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


ATLAS hosts the first aerial demonstration in Spain of an anti-drone security system to detect and neutralize danger threats

The initiative was framed within the European project ALADDIN, in which CATEC participates along with 17 other partners from nine countries

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Our Experimental Flight Centre ATLAS Villacarrillo in Jaen hosted in early February a day on unmanned aerial systems testing, which included the first demonstration in Spain of an innovative system of detection and neutralization to face possible threats of this type of aerial vehicles. The initiative was framed within the ALADDIN European project, funded by the Horizon 2020 program, and involving 18 partners from nine European countries, including Spain.

The objective of this project is to study, design, develop and evaluate a set of innovative technologies to create a detection, location and neutralization system for drones that allows their application in the security field, specifically for its use in facilities such as airports, transport stations, ports, or other critical infrastructure, as well as for use by the Police, emergency professionals, coastguards, or operators of government facilities (ministries, parliaments, etc.). The ultimate goal is to develop a system based on anti-UAV technologies, through the application of different functionalities, thus improving security and the use of tools for the operational support of State security bodies and other critical infrastructure operators.

CATEC participates in this project, in which ALADDIN partners carried out integration and flight tests in the ATLAS centre that were completed with the final demonstration, attended by more than 80 entities and users interested in the application of these new technologies.

In addition to these tests, the first drone experiments were carried out in our country under an exception authorized by the Spanish Aviation Safety Agency (AESA), which involved developing test flights at night and without lights, in order to provide a greater reality to threat scenarios with malicious drones.

April 25th 2019
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