The future of drones

The aviation and technology sectors have undergone a revolution with new applications and technologies related to unmanned aerial systems, commonly called drones (UAS / UAV / RPAS). Not only because of the new possibilities of business and commercial activity that have opened in the civil market, both for large companies and for, especially, SMEs traditionally linked to the aeronautical sector, but also for new uses and applications that are already developing for this type of aircraft.

Agriculture, security or industry are just examples of some of the productive sectors of our economy where drone use is already being experienced and applied, but they are not the only ones and there will be many more. In CATEC we have been working since the beginning in research and development to promote the transfer of this technology to companies, as well as with civil and regulatory authorities in a new framework that helps to define and regulate flights and uses with this type of aircraft.

In this issue we talk specifically about two new milestones related to drones in which we have participated successfully and that make us look optimistically at the future of this sector. On the one hand, we have welcomed into our ATLAS Center in Villacarrillo, Jaen the first U-Space demonstration with drones in Spain, held under the DOMUS project, which has been a preliminary test before DOMUS final demonstrations to be held in September to testing a complete integration of drones into the airspace, participating with other aircraft. On the other hand, in recent months we have hosted different tests of the EGNSS4RPAS project for the standardization of unmanned aircraft at European level, which has sought to demonstrate the usefulness of the European positioning systems Galileo and EGNOS for drone operations. These tests have included a recent one carried out in the urban environment of the same town of Villacarrillo, given the proximity to our ATLAS center, and which have been another important milestone as it was the first in all of Europe that has followed the methodology included in the new European regulations of drones, recently approved .

In conclusion, we are in a sector of continuous technological advances that make the future of drones very promising, and that it must be integrated into the new national and Andalusian strategies for the aerospace sector development, although linked also to other sectors-, and articulated as a key element to continue promoting the growth of the productive fabric and the increase of the competitiveness of the industry and the economy in Spain and Andalusia.

Joaquín Rodríguez Grau
Director of CATEC


A400M: an opportunity to keep growing

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The Andalusian and Spanish industry lived in Seville a historic day with the official delivery of the first aircraft A400M to the French Air Force. An aircraft that is manufactured and assembled in Andalusia and in which program most of the community aeronautical cluster companies are involved. This is a major milestone for the Andalusian aeronautical for all that it means and will mean, as it represents the acceleration of the mass production of new Airbus military aircrafts, and more importantly, the beginning of a strong industrial process that will move into a sales and employment growth for our businesses in the next years.

But the delivery of the most technologically advanced military aircraft in the world involves many things, including an increase in technological ability of the andalusian auxiliary industry, that in the last years prepared itself to lead its own business towards higher value-added activities and to increase its investment in R&D in the sector. Thus, by the wormth of Airbus and of the A400M program, the Andalusian sector has managed to grow in competitiveness, productivity, specialization, internationalization, diversification and technological development, that allows us to strengthen our position and regain prominence that Andalusia used to have in the European aerospace scenario.

We must, therefore, recognize the progress and the business and technological effort made by the Andalusian auxiliary industry, which we have supported and contributed from CATEC, but we must also demand more to ourselves, and we should take advantage of the favorable wind coming from the A400M to keep growing. This program, along with others like the A350 and the A380, are essential to set the basis of our future development. We must not be comformists, but the opposite. We must look forward with ambition and take advantage of this great opportunity to keep growing and to consolidate Andalusia as one of the most relevant aeronautical poles and with the greatest impact in Europe.

Juan Pedro Vela
General Director

September 30th 2013
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The future of drones - 09/09/2019

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