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 international forefront

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That the Andalusian and Spanish aeronautical industry are a benchmark in the European and international aerospace sector is something that all those who have worked within this industry for years we already know, and which has been evident not only by the quantitative growth of our companies (sales, etc.) in the last decade, but also by the qualitative growth (R&D, etc.) and the increasingly important role in the major aeronautical programmes. From FADA-CATEC we have been focusing since our creation on this last parcel, in developing innovative technologies and processes that allow companies to improve their levels of productivity and performance in a global sector, and also doing in those strategic and major added value areas that will mark the future of aeronautics (and therefore the business).

One of these areas is drone systems, and the EU Drone Awards, presented last January 24th in the European Parliament, is the ratification that we are doing this work well. This recognition comes thanks to the project carried out by FADA-CATEC with Airbus and the University of Seville for the application of unmanned systems in various tasks in the manufacturing and assembly processes of aerostructures in factories, and has led him to receive the Prize To the Best Drones Based Application, and in addition, the Special Prize of Innovation.

It is an example that clearly shows that we can develop leading technologies or pioneers at a global level from Andalusia or Spain, but that needs close collaboration with industry -in addition to the support of administrations – to develop this technology and transfer it with success to the sector. Thus we can achieve differentiation and position ourselves in the elite of the world market. In the transformation towards a new Aeronautical Factory 4.0, in the implantation of new technologies, in the development of new aerospace applications or in the promotion of aviation activities little exploited in our industry.

I'm convinced that working together will be much easier, and will allow successes that consolidate the Andalusian and Spanish sector in the leading positions of the international aerospace industry.

Joaquín Rodríguez Grau
CATEC Director Manager

February 2nd 2017
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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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