UAV Showcases Impressive Maritime Search Capabilities

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Boeing’s UAV manufacturer Insitu recently showcased its newest wide-area maritime surface search and identification technology for representatives from the UK Royal Navy as well as military and industry officials from across the globe at the navy’s Unmanned Warrior demonstration.

During the event, held in Benbecula, Scotland, the Insitu team was tasked to perform a range of maritime missions using ScanEagle equipped with the ViDAR payload. Developed in collaboration with Australia-based Sentient Vision Systems, ViDAR is the only maritime surface search with automatic target finding capability on a group two unmanned platform, according to prnewswire.

The ScanEagle flew more than 55 hours during the demonstration, covering an area more than twice the size of Wales (41,500 km²) and using fewer than eight gallons of fuel. It actually flew more hours than any other participating platform.

ScanEagle with ViDAR autonomously detected hundreds of large and small objects in sea state six conditions, despite sometimes challenging weather.

ViDAR successfully and reliably detected objects through changing environmental conditions ranging from clear sun to wind, rain, haze and fog.

“During one flight our team spotted a target 19 nm away before the exercise began,” said Suzanne McNamara, vice president of business development for Insitu. “ScanEagle with ViDAR is a force multiplier that will establish a new standard for global navies. We are extremely proud of the successes we achieved during Unmanned Warrior and look forward to supporting our customers with this advanced capability.”