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Insitu's Integrator UAS achieves new software & avionics architecture tests

Insitu, Inc. announced today that its INTEGRATOR™ unmanned aircraft (UA) completed a thorough flight test using its new software and avionics architecture; all tests exceeded expectations. Insitu is a pioneer developer of long-range, autonomous unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and advanced tools for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). Insitu is located in Booth #1108 of Navy League's Sea Air Space Exposition.  

The flight included a take-off using Insitu's new lightweight launcher; flight controls checks and practice approaches; and a high-precision GPS-based final approach and wing-tip capture into Insitu's SKYHOOK™ recovery system.  

Insitu CTO, Charlie Guthrie, said, "This is a great milestone for our development program. Generally, early successes with few surprises are an indication of the quality of engineering design effort made by our team and partners."  

Integrator is the next-generation addition to Insitu's operationally mature family of systems, which includes the military ScanEagle™, developed in partnership with The Boeing Company. Integrator will be interoperable with Insitu's other platforms using common launchers, retrievers, and ground stations.  

"The Integrator is designed to be the most flexible, long-endurance, low-cost, surveillance platform that has been optimized for carrying a variety of customer payloads," commented Jay Gundlach, Insitu VP of Advanced Development. "We started with these payload requirements and wrapped the tightest UAV we could design around them."  

Integrator includes a proprietary multi-function EO/IR turret with cryogenically cooled MWIR night sensor, EO day sensor, laser range finder, IR marker, and optional target designator. Integrator's baseline configuration provides 24 hours of endurance with 500 watts of power available to 25 lbs of payload. Heavier payload configurations range up to 50 lbs. Integrator will be capable of ship-basing and will be offered with heavy fuel variants.  

Gary Viviani, Insitu VP of Software, remarked, "In order to offer our customers the highest level of payload flexibility and expanded communication links while providing increased system performance and accuracy for this platform, we elected to develop a new software and avionics system design. The key considerations of this design were to address industry standards to support the long-term system evolution and reliability of Integrator."  

The new architecture no longer relies upon a proprietary technology, instead it utilizes a specially customized autopilot from Athena Technologies, Inc. Dave Vos, CEO of Athena Technologies, said, "We are pleased to be selected by Insitu as its autopilot provider of the future. We plan to merge our experience on over 20 UAV platforms with Insitu's special requirements to help them accelerate their program."  

Insitu's unmanned aircraft systems have achieved more than 75,000 hours of operational experience and over 900 shipboard recoveries since 2004, including land-based and sea-based deployments with the US Marine Corps, US Navy, US Air Force and Australian Defence Forces.  

Press release issued by Rockwell Collins on March 18, 2008


 Contact details from our directory:
Rockwell Collins Automatic Flight Control Systems, Engine Controls
Insitu, Inc. Airframer


 Related aircraft programs:
Insitu Integrator


 Related directory sectors:
Flight and Data Management

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