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An Eye in the Sky

As the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s (AUVSI) annual conference kicks off this week, Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAVs) are garnering more attention than ever.

With military operations across the globe winding down, UAVs such as Insitu’s ScanEagle are ideally suited for “dull, dirty and dangerous” jobs in the civilian market, such as search-and-rescue, border security, offshore drug enforcement operations, wildlife monitoring and disaster management.

Weighing less than 50 pounds and able to stay aloft for more than 20 hours, ScanEagle and its “big brother” Integrator have a proven track record across the globe, able to be deployed with less than an hour’s notice.  These systems are launched and recovered without the need for a runway or nets, making them ideally suited for ships and areas where conventional planes cannot launch and recover.

UAVs have also played a critically important role in supporting war fighters around the globe. In addition to providing daytime and night-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of war fighters from the United States and our several of our allies, other UAVs can provide cargo support and casualty evacuation.

In addition to military use overseas, Insitu is working with the FAA to establish a path for safe integration into the National Air Space (NAS). We received restricted category type certification from that agency– a historic milestone for integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the NAS and a fundamental breakthrough in the planned integration of UAS into the NAS by 2015. We are assisting the FAA in collecting data to make informed decisions on the guidelines they develop.

During the process of achieving Scan Eagle certification the FAA identified gaps between existing certification regulations for manned aircraft and unmanned systems.

The ScanEagle and many more unmanned aircraft will be on display at AUVSI this week.

To learn more about the ScanEagle and Boeing’s commitment to Enduring Awareness, click here.

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