Insitu Debuts ScanEagle3 at Xponential 2018


Insitu Debuts ScanEagle3 at Xponential 2018


Insitu Debuts ScanEagle3 at Xponential 2018


MENU menu icon search icon


What we’re about

Unmanned Systems have challenged the notion of “possible” since the industry was born circa World War I. Like our agile industry, Insitu has changed and grown constantly since our inception in the early 1990s. Though we have outgrown the garage from which our first UAVs were produced, our passionate team strives to embody the original entrepreneurial spirit, ethics and vision that our founders established two decades ago and continue to drive our innovation and vitality today and onward.

We empower our global customers to make the best, most informed decisions possible. We do this by creating industry-leading integrated systems that collect, process and distribute information for decision-makers.

Team Insitu is driven by four pillars.


Our pioneering spirit is derived from a genuine passion for what we do and an intention to remain at the forefront of change in this dynamic industry, constantly raising the standards and pushing the boundaries. For our blog, this pillar represents leading technology developments that drive the Unmanned Systems industry.


This category encompasses industry developments that inspire and challenge our team to deliver the most effective and efficient solutions possible, and pivot quickly when our customers need us to.


Our team stands together, made only stronger by our diversity in thought and location. This synergy encompasses not only those within our company, but also our customers, aviation regulators, industry thought-leaders, and countless others whose contributions collectively and constantly drive us to think bigger.


As a global company, we are fortunate to be a part of many diverse communities. Some of these communities revolve around where we are, while others are inherent to what we do. Regardless of how we relate, Team Insitu values and supports each community member, and embraces the uniqueness that each one brings to our culture and industry.



Opinions expressed in blog articles and in any corresponding comments are the views and opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Insitu Inc. or The Boeing Company as a whole. All Insitu names, copyrights and trademarks are the property of Insitu Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.


Photos, charts and any other graphics featured in Insitu’s blog are not for commercial use. Members of the media who desire high-resolution photos of Insitu’s products should submit an Image Request Form.

Comment Policy

We welcome your comments and feedback on our articles. All comments are, however, moderated and may not appear immediately. Offensive or off-topic comments will not be featured. Any comments submitted by anonymous users will not be made public. We will not treat any comments you submit as confidential information. Please do not submit comments that contain any confidential information belonging to anyone else.

By submitting a comment to Onward, you agree to our website Terms and Conditions and to having your name displayed with your comment. All or part of your comment may be posted or cited in the blog. Your name and personal information will not be used for any other purpose, and we will not publish your e-mail address.


The safety case approach to BVLOS operations

Expertise by Brendan Williams, Associate Technical Fellow, Insitu Pacific

Written by Laura Griffith, Insitu Pacific

Much of what we’ve learned over the last 100 years about developing Aviation Safety Regulations has been influenced by accident or incident. Tragedy and adversity have given rise to prescriptive regulations that provide a level of confidence and comfort for the global travelling public. So when it comes to the introduction of a new, relatively unknown technology into the National Airspace System (NAS) such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), often the logical reaction is to ensure compliance with the established regulations. While this may seem like the most effective regulatory path forward, this approach begs the question – will this maximise or constrain, to the point of equivalency, the innovation available from new technology?

The safety target

In Australia, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has been amenable to the “safety target” approach to compliance with Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) 101. A safety target approach requires a safety case that details risk and mitigations while identifying residual and acceptable risk levels. A set of agreed to safety objectives for UAS has yet to be defined, however terms such as “equivalent level of safety” or “acceptable level of safety”, or more formally “as low as reasonably practicable” are commonly used. With this approach applied to the introduction of UAS into the NAS, the aviation community is able to stand back, analyse, and recast the Aviation Safety Regulations as safety targets, rather than trying to develop technology that matches manned aviation assets or equally proscriptive solutions.

Barrier Bow Tie Model

The Barrier Bow Tie Model introduces a new approach to risk analysis for UAS in the NAS by combining two well-established aviation risk models: Bow Tie, and the popular “Swiss Cheese” (Reason) Model. The Barrier Bow Tie model does not establish a safety target, but rather provides a framework to both structure and analyse a safety case for access to airspace. Each “barrier” consists of a number of controls, where each control is an opportunity to inject technology or procedures to reduce the probability of a mid-air collision. The model does not proscribe what controls must be used, rather it allows the user to select established technology or procedures, or to propose new ones.

It is the synergy and strength of the barriers that makes the argument (the safety case) of reaching the safety target. The formality and structure of the model allows a regulator to assess the safety case in a consistent manner. Importantly, the model does not identify “silver bullet” technologies, but rather emphasises the contribution of multiple barriers to reduce the probability associated with the mid-air collision risk. The combination of a consistent structure for assessment with the agility to select or even create the appropriate technologies or “controls” for each distinct case makes this model uniquely agile and reliable.

Real-world applications

Australia is a world leader when it comes to airspace integration and testing of unmanned assets. Vast, open spaces, low air traffic complexity, a regulator willing to work closely with industry, all support a safety target approach to airspace access, including beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), in a safe and efficient manner. BVLOS operations require a joint effort by regulators and operators in meeting safety standards and levels of acceptable risk.

In Australia, Insitu Pacific has successfully worked with CASA in applying the Barrier Bow Tie Model to generate safety cases supporting the approval of BVLOS operations in the following scenarios.

Insitu Inc. also has conducted BVLOS operations in the United States as part of the FAA Pathfinder program when ScanEagle was used to demonstrate railway monitoring for BNSF in October 2015.

The path forward

An approach to aviation safety regulation through the use of the Barrier Bow Tie Model places the emphasis on equivalency in safety, rather than equivalency in technology. This is a model that holds great potential to accelerate how global industry and regulators find a way to fly unmanned systems in the national airspace safely today.

Brendan Williams has more than 30 years engineering experience in the aerospace industry and is one of Australia’s leading experts in UAS risk and regulations. He is currently on assignment at Insitu Pacific from Boeing Research and Technology - Australia.

Click for more Click for more

Stay in the loop with Insitu.

Enter your email address below to get notified about the latest blog entries.

Email Address

Please enter a valid email address

You're almost done.

To complete your subscription, check your inbox for an email from us.
(If you don’t see it, take a look in your spam folder.)


You're all set.

Thank you for confirming your email address.
You are now subscribed to the Insitu blog.

Read The Latest Blog Entry

Unsubscribe Successful.

You will no longer receive email marketing from this list.



We're sorry to see you go! Enter your email address to unsubscribe from this list.

Email Address

Please enter a valid email address