- uploaded: Dec 6, 2012
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Video by Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller 16th Mobile Public Affairs DetachmentThe Australian Army's 131 Battery, 20th Surveillance and Target Acquisition Regiment operates the "Scan Eagle" unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, at multi-national base Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan. To support troops on the ground, the 131 Battery, originally from Gallippoli Barracks in Brisbane, Australia, has flown more than 25 thousand hours over Afghanistan so far. With an endurance of about 12 hours, the Scan Eagle can travel up to 100 kilometers away from the operator, based on line of sight, before being handed off to another operator at a different location. With the Australian UAV footage, the Singaporean Imagery Analysis team, who are also deployed to multi-national base Tarin Kowt, support the UAV team by producing 3-D digital mockups of suspected insurgent compounds as well as tracking patterns of life around the area of operation. To become a Scan Eagle operator, one must go through a three-month course involving simulations as well as actual test flights at various ranges around Australia. The importance of the 131 Battery's mission is most evident when ground troops fighting insurgents can't see over Afghanistan's rugged terrain. They can watch where insurgents are coming from and to where they are escaping. The Australian Scan Eagle imagery is available to the whole coalition and gets distributed to the units.From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_ScanEagleScanEagle is a small, low-cost, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing. The ScanEagle was designed by Insitu based on a commercial UAV that helped fishermen look for fish. The ScanEagle continues to be upgraded with improved technology and reliability.ScanEagle is a descendant of another Insitu UAV, SeaScan, which was conceived of as a remote sensor for collecting weather data as well as helping commercial fishermen locate and track schools of tuna. ScanEagle emerged as the result of a strategic alliance between Boeing and Insitu. The resulting technology has been successful as a portable Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) for autonomous surveillance in the battlefield, and has been deployed since August 2004 in the Iraq War.ScanEagle carries a stabilized electro-optical and/or infrared camera on a light-weight inertial stabilized turret system integrated with communications range over 100 km, and flight endurance of 20+ hours. ScanEagle has a 10-foot (3 m) wingspan and can fly up to 75 knots (139 km/h), with an average cruising speed of 60 knots (111 km/h). Block D aircraft featured a higher resolution camera, a custom-designed Mode C transponder and a new video system. A Block D aircraft, flying at Boeing's test range in Boardman, Oregon set a type endurance record of 22 hours, 8 minutes.ScanEagle needs no airfield for deployment. Instead, it is launched using a pneumatic launcher patented by Insitu as the "SuperWedge" launcher. It is recovered using the "SkyHook" retrieval system, which uses a hook on the end of the wingtip to catch a rope hanging from a 30 to 50-foot (15 m) pole. This is made possible by a high-quality differential GPS units mounted on the top of the pole and UAV. The rope is attached to a shock cord to reduce stress on the airframe imposed by the abrupt stop.