Testing Shows High Performance
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In the early PrepCom years, IMS station building dominated the activities, both in the PTS and in Working Group B. The Working Group delegates’ keen interest in this activity is readily understandable, as station establishment is easily grasped by everyone. Moreover, hosting States generally derive national pride from having IMS stations on their territory. Station establishment involves work in 89 different countries, and it also demonstrates measurable progress toward completion of the verification system. In fact, the number of certified IMS stations has, for better or worse, become the most tangible metric for the assessment of progress in this regard. In parallel with the station building activities, PTS staff worked steadily on the establishment of the IDC and training of its future analysts, although these activities did not catch the attention of the States Signatories in the same way. Gradually, however, the emphasis shifted from these build-up activities to the operation of the stations and the IDC. The Treaty states that all IMS stations shall be owned and operated by the States hosting them. Operation at the IMS station level is typically handled by a station operator under a contract with the PTS and thus involves many institutions and people in States Signatories around the world. A growing number of people at the PTS also became involved in operational tasks over the years, such as checking the quality of incoming IMS data, running automatic data processing “pipelines”, interactively reviewing the results of the automatic data processing, and disseminating data and products to States Signatories.