Posted by Courtney E. Howard
BINGEN, Wash., 10 Oct. 2011. Insitu Inc.’s ScanEagleunmanned aircraft system (UAS) delivered real-time video to Canadian Forces during Operation Nanook, a large military exercise involving Canadian Forces, security partners, and federal, territorial, and municipal governments. ScanEagle provided Canadian Forces with overwatch capabilities during a major air disaster (MAJAID) simulation, including sovereignty operations and security exercises, in Canada's Northwest Passage.
Insitu and partner ING Engineering deployed the runway-independent ScanEagle UAS to identify traversable ground routes, watch for polar bear threats, and monitor day-to-day iceberg movements. Commanders in tactical operations centers (TOC) and troops on the ground received real-time, stable video.
Insitu and ING UAS operators launched and retrieved the aircraft, yet Canadian Forces operators controlled the unmanned aircraft.
"Adverse weather conditions are typical of ScanEagle operations," says Ryan Hartman, Insitu’s senior vice president of business development. "Freezing temperatures, wind, whatever challenge our environment presents, we just work through it. Our standard is 99 percent mission-readiness with 30-minutes notice."
Insitu Inc., a subsidiary of The Boeing Company, designed ScanEagle for modularity, enabling rapid technology upgrades and system reconfigurations. In 2010, engineers introduced the daylight-quality, mid-wave infrared imager payload. A soon-to-be-released electronically fuel-injected heavy fuel engine will improve reliability in extreme environments, such as the Arctic.