U.S. Department of the Interior awards first-ever contract for small UAS services

BINGEN, Wash. Unmanned systems and software company Insitu, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boeing, has won a first-of-its kind contract from the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to provide fire-suppression services within the contiguous 48 states and Alaska using its ScanEagle unmanned sircraft dystem (UAS).

Under the terms of the contract, Insitu is set to support manned aerial operations for the DOI including fire suppression, search and rescue, emergency management, and other operations on an as-needed basis.

According to information from Insitu, the ScanEagle UAS will be equipped with infrared and electro-optical cameras, sensors, and a customized TK-5 Firewatch smart tactical mapping payload that will provide near-real-time fire line maps and wide-area, high-resolution imagery intelligence to assist with fire suppression. Using its onboard payloads enables the ScanEagle to operate in dense smoke and darkness, when manned aircraft typically are grounded due to hazardous flying conditions for pilots.