Insitu and University of North Dakota Partner in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Curriculum

In conjunction with UND’s 50th Anniversary of Aviation Education and Research, the university will integrate Insitu’s INEXA™ Control, TacitView™ and Catalina™ UAS software into the UND’s Aviation UAS curriculum in the fall of 2019. Additionally, as the university currently utilizes ScanEagle UASs, it will augment its fleet of more than 150 aircraft by adding Insitu’s ScanEagle® 3 UAS platform launched on May 1 at AUVSI’s Xponential 2018.

Insitu’s partnership with UND began in 2010 when In preparation for a flood across the Red River Valley at the North Dakota/Minnesota border, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty enlisted the help of UND to monitor rising river levels along the Red River, which threatened communities along the North Dakota and Minnesota border.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Certificate of Authorization (COA) permitting ScanEagle to be flown over the flooded area during this operation, and UND directed the effort with assistance from an Insitu flight operations team. This was the first time a university and a Federal agency collaborated on a project where a UAS was used for flood plain research.

“We are excited to expand our long-term partnership history with UND, and we’re proud that UND will be the first university to become a ScanEagle3 customer,” said Mark Bauman, Vice President, Insitu Commercial. “We are looking forward to the launch of the new INEXA-based curriculum and providing increased services and support for the UND UAS program as this solid foundation will serve both organizations very well, far into the future.”

“We are thrilled to offer these exciting opportunities to our students at UND, and these state-of-the-art curriculum additions coupled with ScanEagle3 will further advance our technical capabilities at our Unmanned Aircraft System flight training complex,” said Dr. Paul Lindseth, Dean of the Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota.

Insitu’s Commercial Aviation Department will provide curriculum training and support services for UND as UND provides flights in which students experience operating as a UAV pilot, a mission commander, and a sensor operator during the flights.

Additionally, UND Instructors and staff will be among the first to receive ScanEagle3 training, and ScanEagle3 will be implemented into the fleet as it becomes available. 

“The ITAR-free ScanEagle3 will help us to continue to be leaders in autonomous systems and enable our UAS program to be available to international students for the first time, as the students have not been able to participate in the UAS program due to ITAR concerns,” explained Paul Snyder, Assistant Chair/Director, UAS Program, UND Aerospace.

In conjunction with the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, UND has several certificates of waiver or authorization (COA) that allow the use of ScanEagle across North Dakota. 

Because of the COAs, UND and Insitu will have numerous opportunities for research and development including:

  • Developing new sensors
  • Demonstrations and aerial inspection services for oil companies
  • Providing emergency response and research supporting Minnesota wildfire reaction
  • Developing detect and avoid and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) capabilities
  • Improving data collection
  • Providing powerline inspection

About Insitu 
Insitu is an industry-leading provider of information for superior decision making. With its headquarters in Bingen, Wash., and offices in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, the company creates and supports unmanned systems and software technology that deliver end-to-end solutions for collecting, processing and understanding sensor data. We proudly serve the diverse needs of our global customers in the defense, government and commercial industries. To date, our systems have accumulated more than one million flight hours and nearly 125,000 sorties. Insitu is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company.

About UND Aerospace
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018, UND Aerospace offers the most technologically advanced Unmanned Aerial System flight training complex of any public university, and was the first to establish an undergraduate major in unmanned aircraft systems operations. It owns and operates a fleet of more than 150 aircraft and flight training devices, and provides pilot and UAS operator and sensor training to nearly 2,000 students from 12 different countries amassing approximately 150,000 flight hours per year.

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