Ryan Hartman, CEO of Boeing‘s Insitu subsidiary, said the business is looking to make its ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle commercially available for agricultural and environmental uses, Avionics Magazine reported Wednesday.
Woodrow Bellamy III writes that Hartman wants to adopt a UAV commercialization strategy similar to the one Insitu used when it entered the defense market.
“That same approach is how we will address the commercial market where we’re investing internally in the technologies and the systems that are necessary for us to be ready and prepared for the commercial opportunities as they present themselves,” Hartman told the magazine.
Insitu showcased the ScanEagle at the recent Dakotafest conference, which highlighted the potential of drones in the precision farming field.
Hartman added the business plans to invest in drone avionics equipment that can help commercial operators fly the drone safely in the same airspace as manned aircraft, according to Bellamy’s article.
The magazine reports that ScanEagle has been used in a commercial surveillance project in Alaska and to monitor wildfires in Australia.
Insitu is also working to make the UAV available in the U.S. to aid wildfire-fighting missions.
“We continue to work with the Federal Aviation Administration and state agencies, agencies like the Department of Natural Resources to work through the safe use of unmanned systems for that specific market,” Hartman told the magazine.