of my memory.The cloudy conditions that bothered us at Clyde also limited the number of days the B-17 could take photos. The contract stipulated that no photos could include more than 10% cloud cover so there were many days the B-17 had to sit on the ground.Our weather observations saved them a lot of wasted, and expensive air-time.What about amateur radio?I’m now going to cover all that in my next slide.I managed to get a few dozen hours of contacts. But there were not that many people on the air with SSB at that time. On 20M, all SSB was above MHz. I would be swamped today but there were no SSB pile-ups in those days.Round-table contacts using voice-operated-transmit were more common then. I remember a spectacular 17 country round-table I had with the USA, South America, Antarctic, Thule Greenland, Iceland, several countries in Europe and several in Africa including a ham in Rhodesia who was fighting the Mau-Mau.When I got home I had a photographic B&W QSL card printed. It wasn’t fancy but those who got them were pleased as I was pretty rare DX on SSB.
34 Post Script My QSL card (f & b) Weather observations taken every four hours and radioed immediately to Fox Main for flight planning of the B-17.Between radio skeds, SSB radios available for ham use (fuel permitting). Older fuel cache at Clyde a windfall for me, but many water & sediment problems with genset.SSB was high tech and rare - mostly above MHz on 20M.Memorable stations worked on SSB were VE3AIU, W6NAZ, W2SKE, W6VLH, K4LLA/VE8, W6SFR/VE8, KC4USD, VE3KF.The older fuel cache was a windfall but it caused many generator clogs.I had contacts with some great people:Fred Bissett - VE3AIU of Goderich handled my phone patches.A bachelor delivery truck driver for his family’s dairy by day, but a Collins KW SSB operator by night / weekend. Lenore Jensen - W6NAZ was an L.A. broadcaster and since then author of the book “Inside Amateur Radio”. She handled 50,000 phone patches for remote service hams. Bill Leonard - W2SKE was Walter Cronkeit’s boss and head of CBS Network News Mel Shavelson - W6VLH - a Hollywood producer. He was just shooting Cary Grant and Sophia Loren in “Houseboat” when we spoke. An interesting and friendly guy. Ed Daniels - K4LLA the Commanding Officer at Cape Christian and a real gentleman. Ernie Lehman - W6SFR, my other regular Cape Christian contact, in his last posting before retirement to Lompoc, CA. He regailed me with stories of his lengthy US Coast Guard career at LORAN stations around the world. His son, of the same name and hometown, became a best-selling author of “The High and the Mighty”.KC4USD in Antarctica I didn’t meet any of them, but I spoke to them several times. Those were all memorable contacts as they were glad of the company too. and last but not least: Jim Swail - VE3KF a former Chapter 70 member (now deceased). I remember that contact well as he told me he was blind and about some of his circuit designs and exploits like climbing his tower at night. To Jim, day or night were the same.
35 Summary of Aerial Survey Efforts This map shows the locations of most of the aerial survey bases across Canada.I never worked recent Radio Amateurs of Canada President Earle Smith - VE8AT (now VE6NM) first radio amateur at Alert, but I heard him that summer, the first year Alert opened.Shading shows extent of Aerial Survey Data Base CoverageField bases of the major aerial mapping survey firms are shown
36 Later DevelopmentsSeveral years later in another survey farther north, Kenting used their other B-17E CF-ICB based at Thule, Greenland. Pushing the limits, they flew at 32,000 ft that summer at the cost of 10 engine replacements and several crew instances of “the bends”6 years later Kenting bought Spartan. Canadian Aero split off. One man, who started with Aero and stayed on, got pay cheques over his career issued by twelve company names.By mid 1960’s, 35 Canadian air survey firms were in cut-throat competition, none making much profit. Eventually consolidated into three consortia.Army took on mapping for defence purposes using helicopters.Men who survived a risky air survey career mapping Canada had a rewarding life, but it was very hard on wives and families.Canada owes those men and families a huge debt of gratitude.Clyde River, Hall Beach now have daily jet service by First Air.There were a number of aerial survey developments after our summer: - Several years later Kenting ran B17E CF-ICB out of Thule, Greenland for another aerial survey farther north in the high Arctic Islands. They pushed the equipment and crew limits operating at 32,000 ft which cost them ten