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


At the forefront of innovation

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In CATEC, we continue working to make the aerospace sector one of the leading industries for the future of the national and European economy, by placing us at the forefront of innovation and technological development in those areas that present a greater influence and business opportunities in the international aeronautical market for the coming years. This is the case of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and systems, one of our main areas of research. This is an area in which we intend to take a new leap with the development of a pioneer research project based on a sunlight UAV.

It is an innovative initiative, product of a collaboration agreement between CATEC and other three Andalusian technology centres (CITIC, CTAER and IAT) with which we intend to improve the experiences already existing with this type of aircraft, but by applying the latest technology in various fields and, what is more important, by combining the skills and knowledge that they possess in their respective areas.

Moreover, this project opens a joint cooperation framework that will allow the four technology centres to make good use of the synergies that may result from their different lines of research for the benefit of common projects and/or initiatives. Particularly in sectors of high impact at an international level (such as the aerospace or the energy ones) where Europe is facing hard technological and environmental challenges for the next decade. Spain and Andalusia have already shown to be located in top positions.

Therefore, we are in the face of an initiative that will strengthen not only the role of CATEC as a promoter of R&D in the areas of greatest future in the aerospace industry, but also that will encourage the collaboration with other agencies and research centres in order to contribute to the application of new technological developments and to the improvement of the competitiveness of our business. This is a task also fostered by CATEC in recent weeks through the participation in the Foro Transfiere (European Meeting on Science, Technology and Innovation) where we have strengthened partnership with leading institutions and companies of the national technology sector, and/or also the attendance and support to the UAVs and Flight Control Systems Symposium held in Seville. These initiatives are collected in this new bulletin and they serve to show that we are on the right track.

Juan Pedro Vela
Chief Executive Officer

March 12th 2013
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Good forecasts - 02/01/2019

In good health - 07/10/2018

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