The potential for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology within the commercial market is taking off. Quite often Insitu is asked to explore possible commercial applications of our UAS technologies. Here's what we know: The possibilities are limitless.
In the United States, the signing of the FAA Reauthorization Bill on Feb. 14, 2012, by President Obama opened the door to the future of the UAS commercial market. Currently, Insitu is working with the FAA test facility in Atlantic City, N.J., developing best practices and recommendations for flight and airspace regulations — with the intent of helping set the standards for commercial operations. Around the world, Insitu UAS systems have already begun to operate in commercial capacities.
Insitu welcomes and encourages inquiries across industries to explore the potential, viability and potential value of our UAS technology. Please contact us to discuss a viability study, or to seek advice on the potential of UAS for your market or mission.
Currently, our experience, ongoing deployments and market development are in the following areas.
Even movable drilling rigs are vulnerable. UAS technology can better and more consistently monitor ice flows so drilling rigs have ample warning and opportunity to shut down, de-rig and move out of the way of threatening ice. Traditionally handled via satellite imagery, UAS monitoring can bring a clearer, more consistent and real-time picture. That can mean adding tens of hours of advance warning — and saving millions in lost equipment and operational revenue.
We are working to fill a big data gap in mammal monitoring. Better and more accurate data on migrations, number and locations can help drive smarter policy decisions and the best choices and opportunities for commercial development. Beyond real-time monitoring, Insitu technology can help drive comparative analysis of combined real-time and historic data sets — adding value and generating better insight into trends.
Large, expensive, complex and geographically expansive infrastructure can be vulnerable in many ways — and in some countries the infrastructure is subject to regulations for maintenance and environmental monitoring. Insitu provides cost-effective survey and monitoring options that can detect or track potential deterioration of asset components, conduct historical comparisons, and monitor for theft and vandalizing of the pipeline product or infrastructures.
Similar to pipelines, power lines can stretch for hundreds of miles, and can have hundreds of different parts — each subject to wear, corrosion, environmental damage, and destruction by vandals or the environment. They are also, along with water sources, one of the most important infrastructure components in any country. Oversight, monitoring, damage assessment and threat protection can all be accomplished in an affordable and more effective manner with Insitu UAS technology, configured precisely for this type of mission. Insitu technology goes beyond the manned-aircraft solutions currently in use with sharper vision via high-quality ISR imagery, and the ability to do comparative analysis over time to stay ahead of maintenance issues.
Panning for gold in the sky? You bet. Airborne geomagnetic surveys have been used to detect anomalies that might be indicative of the presence of specific minerals. Historically, these have been conducted with a highly modified, manned aircraft flying a grid pattern. Insitu UAS technology can be used to expand the search areas with much longer endurance than manned aircraft, adding greater accuracy to the survey, and they can be flown in a wider weather envelope.
Large commercial fishing is a high-stakes game. Companies have long used aircraft to find, track and trace fishing opportunities. These manned missions have several complicated factors: First, the deck of a boat is among the most dangerous flight operations environments. Manned flights are also highly weather dependent, and limited in the area that they can cover. Insitu's high-endurance, small-footprint, no-nets, proven maritime operations are a great solution for large-scale commercial fishing operations. Our solutions permit fishing operations to direct fleet assets toward the most rewarding patches of ocean, so they can fill their holds faster and optimize their tracks to minimize their fuel oil requirements.
Insitu announced today that its ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system has exceeded 600,000 combat flight hours, maintaining a 99 percent mission-readiness rate.more