Some 100 years ago an era of aviation began where technology enabled the creation of what was previously only imagined. This Golden Age of flight marked not just advancements in capabilities of the aircraft themselves, but also the application of these remarkable machines to improve our lives. While it may seem obvious to us now that aviation could enable faster delivery of mail, cargo, or people, such applications still had to be pioneered and not without considerable toil.
We’ve come a long way since then. Disruptive innovations like the jet engine and fly-by-wire flight controls have shown two consistent trends in aviation: The goal to make possible what technology enables and the commitment to achieving said goal through evolving the standards of professional aviation. These “standards” include those established by rule-making bodies, best practices used by industry, and policies codified in law. As our history has demonstrated, the standards of professional aviation evolve collaboratively, as neither aircraft manufacturers, airline businesses, nor aviation authorities can achieve the effective and thorough establishment of these standards alone. What is the result of such standards? The world of aviation today is safer than ever before, yet also more efficient and less expensive. These standards have come a long way over the last 100 years and they’re needed now more than ever.
We are at the precipice of a second Golden Age of flight. The continual miniaturization of computing technology has transformed remotely piloted aircraft, traditionally used by hobbyists, into autonomous systems of incredible potential. From inspecting infrastructure to delivering packages, these systems will transform how all of us go about our lives. It also represents new risk of these systems being used irresponsibly or negligibly. The introduction of unmanned aircraft into the global airspace and a regulatory environment never designed to accommodate such technology presents significant challenges to our industry. Unmanned aircraft are aircraft and as such must comply with all existing and emerging regulations that govern manned aircraft. We at Insitu are committed to maintain the safest aviation system in the world by developing and offering products that meet the highest standards of performance and safety.
Insitu builds platforms that fly in some of the most hazardous environments in the world and often even operate them ourselves. For us, professional aviation means meeting the intent of the aforementioned standards and working with all stakeholders to evolve them with advancements in autonomy in mind. Using professional aviation standards of safety and efficiency will enable our industry to enter this second Golden Age of flight. As a leader in this evolving era, Insitu prepares to release Inexa Control, our new commercial ground control station (GCS) that enables users to achieve these standards of professional aviation.
Inexa Control is all about flying safely and responsibly while performing tasks better and achieving superior results. These end goals are achieved through the use of an assortment of tools and capabilities. The GCS is equipped with flight management tools that provide up-to-date information about pertinent airspace, empowering the operator to make better informed decisions. Inexa Control’s contextualization tools allow operators to overlay their video with terrain elevation, satellite data, and other GIS sources all in a single picture, resulting in unparalleled situational awareness for the operator. Meanwhile, automatic flight management tools eliminate routine tasks for the operator, such as sensor tasking, weather awareness and obstacle avoidance. Inexa Control not only enhances pilot awareness in operation of the vehicle, but also enables complete focus on mission safety and results.
With Inexa Control, we aim to bring professional aviation to all unmanned systems, both large and small. In the coming months, we will be releasing several new Inexa plug-ins to support many of the small unmanned systems used today. From single-platform operators to enterprises with large fleets of aircraft, we are bringing professional aviation to all users of the airspace through Inexa Control. The second Golden Age of flight is fast approaching, and with it comes the vision of safer skies and superior decision making across the emerging applications for unmanned systems. Attaining this vision depends simply on the collective success of members in the aviation industry to operate safely, efficiently, and professionally. We look forward to being a part of the continued conversation in setting the new standard for this emerging age of flight.