The Thai-Malay geodetic connection


An extract from Corps history Vol XI

Original by T.R. Burrows.


At the northern extremity of West Malaysia the remnants of the communist terrorists had withdrawn Into Thailand and were known to be engaged In relatively low profile operations In the Kra Isthmus.  There was no standard mapping and no topographic control In the area, which was In the gap between the southern extent of the Thai triangulation and the northern limit of the Malaysian triangulation.  There was thus a strong case for achieving across-border geodetic connection between the two national systems which would provide the framework for full specification operational mapping.

Following discussions In Kuala Lumpur and In Bangkok, It was agreed that 84 Squadron would reconnoitre and design the connection for approval by the National Survey departments, provide technical assistance and training as necessary for Thai and Malaysian surveyors who in turn would observe the stations on their respective sides of the International boundary. * The 84 Squadron surveyors were to accompany the survey teams on both sides to operate the Tellurometers.  Both National Survey Departments specified that all angles should be measured as well as distances.

The reconnaissance and design were completed In August 1967 and approved In September, however, observations could not be started at once because the Royal Thai Survey department’s funding arrangements could not be completed before November, which happened to coincide with the onset of the north-east monsoon and the worst possible observing conditions.  Distance measurements by Tellurometers were made In spite of conditions but angular -measurements, entirely dependent on good visibility, could not be completed until May 1968.The task generated goodwill, It was well executed as a three-nation enterprise and resulted In a very strong geodetic connection between the two national triangulation networks, with all sides and angles measured several times.



* If memory serves me well all stations were occupied by all three nations but it was a long time ago.



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