The Build up to ISOC
By Dan Lemoine

From left to right

The team that created the IRMA

Larry Bowser, Sean Renwick, Richard Singbeil,

Dan Lemoine, Dave Taschuk


Remote radio monitoring has come a long way over the last 25 years. In the beginning there was the PET Scan system (Commodore PET computer with 4KB of RAM) - which was strictly for collecting radio occupancy data. Then came the need to do more automation as well as remoting: there was parallel development of three systems in three regions (ReSMIC (Remote Spectrum Monitoring & Interactive Communications System), Interact and IRMA (Integrated Remote Monitoring Apparatus)), which accomplished the same tasks.

Eventually, the IRMA system was adopted and used nationally. Several units were built in Winnipeg by a regional team in 1991. An IRMA technology transfer was eventually done to private companies to manufacture and market the IRMA technology. One company was successful and their system evolved as RAMS (Remote Automated Monitoring System), RAMS-PC, RAMS-Lite, and a larger IMAC (Integrated Monitoring Analysis Centre) system.

Within Industry Canada, we developed a high-end system, known as ISOC (Integrated Spectrum Observation Centre), which first operated under OS/2, and now under Windows Server. The monitoring and measurement hardware configuration, as well as software, continues to evolve, and provides Spectrum Management Officers radio usage data, technical measurements, and a remote presence. P&NR presently has 12 ISOC sites, all accessible over the intranet, with three more to be operational this year.


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