Public Safety

Better information for law enforcement and emergency response teams

The use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology for public safety missions is still in its nascent stages. Insitu remains committed to the smartest, safest and most respectful uses of our technology in the public sector. We are also committed to helping the various jurisdictions formulate the best practices and policies for the use of UAS technology. We know the huge benefit to the public that will be realized from the safe and proper use of our systems in the public sector.

Across multiple types of public safety missions, our small-footprint, high-quality ISR and comms-relay systems have the potential to significantly cut costs for law enforcement and emergency response services around the world. Better information, delivered at a lower cost, will help these teams make better choices and better allocate resources, and ultimately help save lives in critical situations.

As policies around the world evolve for UAS operation in the public sector, we will continue to offer (and expand into) the following types of missions for law enforcement and emergency response teams.

Disaster response

With the right information, emergency response and disaster relief teams can quickly get their teams to those with the greatest need.

Insitu safely delivers “eyes in the sky” and information on the ground. By passing control of the aircraft to operators located “over the hill,” these UAS can support complete emergency action cells. Our systems have flown more than 700,000 operational hours in the most challenging environments. For aerial support in emergency situations such as disaster relief, fire management, emergency response and early response, our Rapid Response team is en-route to your location with as little as 90 minutes of notification, and we can conduct UAS operations within one hour of arrival at any location. Full-motion video from our ScanEagle® UAS streams in real-time to forward commanders and responders.

Search and rescue

At night, ground searches are generally riskier and less effective than airborne searches. From the air, a campfire or flashlight or even a lit cigarette stands out clearly in a remote environment, and state-of-the-art technologies increase your ability to see and detect light and heat at night. Using the infrared camera technology available on our UAS, you can 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.

Port and border security

Ports and borders are the point of entry for a great deal of illicit activity. They are also busy and expansive, so the more warning you have, the better.

Insitu’s Automatic Identification System (AIS) payload relays a vessel’s AIS data, so you can see who’s coming from hundreds of miles away. ScanEagle’s mid-wave infrared payload gives you the best video for less, so you can see in conditions that blind other sensors, including those of much larger UAS platforms. Integrator’s multifunction turret and robust payload capacity let you choose from an expansive array of imagers to suit the environment. Common ground support equipment lets you choose the best aircraft for the mission.

During Operation Unified Protector in 2011, ScanEagle was operated cooperatively with NATO and USS Mahan and a host of assets to help prevent the flow of arms into Libya. ScanEagle’s superior imagery and high tolerance to wind allowed allied forces to locate and classify high-value contacts of interest. Later, coordinating with an AWACS team, the USS Mahan ScanEagle team drew on the aircraft’s 24-hour endurance to support additional 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.

Communications relay

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.

Over-the-horizon sensing

The sea has, again, become a potentially vulnerable place to be. Eyesight only detects threats that are within several miles. Radar can extend that to several dozen miles, but that still gives you less than an hour to respond to whatever is out there. Being able to detect threats that are more than a hundred miles away doesn't guarantee safety, but you can watch them while you coordinate a smarter response.  

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 shipborne 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, an Insitu ScanEagle UAS was 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.


Drug smugglers are changing delivery routes from borders to the ocean — and back again. Keeping up with, monitoring and discovering these routes is the first step to intercepting both drug runners and their cargo. Our systems are nimble enough to move around and capable of land or sea operation, and they deliver the type of value that fits the budgets of law enforcement agencies around the world.

Insitu UAS are easily launched without runways with 30 minutes notice, so you can respond quickly, or they can be re-tasked in flight, so you can respond immediately. With more than 24 hours endurance, Insitu UAS stay on target throughout your missions — expected and unexpected. Our AIS helps you queue suspicious maritime targets that are over the horizon for surveillance. Our small, unmanned aircraft are undetectable as they feed the best and most cost-effective real-time video to your response team. Remote video terminals provide awareness to vessel boarding search and seizure teams.

Offshore base

When natural disasters arise, you may need to situate response efforts close to, but removed from, the situation. Offshore bases help you deliver precision in your coordinated efforts, from disaster relief to projection of force. That's why assets that suit shipboard constraints are so valuable.

