On land and at sea, Insitu systems are proven, flexible, powerful and cost-effective solutions that can create expansive networks through hub-and-spoke system configurations. Our unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and hub-and-spoke operations have been proven in combat since 2004 and on U.S. Navy vessels since 2005. We continue to evolve current and design new systems, payloads and services that marry small-footprint agility with high-quality ISR data delivery and communications relay capabilities. Our systems are unit-level controlled, but deliver ISR of a quality that rivals that of the larger, more expensive national-asset-level UAS platforms.
We do more than just design, develop, test and sell UAS systems. We're in it with you: Our payload-agnostic systems are designed to accept your payload, whatever it is. And our Payloads Directorate team can provide any level of assistance with payload integration, providing you with capability-driven payload options from across the industry, and even integrating and testing your own payload for you. Our field service representatives have operated in-theater with various national forces since our very first UAS deployment. Insitu agile UAS for defense perform a role in an array of missions, including the following.
When you talk about long endurance capabilities, you are talking about systems with the endurance to provide eyes on a named area or interest long before it develops into a current operation. You need a system that can remain on station for days at a time, with minimal impact to personnel and with minimal maintenance. That is what Insitu UAS provides.
Contingencies, multiple mission phases and the inevitable curveballs mean that having eyes up and open for a very long time can make a huge difference. Insitu UAS systems are all designed for extreme endurance.
Case in point: Insitu ScanEagle® participated in the 2011 NATO effort Operation Unified Protector. The goal was to protect civilians by stopping the flow of arms into Libya, and ScanEagle was operated aboard USS Mahan in coordination with an AWACS team. After identifying high-value contacts of interest, the USS Mahan ScanEagle team drew on the aircraft’s 24-hour endurance to support multiple phases of the mission, including battle damage assessment. ScanEagle delivered real-time, full-color imagery that was used to improve overall battlefield awareness and mission effectiveness.
Expeditionary forces need expeditionary assets. The versatile configuration of Insitu systems for land and sea keep our defense customers safe wherever the mission takes them. Assets are maximized by handing off control of Insitu aircraft to spokes up to 110 nm (200 km) away, and adding additional spokes to penetrate deeper into territory, moving with forces while minimizing operating footprint. Forward ground control stations and remote video terminals receive full-motion video to give troops and decision-makers the data they need to assess threats accurately. We've seen firsthand how it can help: During the second battle of Fallujah (Phantom Fury), ScanEagle prevented casualties of allied forces by giving U.S. Marines a real-time picture of the enemy. ScanEagle enabled commanders to ascertain targets and provide specific coordinates via the global positioning system. And, during Operation Unified Protector, ScanEagle cooperated with NATO assets and the U.S. Navy to prevent the flow of arms into Libya.
At night, ground searches are generally less effective and more risky than airborne searches. From the air, a campfire or flashlight or even a lit cigarette stands out clearly in a remote environment, and cutting-edge technologies increase your ability to see and detect light and heat at night. Insitu UAS accommodate infrared camera technology to detect temperature differentials of a fraction of a degree, making a warm person or tent stand out against a cool background in high contrast, night or day. In addition to our imagers, including electro-optic, mid-wave infrared or long-wave infrared, our aircraft are designed to incorporate new payloads seamlessly. So our systems quickly become part of your array of sensors.
Just like troops on the ground, pilots in manned aircraft need real-time situational awareness without switching focus from the mission. Insitu UAS are commanded into territories ahead of and apace with manned aircraft to provide a low-cost, tactical ISR solution. Our systems have deployed in countless combat and exercises alike, with manned and unmanned assets on land and at sea since 2004. Our systems have been controlled not only from U.S. Navy vessels and unimproved terrain, but also from aircraft and submarines. Video is streamed to networked, ground-controlled stations as well as remote video terminals such as ROVER and OSRVT.
Insitu UAS can be based on land or offshore to create an ad-hoc communications network. This comes in handy when traditional communications go down, or line-of-site channels go over the hill. We have integrated multiple customer-requested radios into ScanEagle and Integrator™. These serve as communications relays, keeping ground personnel in touch and supplied with the data they need to succeed — over the hill, away from base and without a large-footprint infrastructure.
When you have sufficient warning about who and what is ahead, you can respond to potential threats before they become real. For example, smaller boats at sea can be vulnerable to piracy, and eyesight only detects threats that are several miles away. Radar can extend that to several dozen miles, but that still gives you less than an hour to respond to whatever is out there. Knowing who's out there, and what they might intend while they remain more than a hundred miles away doesn't guarantee safety — but it does give you time to figure out how to proceed and exactly what to do next.
In response to lessons learned on shipboard operations since 2005, Insitu added an Automatic Identification System (AIS) that allows ships to see over the horizon by relaying the AIS signals of vessels that are beyond the reach of detection by the ship’s radar or ship-borne AIS systems. Once you identify a vessel of interest, ScanEagle can stay on station for more than 24 hours, monitoring the situation while you plan your response. A heavy fuel engine configuration for ScanEagle can extend that endurance to 30 hours. With this endurance, our UAS deliver support for continuing phases of the response, providing overwatch as Vessel Boarding Search and Seizure teams receive video on remote video terminals.
In 2009, Insitu ScanEagle UAS were operated from a nearby U.S. Navy vessel to provide real-time situational awareness during a Somali pirate incident that ultimately ended with the safe release of the captain of a U.S. cargo ship.
You move from one expeditionary environment to another, so your assets need to move with you. Insitu UAS operations span multiple sites in a hub-and-spoke concept of operations: Hubs launch, retrieve and maintain all ScanEagle UAS, passing off control to forward spokes. You can conduct radio frequency surveys to determine where to project your force, and then use ScanEagle to watch over your force. This keeps your logistic footprint as small as possible, while extending your ISR footprint to the maximum distance needed to accomplish your mission. A ScanEagle system typically requires five personnel for 24/7 operations — four operators, rotating in two-person shifts and one maintainer — so a few dozen field service representatives can operate numerous ScanEagle systems.
When conflicts arise, your efforts need to be close to, but removed from, the situation. Offshore bases help you coordinated efforts, from disaster relief to projection of force. Insitu UAS are easily launched, controlled and recovered shipboard. A heavy fuel engine configuration can push endurance to 30 hours, with a no-nets recovery solution that fits in seamlessly with shipboard safety and logistics and does not foul a flight deck already intended for manned helicopter operations. By establishing a UAS capability with a flexible hub-and-spoke configuration at an offshore base, you can create ad-hoc communications networks and keep ground troops aware and informed.
Cross-institutional teams commence early operationsmore
Insitu Pacific, the Australia-based affiliate of Insitu Inc., announced today that it was awarded a contract to provide its ScanEagle Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) to the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). The delivery of these systems will be accompanied by training, logistics and ship installation, as well as specialist in-country maintenance support. The ScanEagle UAS is being fitted for the fastest ships in the RSN's fleet, the missile corvettes.more
Insitu Pacific, the Australia-based subsidiary of Insitu Inc., announced today it has extended and expanded its existing Australian Defence Force contract with the Australian Army to include the provision of ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system (UAS) services for trials with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). ScanEagle will be installed on a number of RAN vessels commencing with a first-of-class flight trial on a Frigate in September 2012.more