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International Leader In Unmanned Aircraft Systems Located Right Here In The Columbia Gorge: Insitu, Inc.

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International Leader In Unmanned Aircraft Systems Located Right Here In The Columbia Gorge: Insitu, Inc.


I have to say, it's one of the least expected industries here in small town, outdoor oriented Columbia River Gorge.  Insitu, Inc. is an international pioneer and leading provider of small tactical unmanned aircraft systems. To most of us and in layman's terms that means "little remote control airplanes". And Insitu is located just across the river from Hood River, in Bingen, Washington.

The planes were developed primarily for military uses in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and for commercial objectives alike. Put simply, these remote control airplanes can gather information in areas too sensitive and dangerous to send in manned aircraft. Obviously, potential loss of such aircraft is far preferrable to that of full-sized, million-times more expensive aircraft, flown by humans. They also have uses in civilian and public safety, such as in disaster communications and search and rescue missions.

Many of the "drones" as they are often called, are smaller than three feet in length so can fly almost undetected and patented technology can provide up to 15 hours of flying time in one flight. They are able to immediately convey information back to command centers and can be customized to a military's, government's or company's objectives.

The U.S. Navy awarded Insitu a two year, $43 million contract in 2010 to begin full scale development of its own UAS. The Canadian and Australian governments also use Insitu products to support troops in foreign wars. Insitu products are currently being used around the world, including in Afganistan and Iraq.

Because of the sensitive nature of the industry, many of the drone details and even most photos are highly classified. In fact, when I stopped to take photos of the front of the Insitu building, security personnel approached me almost immediately to inquire why I was photographing the building. I gave my card and references to prove I wasn't a spy. I'm not going to mention from where security came as they blended into street life along the road. Yep, now I'm probably in some intelligence agency's computer.

I find the drones to be such an intriguing idea. We have looked into a tour of the facility especially since one of our sons is very interested in remote control airplanes and I was going to wait to write this blog until after that, but then I found out I wouldn't be allowed to take photos and little more info would be offered to us than is available on Insitu's website. Visit their site for more information.

Insitu, Inc.
118 East Columbia River Way
Bingen, Washington 98605

tel:  509.493.8600








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EC, JF, Double R and Zoey the Cool Cat
Russel Ray Photos - San Diego, CA

They just want you to think that all they do are little remote-controlled airplanes, but word on the street is that they are developing remote-controlled flies, birds, mosquitos, etc. Years down the road we won't know just exactly how Big Brother is watching us.

Sep 13, 2011 02:51 PM