Insitu’s ScanEagle platform has now close to one million flight hours. The Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) from Boeing’s wholly owned subsidiary recently completed a demonstration of its capacities to the Royal Navy as well as military and industry officials from across the globe.
A Navy team has deployed to Christmas Island to conduct further tests with the ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System, including it’s ViDAR sensor, as Sentient Vision Systems showcases the visual detection and ranging technology to the US Coast Guard.
Insitu’s ScanEagle small unmanned aerial vehicle will soon have two advancements to improve its performance in the maritime environment and on land – an expeditionary launching system and a new Visual Detection and Ranging (ViDAR) sensor for broad-area maritime surveillance – further opening up the potential vendor base for the Boeing subsidiary.
The 14 February piece by James Mugg and Andrew Davies was like the curate’s egg: good in parts. Much of what they wrote about the significance of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and systems (UAS), especially about Navy’s recently announced contract for 110kg CAMCOPTER S-100 rotary wing UAS and three year logistics support, is non-controversial. They could’ve also mentioned Navy’s current trials with the Boeing Insitu 22kg ScanEagle fixed wing UAV, equipped with Melbourne’s Sentient Vision Systems ViDAR sensor, but more on that later.
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne will travel to North America this week to meet
senior US defence officials and senior members of the US Congress to talk up Australia’s
Sentient Vision Systems an example of a small company developing technology that governments and prime contractors need.
ViDAR is a wide area autonomous detection system for electro-optic imagery in the maritime domain enabling coverage over 80 times the ocean’s surface compared with existing electro-optic sensors.
It’s a truism that radars detect targets and cameras identify them, but the Visual Detection And Ranging (ViDAR) software from Sentient and a combination of multiple staring wide-angle cameras and a gimballed electro-optical (EO) sensor with zoom capabilities looks set to shake that assumption.
Not an ADF unmanned aircraft, or an unmanned aircraft at all but something that can be noted here is Melbourne-based Sentient Vision Systems’ innovative ViDAR