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


CATEC advance in the development of new Additive Manufacturing technology applications in the aerospace sector

This manufacturing technique gives big benefits in aspects such as reduction of structural pieces weight or the possibility of producing complex structures with a high level of geometrical freedom

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CATEC advance in the development of new Additive Manufacturing technology applications in the aerospace sector
The aerospace industry is a sector that requires lighter and higher functionality components. In this sense, CATEC has been working in the Additive Manufacturing Technology, or also known as rapid manufacturing, making a lot of application cases to implement technology in the sector.

This technology consists in the production of pieces directly form a CAD file in 3D, such as manufacturing technology by SLM (Selective Laser Melting)adding one layer after another powder material (metallic or polymeric base). This technique introduces different advantages in comparison with the traditional ones, such as the possibility of creating impossible designs, with a high level of geometrical liberty and a significant structural weight minimization through topological optimization, a service also available in CATEC.

Researching made by CATEC have made remarkable advances in the additive manufacturing field. In the same way, the material and processes area counts with additive manufacturing systems such as HiQ, 3DS and Ranishaw and AM250 for the design and manufacturing of components made of polyamide and metallic which are available for the enterprises of the sector.

If you desire to know more about this technology, you can get in touch with our department of materials and processes in

October 23rd 2014
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