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Insitu Announces Product Enhancements To The Scaneagle UAS

Scaneagle UAS.
by Staff Writers
Bingen WA (SPX) Aug 30, 2006
Insitu, a pioneer developer of long-range, unmanned, autonomous aircraft, today announced that it has completed several important component upgrades to the ScanEagle unmanned aerial system (UAS) developed in partnership with The Boeing Company. These next-generation releases include the platform's camera turret, enhanced infrared camera, and Mode C transponder.

ScanEagle was introduced in 2003 by Insitu and Boeing as an economical UAS that could provide a significant increase in UAS endurance while also incorporating autonomous flight capabilities. It is already a significant contributor to Operation Iraqi Freedom and is also a known shipboard contributor for various sea- and land-based missions.

The new product upgrades will only add to ScanEagle's already stellar performance, explained Dr. Steven M. Sliwa, President and CEO of Insitu.

"This is all about our focus on anticipating the customer's changing mission and changing needs and delivering continual improvements to the platform's technology and capabilities," Sliwa said. "We are working to perfect the performance of this UAS so that it can be a true enabler of network-centric warfare. Improvements like we're seeing in this next generation of components are allowing us to succeed at attaining that goal."

The camera turret, which was the first effective inertially stabilized turret available on a vehicle in ScanEagle's UAS class, will now provide even more rock-solid video, but without the need for ground software improvements. In addition, the turret will be able to house even bigger cameras, which provides more options on payload camera integration.

Insitu has incorporated major improvements to the turret utilizing the DRS Technologies E6000 infrared camera. It moves ScanEagle's infrared imagery from a fixed camera with an 18-degree field of view to a camera with an increased resolution that supports a digital zoom view of 7.5 degrees. The resolution has also been improved from 320x240 to 640x480.

The ultra-light Mode C Transponder will now come standard issue on the ScanEagle UAS. The component is programmable during flight and, as such, allows the vehicle to become stealthy as necessary with the flip of a switch-even at low altitudes. This capability will help with aircraft deconfliction within Operation Iraqi Freedom but will also enable easier integration of the system into applications within the National Airspace or civilian applications.

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