Insitu opens new facility in Starkville, Mississippi



According to the Starkville Daily News, Insitu opened its new office in Starkville, Mississippi on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Headquartered in Bingen, Washington, Insitu will use its new facility, which is located at Mississippi State University's (MSU) Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park, to “work toward flight certification of its vehicles,” with assistance from the MSU Raspet Flight Research Laboratory and the FAA Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE), which MSU manages.

“We’re focused on aircraft certifications within the National Airspace System within the U.S.,” says Insitu President and CEO Ryan Hartman.

“One of the things required to be able to operate any aircraft within the National Airspace System is to have a certified aircraft. We’re going to be doing research in collaboration with Raspet and Mississippi State along with the FAA ASSURE program to define what it means to certify an unmanned aircraft.”

For more than 20 years, Insitu has been manufacturing UAS, but according to Hartman, certifying the aircraft is a new territory, particularly for Insitu’s civilian models.

“The number of hours we’ve actually flown in support of commercial customers in the National Airspace System is very few,” Hartman adds.

“We’re just right at the front edge of introducing unmanned aircraft into the commercial market space.”

The facility was opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception. Attendees included representatives from MSU, the city of Starkville and the Greater Starkville Development Partnership (GSDP).

All parties in attendance are excited about the opportunities that this new facility could create for MSU, and the state of Mississippi as a whole.

“There’s a tremendous amount of touch points between Insitu and Mississippi State that we’re going to grow together over the next few years,” says Raspet Flight Research Laboratory Director Dallas Brooks.

GSDP President and CEO Scott Maynard adds, “one of the things I think they bring to the table is an opportunity for our community to be involved with a company that is on the forefront of the next generation of aviation research. With unmanned aerial vehicles, there are so many different applications that they can work with.”

Insitu also has offices in Hood River, Oregon, San Mateo, California, Costa Mesa, California, Oxford, England and Brisbane, Australia.