Insitu ScanEagle completes successful maritime surface search at royal navy’s unmanned warrior

With its number of flight hours quickly approaching one million, Insitu’s ScanEagle platform continues to pioneer through iterative innovation. This held true at the Royal Navy’s Unmanned Warrior demonstration, where Insitu showcased its newest wide-area maritime surface search and identification technology for representatives from the Royal Navy as well as military and industry officials from across the globe.

During the event, held in Benbecula, Scotland, the Insitu team was tasked to perform a range of maritime missions using ScanEagle equipped with the ViDAR payload. Developed in collaboration with Australia-based Sentient Vision Systems, ViDAR is the only maritime surface search with automatic target finding capability on a group two unmanned platform.

Scan eagle yole

Key accomplishments at Unmanned Warrior 2016 include:

• ScanEagle flew more than 55 hours, covering an area more than twice the size of Wales (41,500 km²) and using fewer than eight gallons of fuel.
• Despite sometimes challenging weather, ScanEagle with ViDAR autonomously detected hundreds of large and small objects in sea state six conditions. These included spotting and positively identifying two mine sweepers by number, spotting smaller objects such as stationary jet skis and buoys at 5 nm and locating 28 contacts from one sortie in fewer than two hours.
• ViDAR successfully and reliably detected objects through changing environmental conditions ranging from clear sun to wind, rain, haze and fog.
• ScanEagle flew more hours than any other participating platform.

Scencient Scan yole

During one flight our team spotted a target 19 nm away before the exercise began,” said Suzanne McNamara, vice president of business development for Insitu. “ScanEagle with ViDAR is a force multiplier that will establish a new standard for global navies. We are extremely proud of the successes we achieved during Unmanned Warrior and look forward to supporting our customers with this advanced capability.”

In May, Sentient and Insitu confirmed the signing of an exclusive global distribution agreement for the ViDAR software for unmanned systems within the small UAS weight class. ScanEagle is the first and only unmanned platform to fly this payload.