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Insitu in the WTC News Forum

RTD Award: Phase III

Research Partner: Rolf Rysdyk, Ph.D., Aeronautics & Astronautics, University of Washington

Project Phase Began: 2006

Insitu makes ScanEagle and other unmanned aerial systems (UASs) in Bingen, Washington for military and commercial customers. A UAS includes aircraft, sensors, communications, ground support, and software tools; it collects, processes, and disseminates intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and remote sensing information gleaned by the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the system. UASs offer multiple advantages over manned vehicles for long endurance surveillance missions in military, civil government, and commercial applications. Insitu includes robotic capabilities and behaviors in all of its aircraft, so in addition to being unmanned they are autonomous, handling flying tasks and emergency procedures on their own. Insitu and the University of Washington Aeronautics and Astronautics department have collaborated since the company was founded in the early 1990s. Insitu engineers and scientists and UW researchers have jointly developed software to make it easier to remotely manage multiple UAVs flying together in the system. Some of these technologies and experiences are reflected in the SeaScan commercial sea reconnaissance system developed and marketed by Insitu, and the ScanEagle UAS developed by Insitu and marketed by Boeing for military and homeland security operations. For this project, UW professor Dr. Rolf Rysdyk will test his group's latest real-time flight software in the GeoRanger, a geophysical survey UAV that Insitu developed and makes exclusively for Fugro Airborne Surveys, a leading airborne sensing and geological mapping company. The software will be developed and tested in an in situ hardware-in-the-loop system on the ground at UW laboratories to bring it to flight readiness.

Research Partner: Dr. Rolf Rysdyk, UW Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Project year began: 2003

The Insitu Group manufactures miniature robotic aircrafts (also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles-UAVs) for commercial and military applications. They aim to offer economical, autonomous, miniature aerial platforms for long-endurance surveillance missions through the innovative use of advanced technologies.

Concurrent operation of multiple vehicles is limited by the large number of operators required and operator workload. It would be more efficient to move from one operator per plane to one operator controlling multiple planes.

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