Insitu Inc. announced that its ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system (UAS) delivered real-time video to Canadian forces during the largest military exercise to date in the Far North.
Operation Nanook brought together Canadian forces; security partners; and numerous federal, territorial and municipal governments to conduct sovereignty operations and security exercises in Canada's Northwest Passage. The exercise focused around a major air disaster (MAJAID) simulation, during which ScanEagle provided overwatch to Canadian forces.
The runway-independent ScanEagle UAS was deployed by Insitu and its partner ING Engineering to identify traversable ground routes, watch for polar bear threats and monitor daily iceberg movements. Commanders in tactical operations centers (TOCs) at 74 degrees north and troops on the ground received real-time, stable video.
During the exercise, Insitu and ING UAS operators launched and retrieved the aircraft. Handing control over to the Canadian forces, the operators stood by to provide technical assistance as needed.
“Adverse weather conditions are typical of ScanEagle operations,” said Insitu Senior Vice President of Business Development Ryan Hartman. “Freezing temperatures, wind, whatever challenge our environment presents, we just work through it. Our standard is 99 percent mission-readiness with 30-minutes notice.”
Designed by Insitu, a subsidiary of The Boeing Company, ScanEagle's modularity allows for rapid technology upgrades, like the 2010 introduction of a daylight-quality mid-wave infrared imager payload, and the soon-to-be-released electronically fuel-injected heavy fuel engine that will improve reliability in extreme environments like the Arctic. Modularity also allows for rapid system reconfiguration, like adding another network node to beat line-of-sight challenges.