University of North Dakota Partners With Insitu to Bolster UAS Program

Boeing subsidiary Insitu Inc. and the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks (UND) have announced significant additions to the university’s unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) degree program and research enterprise.

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 fall 2019. Additionally, as the university currently uses ScanEagle drones, it will augment its fleet of more than 150 aircraft by adding Insitu’s newly released ScanEagle3 platform.

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 and the North Dakota and Minnesota governors 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 permitted ScanEagle to be flown over the flooded area during this operation, and UND directed the effort with assistance from an Insitu flight operations team.

“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,” says Mark Bauman, vice president of Insitu Commercial.

In conjunction with the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, UND has several certificates of waiver or authorization (COAs) that allow the use of ScanEagle across North Dakota. Because of the COAs, UND and Insitu will have further opportunities for research and development, including developing new sensors, demonstrating inspection services for oil companies, providing emergency response and research supporting Minnesota wildfire reaction, and developing detect-and-avoid and beyond visual line of sight capabilities.


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