Insitu and UBIQ Aerospace have entered into a partnership to upgrade Insitu’s Integrator unmanned aerial system (UAS) for operation in the challenging conditions of the Arctic and High North. The project will enable the Integrator UAS to operate during atmospheric icing conditions by incorporating UBIQ Aerospace’s D•ICE solution, an autonomous, electrothermal system optimized for the size, weight, and power (SWAP) budgets of small tactical UAS.
The Integrator equipped with the D•ICE system will be the first tactical UAS capable of operating routinely in known icing conditions. Atmospheric icing has long been one of the great inhibitors to UAS operations, because most platforms are designed for warmer climates and lack the SWaP budget for traditional anti-icing or de-icing equipment.
The Integrator UAS is a runway-independent, NATO Class I UAS with an 18-kilogram payload capacity and a maximum takeoff weight of nearly 75 kilograms. It can operate on land and naval vessels, and features a modular construction that simplifies maintenance and enables payloads to be easily swapped between missions. The Integrator offers more than 24 hours of endurance, depending on the payload configuration and environmental conditions.
Kim Lynge Sørensen, co-founder and CEO of UBIQ Aerospace, commented: “Our objective is to make the Integrator UAS operationally available even during the cold weather conditions experienced in Northern Europe and the Northern and Arctic Seas. We will achieve such weather robustness by integrating our proprietary D•ICE technology into one of the most proven UAS on the planet.”
Dave Funkhouser, Insitu’s Director of International Business Development, stated: “Insitu has several NATO and NORDEFCO customers who need UAS that can operate year-round in the Arctic and High North. Whether in Alaska, Andøya, or anywhere in-between, this project will make it possible, and we’re thrilled to be working with an innovative Norwegian company such as UBIQ Aerospace.”