Stennis International Airport Supports Kenn Borek Turbine DC3 (DC3T) Basler Conversion and Lidar Research Tenants

By Bill Cotter, Chief Operations Officer
Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission

Kenn Borek Turbine DC3 (DC3T) Basler Conversion at Stennis

Stennis International Airport continues to support the Kenn Borek Turbine DC3 (DC3T) Basler Conversion and our airpark tenants. The large fuselage works well to support some of the most sophisticated lidar systems made. With a maximum payload of 8,500 pounds and 1,225 cubic feet of storage, this ole bird can fly at 248 mph for over 12 hours or 2,300 miles. The twin Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67R turbines rated at 1,424 shaft horsepower give the owners of the multimillion-dollar sensor equipment a sense of security. Stennis International Airport/Airpark is home to the Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX) and Optech (Teledyne Technologies) International.

JALBTCX’s mission is to perform operations, research and development in airborne lidar bathymetry and complementary technologies to support the coastal mapping and charting requirements of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Its research and development support and leverage work in government, industry and academics to advance airborne lidar and coastal mapping and charting technology and applications. Collaborations currently include the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA Wallops, U.S. Naval Research Lab, ERDC System Wide Water Research Program, NOAA NGS, Optech International, the Office of Naval Research, ERDC Topographic Engineering Center, the University of Southern Mississippi, the Ohio State University, the University of Florida, the University of New Hampshire and Duke University.

Optech International supports JALBTCX and is active in the markets of airborne laser terrain mapping systems, airborne laser bathymetry, industrial and 3D imaging and space lidar solutions. The company is described as a world leader in laser-based survey instruments and has 33 years of experience in lidar. Optech Incorporated created the world’s first purpose-built mobile lidar platform, the Lynx Mobile Mapper, released in 2007.