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University of North Dakota selects Insitu ScanEagle for unmanned aircraft system operations study program

Insitu Inc., a Boeing [NYSE:BA] subsidiary, has provided the University of North Dakota (UND) with its ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system (UAS), to be used in the nation's only program offering a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations.

"Unmanned aircraft systems are the latest advance in aviation technology and will play an increasingly significant role in worldwide aviation. Complementary postsecondary education programs established to educate and train students for careers in the rapidly developing UAS industry are critical," said Insitu Business Development Executive Paul McDuffee.

"The University of North Dakota's program will bring tremendous value to the UAS industry. We look forward to the evolution of this new field of study and are pleased that ScanEagle will help facilitate its development," added McDuffee.

UND is a designated Department of Defense Center of Excellence for UAS Research, Education and Training. It used funds provided by the U.S. Air Force to acquire its ScanEagle system.

The ScanEagle is widely deployed with U.S. and other armed forces worldwide. Its versatile and wide-ranging capabilities, including low personnel requirements, portability, runway independence, in-field component replaceability, "persistent stare" daytime and nighttime imagery and 24-hour flight endurance make it one of the best in-class UAS.

"Our program requires an optimal system—one with a proven operational track record, reliability and effectiveness to support our educational and research activities. ScanEagle is market-validated and well-positioned to deliver to our requirements," said UND Associate Professor of Aerospace Mark Askelson.

The UAS system will enable students to learn on state-of-the-art equipment and participate in research activities.

"To date, the university's only fully trained operators and maintenance technicians are UND employees and primarily flight instructors. However, upon the U.S. Air Force's approval, we hope to integrate the ScanEagle system into our curriculum and allow students to fly the system against a radar test bed, while learning to operate the UAS itself," said UND Associate Professor of Aviation and Director of Program Development for the UAS Center of Excellence, Douglas Marshall.

Press release issued by Insitu, Inc. on October 29, 2009


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