Insitu, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, has inked a first-of-its kind contract from the US Department of the Interior (DOI) for an exclusive UAV partnership.
The UAV specialist’s contract will see it to provide fire suppression services within the contiguous 48 states and Alaska using its ScanEagle UAV platform.
The system will assist in combatting wildfires using geospatial mapping and full motion video and Insitu will support manned aerial operations, including fire suppression, search and rescue, emergency management, and other operations as needed on a “call when needed” basis.
“We are honoured that Insitu has been selected to bring our professional aviation, aerial data collection and analysis experience to assist the DOI as they strive to suppress devastating wildfires,” said Esina Alic, Insitu’s president and CEO.
Equipped with Infrared and electro-optical cameras, sensors, and a customised TK-5 Firewatch smart tactical mapping payload, ScanEagle will provide near real-time fire line maps and wide-area, high-resolution imagery intelligence to assist with fire suppression planning.
With these payloads on board, ScanEagle can operate in dense smoke and darkness, when manned aircraft typically are grounded due to hazardous flying conditions for pilots.