Insitu Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Boeing Company, deployed a ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle to assist with several recent disaster recovery operations.
The UAV was utilised for fire suppression operations in Oregon and California as well as recovery missions in Texas.
Participating in emergency response efforts such as search and rescue, damage pollution, critical infrastructure assessments, security and monitoring, and unmanned and manned aviation over watch protection, Insitu launched and conducted beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations over the Port of Corpus Christi.
Insitu deployed operations personnel and four ScanEagle drones to Corpus Christi, Sugarland, and other sites around Houston as emergency response.
The main channel at Corpus Christi was blocked with submerged debris, preventing regular shipping traffic from entering the port. The Insitu team conducted main channel assessments, identified hazards to navigation, and isolated damage to the Port’s critical infrastructure.
The Insitu team was also able to locate a submerged ship in the bay, and provide debris maps and other information to response crews that contributed to the reopening of the Port of Corpus Christi within six days.
At Sugarland, Texas, a second base of operations was established, where Insitu used payloads including infra-red (IR) and full-color video, telescopic optics, and broad area precision mapping for information delivery. The Insitu team flew the ScanEagle BVLOS, utilizing the range and endurance of the aircraft to extend the limits of its data collection missions.
Concluding its missions in Texas, Insitu relocated its ScanEagles and crews to assist with fire suppression at the Eagle Creek Fire in Oregon. The Eagle Creek fire hit very close to home, burning nearly 50,000 acres throughout the Columbia River Gorge region, and forcing many residents, and Insitu employees and their families to evacuate their homes to escape the blaze.