Insitu currently fields two launchers: the legacy SuperWedge Launcher and our next-generation launcher, the Mark 4. Both systems are pneumatically actuated launch apparatuses that accelerate our unmanned aircraft to flight. Both are collapsible for compact stowage, and a cooling system keeps aircraft engines cool while operating stationary on the launcher.
Our legacy launcher, the SuperWedge, has a storied history of safe, successful operation and has been fielded since 2004 all around the world, including on small and large ships for maritime operation. The SuperWedge continues to serve globally, launching our ScanEagle aircraft for a variety of missions. It was engineered to launch our ScanEagle before development of the heavier and longer-fuselaged NightEagle™ and ScanEagle Dual Bay variants.
Development of our Mark 4 Launcher coincided with the rollout of these variants, and the development of our even larger, more versatile Integrator™ system. The result is a more powerful launcher, with wider safety windows, and virtually no sacrifice in mobility or portability.
Unlike its predecessor, the Mark 4 Launcher can accommodate our family of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), so separate launch systems are not needed for mixed-fleet operations. It also has a smoother acceleration profile for less wear and tear on payloads and aircraft components. Our Mark 4 Launcher has an integral safety system that prevents launch before arming the system. It is maintained and transported in a zero-energy state — with all pressure relieved from the pneumatics system.
Consider the following advancements we've made with the Mark 4:
The launcher accommodates heavier aircraft and can provide greater launch velocities for launch in low-density air and at high altitudes. It has a smooth acceleration profile, so heavier, more fragile components and payloads experience less wear and tear and risk of damage.
The Mark 4 Launcher is able to launch all Insitu UAS, so multiple launch systems are not required. Different launcher carriages are used for different unmanned aircraft. Carriage change takes approximately 10 minutes.
The launcher is easily deployed on a single trailer that doubles as a launch platform. The trailer is compact and transportable by a CH-53 helicopter or towed behind a Humvee.
Setup and teardown require approximately 10 minutes and two people.
Greater power margins and capabilities result in a launcher that is safer — protecting personnel and equipment.
Aircraft launch entails UAV carriage installation, propeller guard installation and system pressurization. Time to pressurize is 10 to 20 minutes depending on UAS weight and environmental factors. The launcher can be turned in any direction for launch into the wind, so when the wind shifts, the mission isn’t delayed. When the launcher is armed, a push of a button on the control box launches the UAS.
Scheduled monthly maintenance and inspections can be performed by one person in as little as 30 minutes.
Self-powered, independent launcher, single rail, compressed air, diesel generator, remote launch control and mounted on a MILSTD M-1102 chassis.
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).more
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).
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.more
BINGEN, Wash., April 9, 2013 - Insitu announced today the launch of its partnership with Santos Lab, a leading/innovative developer and manufacturer of hand launched unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The alliance further demonstrates Insitu's commitment to meeting the diversified needs of the Brazilian Armed Forces by forming strategic, long-term relationships with proven Brazilian companies.more
BINGEN, Wash., Feb. 22, 2012-Insitu Inc. announced today that the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has awarded the company a Mid-Endurance Unmanned Aircraft Systems (MEUAS) Intelligence Gathering, Target Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Services contract for 26 months through Feb. 28, 2015.more
BINGEN, Wash., Feb. 19, 2013-Insitu announced today the successful first flight of Integrator unmanned aircraft system (UAS) Block 2, the latest technology release of the system.
The nearly two-hour flight occurred at the company's flight test range in eastern Oregon and was conducted using Insitu's Common Open-mission Management Command and Control (ICOMC2) ground control station. ICOMC2 enables flight of multiple heterogeneous UAS and enables U.S. and NATO member nations to jointly support military operations through a STANAG 4586 compliant system. The flight completed with the current Mark 4 Launcher and SkyHook recovery systems that supports expeditionary missions and rapid troop movement.
BINGEN, Wash., Feb 14, 2013-Insitu will showcase its combat-proven tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) products, services and capabilities at the 2013 International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) Feb. 17-21 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center in Abu Dhabi, UAE.more
BRISBANE, Australia, Oct. 30, 2012 - Insitu Pacific, the Australia-based subsidiary of Insitu Inc., announced today that it has successfully completed integration between its ScanEagle Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and the McQ iScout Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) and OmniWatch technologies.more
BINGEN, Wash., Oct. 23, 2012- Insitu Inc., announced today that it has signed a long-term licensing agreement with Sentient, located in Melbourne, Australia, to integrate Kestrel land and maritime automated detection software systems into Insitu's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).more
BINGEN, Wash., Oct. 19, 2012- Insitu Inc., today announced that it donated a ScanEagle unmanned aircraft, which participated in a widely publicized rescue mission in April 2009, to The Museum of Flight in Seattle. The aircraft will be displayed for several weeks in the Museum lobby then withdrawn to be prepared for permanent exhibit in the museum's Great Gallery in 2013.more