ScanEagle 3 is an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) designed and developed by Insitu, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company.

ScanEagle 3 is the third unmanned vehicle offered by Insitu in the ScanEagle family. It was launched at Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s (AUVSI) Xponential 2018 held in Denver, US, in May 2018.

Designed to perform commercial operations, the UAS combines the capabilities of ScanEagle UAS and Integrator UAV into a single platform. The commercial baseline configuration is free from the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

The unmanned aircraft offers enhanced flexibility and improved payload capabilities, while performing long endurance missions. It can be used for multiple commercial missions such as disaster management, oil / gas inspections, mining field inspections, escort and perimeter security, electronic detection, vessel tracking, communications relay, forest fire tracking, and maritime surface search.

ScanEagle 3 UAS design and features

The design of ScanEagle 3 is a combination of ScanEagle UAS and RQ-21A Blackjack small tactical unmanned air system (STUAS). The ScanEagle 3’s fuselage section is similar to that of ScanEagle, while its twin tail configuration resembles RQ-21A.

The highly advanced aero-package of the aircraft is ground-adjustable. It extends the centre of gravity range of the UAS and allows for more payload options. The modular structure further enables easy integration of payload.

“The ScanEagle 3 can reach a maximum speed of 80kt (41.2m/s) and can fly at a cruise speed between 40kt and 50kt.”

The length of the ScanEagle 3 is between 2.3m (7.6ft) and 2.5m (8.2ft). The UAS has an extended wingspan of 13ft (4m), which is higher compared to the other unmanned aircraft in the family. It has a gross take-off weight of 80lb (36.3kg).

The launch and recovery equipment used for the ScanEagle 3 UAS is similar to that of ScanEagle and Integrator. The latest UAS is compatible with the existing launch platforms of Insitu.

Payload

The UAS is fitted with an electro-optical (EO) turret housing EO camera and EO telescope, as well as mid-wave infrared (MWIR) and dual image sensors.

The high-definition cameras on-board the aircraft provide full-motion videos during both day and night. The payload enables operators to capture large amount of data during a single mission flight.

Engine and performance

The unmanned aircraft is equipped with a custom-built engine, burning heavy fuel JP-5 or JP-8 propellant. The purpose-designed engine improves the aircraft’s reliability and payload-carrying capability.

The on-board power system has the capacity to produce more than 170W of power for payload carriage.

The ScanEagle 3 can reach a maximum speed of 80kt (41.2m/s) and can fly at a cruise speed between 40kt and 50kt. The maximum operating altitude attained by the UAS is 20,000ft (6,096m).

The UAS can operate for longer hours and endure airborne for up to 18 hours. It can carry a maximum payload of 20lb (9.1kg).

Ground control station

The unmanned aircraft can be controlled by a ground control station equipped with Insitu’s Common Open Mission Management Command and Control (ICOMC2) and INEXA Control Air Space Management ground control management solutions.

The solutions offer alerts to the operators to avoid possible airspace violations and provide flexibility of operating multiple unmanned vehicles and payloads at the same time.