04/30/2012. Somewhat later than originally planned, the Dash 7 IR (for ice reconnaissance) entered service with the Department of Environment (DoE) in Spring 1986. This one-off aircraft is an extensively modified example of the Dash 7 Series 150, intended for use in surveying sea ice and icebergs in the shipping and oil drilling regions of the Labrador coast and the Gulf of St Lawrence, where it supplemented two Lockheed Electras already used for this purpose by the DoE's Atmospheric Environment Service.
Mission equipment includes a laser profilometer to measure ice formation contours, photographic mapping equipment, and a data link between the aircraft and ships and drilling rigs in the patrol area. Non-standard features of the Dash 7 IR that are apparent include a special dorsal observation cabin just aft of the flight deck, bubble photographic windows, a camera ball beneath the fuselage and several antennas.
Originally fitted with the Canadian Astronautics Ltd. SLAR 100 (side looking airborne radar) mounted in large fairings (site files) on the sides of the fuselage, this has been replaced in 2008 by the Maritime Surveillance Systems 6000 SLAR, fitted in the thin red pods at the rear bottom of the fuselage.