Insitu UAS are 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.


Our systems have been proved in combat since 2004 and from Navy vessels since 2005. Leverage Insitu's precision, speed and flexible ISR for warfare and conflicts.



On land and at sea, Insitu systems are a cost-effective solution. See how our proven systems are the right fit for your industry.


Research & Education

Whether you’re teaching the next generation of UAS operators or flying into a hurricane, Insitu's UAS remain cutting-edge.


Latest News

Mar 18, 2014

Insitu Pacific announces attendance at APPEA 2014

BRISBANE, Australia, March 18, 2014 - Insitu Pacific, the Australia-based subsidiary of Insitu Inc., will be displaying its capabilities at the upcoming Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) Conference and Exhibition, April 6-9, in Perth.


Mar 05, 2014

Unmanned Aircraft: Countdown to Mission Possible

Queensland Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) researchers have made what’s believed to be a world-first breakthrough for small Unmanned Aircraft (UA), developing an onboard system that has enabled a UA to detect another aircraft using vision while in flight.


Feb 24, 2014

Insitu Delivers LRIP RQ-21A Blackjack System to U.S. Navy, Marine Corps

BINGEN, Wash., Jan. 2, 2014 – Insitu announced today the delivery of an RQ-21A Blackjack to the Navy and Marine Corps. This represents the first Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) system delivered under the Navy’s Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) contract and enables the program to enter into the initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) phase.


Feb 12, 2014

Insitu Releases Latest Version of Innovative Common Command and Control System

BINGEN, Wash., Feb. 12, 2014 – Insitu announced today the 2.0 release of ICOMC2, the company’s innovative, small-footprint common command and control system. Since its introduction in 2012, ICOMC2 has redefined the Unmanned Airborne System control concept. It enables a single operator to control multiple unmanned vehicles using small-footprint, mobile hardware and features an open-architecture design that users can customize with plug-ins and new applications.


Jan 13, 2014

Insitu Employees Recognized for Excellence in Manufacturing

BINGEN, Wash., Jan. 13, 2014 – Insitu is pleased to announce that employees Judith Schwader (manager, engineering process improvement) and Amber Timblin (depot maintenance group supervisor) will be honored with The Manufacturing Institute’s prestigious Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Awards. The STEP Awards celebrate women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in manufacturing, and are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, which promotes the role of women in the manufacturing industry.


Aug 12, 2013

Insitu to Demonstrate ICOMC2 at AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems 2013 Event

BINGEN, Wash., Aug. 12, 2013 – Insitu announced today that it will demonstrate the Insitu Common Open-mission Management Command and Control (ICOMC2) ground control station at the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI) Unmanned event, Aug. 12-15 in Washington, D.C.


Jul 15, 2013

Insitu Unmanned Aircraft Manufacturer Breaks Ground on New Production Facility

BINGEN, Wash., July 12, 2013 – Insitu, a leading provider of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), broke ground on a new 120,000-square-foot production facility near its headquarters in Bingen, Wash.


May 22, 2013

Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System Achieves Milestone C Approval

BINGEN, Wash., May 22, 2013 - Insitu announced today that RQ-21A reached Milestone C under the Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) contract with Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). The achievement will enable the program to transition from the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase to a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) phase and enter initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E).


May 14, 2013

Insitu Pacific Delivers ScanEagle UAS for the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force

BRISBANE, Australia, May 14, 2013 - Insitu Pacific, the Australia-based subsidiary of Insitu Inc., announced today that it has delivered a ScanEagle Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) to its partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) of Japan. This delivery means that the ScanEagle UAS is now ready for operational use by the Japanese Ground Self Defence Forces (JGSDF).


Apr 09, 2013

Insitu Announces Successful First Maritime Flight of RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Air System

BINGEN, Wash., April 9, 2013 - Insitu Inc. announced today the successful first maritime flight of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) RQ-21A. The nearly two-hour flight launched from the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) after three months of land-based development testing and operational assessment.