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


Andalusia, with the challenge of Space

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Andalusia and Spain have become in recent years a clear benchmark in the international aerospace industry, thanks to its great aeronautic tradition and, especially, to the development that our industry has experienced with its participation in large programs of commercial and military aircrafts of Airbus and EADS. This growth has not only been in production and expertise ability in areas such as aero-structures and composite materials, but also in innovation and technological development, enhancing its activity towards higher value-added areas.

We have made remarkable steps forward but we must take a leap and exploit the technological and business opportunities in other markets in which we have not deepened so far. One of them is the space, one of the strategic sectors of the European economy noteworthy for its high technological component and the significant economic return that the investments in this area generate, since it is estimated that for every euro invested in space there are direct technological activities multiplied sixfold.

Andalusia already has a tradition of research in this field, as evidenced by the activities undertaken by about 45 research groups, mainly government agencies and universities, and an emerging industry that already develops space technologies associated with earth observation and satellite navigation. The challenge is to continue investing and diversifying our business into this area. The strong foundation that the aeronautical industry represents can contribute greatly to the development of space activities and to the sector’s growth into new areas of high technological and innovative component.

The new Aerospace Action Plan for the sector in Andalusia in the period 2014-2017 for the first time includes specific actions that support the development of the space industry, something we are already doing in CATEC and that we want to continue enhancing from our Centre through new projects and initiatives that contribute to the promotion of this activity among the Andalusian aeronautical companies. We are convinced that this is the best way to position ourselves strategically in the sector and to make our industry to continue growing in the future.

Juan Pedro Vela
General manager

November 26th 2013
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The future of drones - 09/09/2019

Growing abroad - 04/25/2019

Good forecasts - 02/01/2019

In good health - 07/10/2018

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