Orbital Corporation Limited (Orbital) has delivered the first purpose-built ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) propulsion system to Insitu Inc., a subsidiary of The Boeing Company, for in-house testing and development.
Designed specifically for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) class UAVs, it is the first reciprocating internal combustion propulsion system to be engineered from the ground up for unmanned aerospace application.
"Delivery of this first engine is a major milestone in the UAV propulsion engineering project," said Mr. Terry Stinson, Orbital's CEO and Managing Director. "Insitu is very satisfied with the program results to date, and the team is already moving forward to achieve our next target."
"Insitu is extremely pleased with the receipt of this first propulsion system and our collaboration with Orbital Corporation in Australia," said Mr. Ryan Hartman, Insitu's President and CEO. "We conducted a rigorous selection process for our next generation propulsion supply partner, and this event further proves that we made the right choice."
Orbital has been working with Insitu division of Boeing since January 2013 as part of an initial design, development and validation contract to supply UAV propulsion systems. Delivery of the first propulsion system will now allow a rigorous bench testing program to commence which will be followed by flight testing. Successful completion of the program is expected to lead to a low volume production contract to be supplied from Orbital's facilities in Perth, and may evolve into a higher volume production business from new Orbital production facilities, which would need to be established in the United States.
The delivered propulsion system was designed and manufactured by Orbital and incorporates Orbital's new Argon Engine Control Unit (ECU) and control system. The Argon ECU has advancements not available on other aircraft in this class, including real-time monitoring and diagnostics of all critical systems, sensor and actuator redundancy, and extensive 'black box' recording capability.
The system also uses Orbital's patented and unique FLEXDI technology, which enables the highest level of performance for heavy fuel SUAS engine applications, significantly extending the range for the aircraft in flight. Insitu and Orbital have also combined technical capabilities to achieve benchmark low vibration and noise suppression. "The new propulsion system has features that are intended to drive a step change in performance and reliability in the SUAS propulsion market," stated Mr. Stinson.
As the SUAS and Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV markets continue to move to heavy fuel, working with Insitu ensures Orbital is well positioned to take the lead in UAV propulsion systems. The global SUAS market alone is projected to reach $1.9B by 2020 according to the recent MarketsandMarket's report, with increasing civil and military applications as the driving factors in this market. Sales of the overall UAV market are expected to double within the next five years. Insitu is currently the biggest in the SUAS market segment.
"Orbital has adopted an aggressive diversification and growth strategy," said Mr. Stinson. "Building on continuing success with Insitu, this new UAV propulsion initiative has the potential to evolve into a $100 million per annum revenue business for Orbital."
Yemen plans to acquire the Insitu ScanEagle Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) through a proposed United States Navy contract with the manufacturer, Forecast International reported Monday. The deal includes one ScanEagle System consisting of nine ScanEagle Electro-Optic and three ScanEagle Infra-red UAVs
Insitu Pacific today announced it recently conducted a successful demonstration for the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) using the ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The demonstration took place in January over the Wollemi National Park, 150 km northwest of Sydney, where fires have burned more than 35,000 hectares of bushland since December 2013
Insitu, Inc., Bingen, Wash
The Boeing Company and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Insitu, Inc are being sued by the Advanced Aerospace Technologies, Inc., (AATI) for an excess of $160 million in royalties based on infringement of AATI patents by Insitu's Skyhook retrieval system
Insitu, Inc., Bingen, Wash
Insitu has received a US$30 million contract from the Canadian government to provide small unmanned aerial vehicle (SUAV) services to support the Canadian Forces intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations in Afghanistan. The initial one-year contract includes two additional one-year options
Boeing is pitching its ScanEagle UAV for an Indian Army, Navy and Air Force requirement of over 1000 mini Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV). The latest version of the ScanEagle mini-UAV has an in-flight launch and retrieval system where the UAV is mounted on another vertical take-off UAV and ejected when it reaches a certain height
Insitu announced today ScanEagle 2, the next generation of its revolutionary ScanEagle platform at Euronaval 2014. Leveraging lessons learned from more than 800,000 operational hours, ScanEagle 2 provides increased payload power and expanded payload options, a more robust navigation system, better image quality due to a fully digital video system and a state-of-the-art, purpose-built propulsion system
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