engine replacements that summer and several of the air crew suffered “the bends”. - Six years later, Kenting bought their arch-rival Spartan. I did not realize that until the recent Air Survey Reunion I attended at the invitation of Harry Splett. I even met Don McLarty, my old Kenting/PSC boss, though he was in the corner office and I never met him then. But he was the man who bought Spartan. - Following that merger Canadian Aero split off and subsequently went through a number of name changes acquisitions and mergers of their own. One man I met at the Air Survey Reunion said he spent his whole career with the one company but drew pay cheques bearing twelve company names over that time. - By the mid-60’s there were 35 aerial survey companies in cut-throat competition. They were formed into three consortia and profitability returned. - The Canadian Army took over most of the military aerial mapping surveys which they ran by helicopter. - Anyone who survived an aerial survey career mapping the north had a rewarding life but it was very hard on families. More than planes crashed. Canada owes them and their families a huge debt of gratitude for making later northern development possible.- Today First Air offers daily Boeing 727 jet service out of Ottawa into Clyde River and Hall Beach through Iqualuit (Frobisher Bay). I like to think that our survey contributed to that Arctic progress.
37 Mapping Technology Today Canada is world leader in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) since first computerized geography developed here in 1967.The new term “Geomatics” encompasses gathering, analysis, management and distribution of spatially or geographically referenced data. Includes surveying, mapping, remote sensing, cartography, geodesy, photogrammetry and hydrography.Computers now convert satellite images directly into geographic data sets stored in the National Topographic Data Base. These can then be used in GIS and mapping applications.Continuous tracking of GPS satellites is principal method of maintaining Canada’s 100,000+ geodetic markers.Military photo survey aircraft now digitize and computer-correct their photo runs ready for instant map plotting on landing.Today maps are printed to order from a hard drive. See samples.The 8 mi/inch scale is 1:500,000, and 4mi/in is 1:250,000 in metric.Canada developed computerized mapping in Centennial Year 1967 and remains a world leader in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).“Geomatics” is the modern term that encompasses the gathering, analysis, management and distribution of spatially or geograpically related data. The field includes surveying, mapping, remote sensing, cartography, photogrammetry, geodesy and hydrography.Computers now convert satellite images directly into data sets that are stored in the National Topograhic Data Base. These can be used for a variety of GIS and mapping applications.The continuous tracking of GPS satellites is the principal method of maintaining Canada’s 100,000+ geodetic legal survey markers.I doubt that it is nearly as exciting or satisfying as in the “good old days”.According to Ken Holt - VE3VC, military aerial photographic aircraft now land with all the photos digitized and computer-corrected ready for immediate map plotting. Today maps are printed to order from a hard drive.In metric our 8 mi/in scale is now 1:500,000 and 4 mi/in is 1:250,000. Britain still uses mi/in scales.
38 Acknowledgments“A History of the Rockcliffe Airport Site: Home of the National Aviation Museum” by Stephen R. Payne, Curator“Photographic Operations of the RCAF” by Wing Cdr R. I. Thomasand the following individuals (alphabetically, with affiliation):Bartello, Tom - Photographic Survey Corporation (Chapter 70)Bisson, Phillipe - National Air Photo LabBrinegar, John - Offshore Navigation Int’l SHORAN air technicianCampbell, Betty - Spartan Air ServicesHolt, Ken - Spartan Air Services and TMC Corp’n (Chapter 70)McLarty, Donald - Kenting AviationSplett, Harry - Canadian Aero Service (and successor companies)Zieman, Bob - Spartan Air Services (Chapter 70)Two very helpful publications are available for free download on the internet:- “A History of Rockcliffe Airport Site: Home of the National Aviation Museum” by Stephen Payne, Curator- “Photographic Operations of the RCAF” by W/C R. I. ThomasMy thanks also to these individuals who all contributed to varying extents.
39 Thank YouThis presentation is dedicated to the families of those in and around the aerial survey industry who died before their time.Thank you.Questions?
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