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Insitu unmanned aircraft are now helping to fight forest fires

The Vancouver Sun reports that Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aircraft "are being flown through thick smoke over intense wildfires to map where fire lines are holding and where flames are spreading." University of Alaska research staff have been flying the planes outfitted with infrared cameras since August 5th, after worsening fire conditions in Alaska's Crazy Mountain Complex grounded manned aircraft. "The university is the first entity other than NASA or the U.S. Department of Defense to receive emergency clearance to fly unmanned aircraft beyond the line of sight in civil airspace." With the Insitu unmanned planes in service during dangerous conditions, personnel are able to monitor fire lines from afar without putting themselves at physical risk.

UPDATE 8/27/2009: Watch video from University of Alaska available on Wired

Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Unmanned drones play vital role in fighting Alaskan forest fires
    The Vancouver Sun - Vancouver, Canada - August 13, 2009
  • Video: UAV in a Firefight of a Different Kind
    Wired - U.S. - August 26, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Insitu is a WTC client
  • Insitu expands production operations, employees and revenue from its base in rural Bingen, Washington
    Posted 7/10/2009
  • Insitu: the origin and evolution of its unmanned aircraft
    Posted 6/29/2009
  • Boeing's acquisition of Insitu buys small-company culture; provides market power
    Posted 5/29/2009
  • Insitu wins $250M U.S. Special Ops contract for ScanEagle
    Posted 5/26/2009

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