DALLAS—A year after forming a commercial business unit in a bid to expand out of its core defense market, unmanned aircraft manufacturer Insitu has unveiled a revamped suite of remote-sensing and information-processing services.
The new Inexa Solutions offering has been developed based on Insitu’s experience working with large enterprise customers since the new business unit was formed, and will leverage parent company Boeing’s involvement in satellites and unmanned surface and undersea vehicles.
Inexa Solutions brings together Insitu’s ScanEagle and Integrator UAS, its Inexa Control commercial ground control station, the Vidar maritime surface-search payload developed by Hood Technologies and Sentient, and Logos Technologies’ Redkite wide-area motion-imagery sensor, plus software tools for video processing, exploitation and dissemination.
A year ago “we didn’t really know” what the commercial business was going to be, says Jon Damush, vice president and general manager of Insitu Commercial. “What we did know was we had a capability set that we refer to as ‘from glass to glass,’ from the sensors all the way through the data collection, transmission, processing, analytics and dissemination chain,” he says.
“What we didn’t know was where the value proposition was for the application of that technology and expertise into the commercial market, and what we have been able to gain over the past year through engagement with partners/customers is an understanding of their business, and where the challenges and opportunities forefficiencies are,” Damush says.
“And that solution in many cases does not involve the sale of a ScanEagle. It might involve the use of a ScanEagle. It might not. But the point is that we bring an
aerial remote sensing expertise to that customer set,” he says. The company has already partnered with PrecisionHawk in using small UAS for precision agriculture, a market Insitu did not address, he adds.
Development of the new commercial offering has primarily been driven by the needs of large and often global enterprises. “They have the scale and scope of problems that our capability set and expertise help solve,” Damush says. “And they are of the scale that makes sense for a company like Boeing and Insitu.”
Most of the company’s operations for large commercial customers are being performed by Insitu Pacific, based in Sydney. “What we have learned, particularly in Australia, is that large enterprises we are beginning to work with are looking for more than data collection or flying UAS,” says Vince Vidal, director of commercial solutions.
“They are looking to work with us to develop new ideas, create new solutions and change the business model so that we can get to the next level of productivity gain,” he says. “As a result, Insitu has reorganized its commercial division to position ourselves to provide end-to-end solutions to our customers.”
For data collection, Insitu offers a mix of unmanned and manned remote-sensing platforms, including the Wave Glider unmanned surface vehicle developed by Liquid Robotics, which was acquired by Boeing in December. Inexa also includes process automation to speed up time-consuming data analysis, and information integration to deliver data to customers where it is needed. Target markets include mining, energy, transportation and critical infrastructure.