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

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CATEC and ATLAS, the best service for flights and tests with aircraft and unmanned systems


We offer technical consultancy and all the processing necessary for enterprises and individuals to develop flight operations at our facilities in Jaén


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CATEC and ATLAS, the best service for flights and tests with aircraft and unmanned systems
Our Centre offers to companies, organizations and individuals linked to the sector of unmanned aircraft and airborne systems (UAS/RPAS) a wide range of services so that they can develop flight operations and validation tests of these aircraft in the ATLAS Experimental Flight Center facilities located in Villacarrillo (Jaen).

Thus, from our Avionics and Systems Department and the ATLAS Center itself, we complete the preparation of documentation that contains the necessary information to fulfill the prerequisites for the operation in the UAS/RPAS required to comply with the guidelines of the airline regulations today. This documentation includes:

• Characterization of the aircraft
• The aeronautical study of safety of the operation or operations
• The technical management of the permits for the execution of the pre-flight test flights and a document certifying their completion
• The preparation of the operations manual and the maintenance program for any type of aircraft (fixed wing, rotary wing, multirotor)
• Technical assistance in the execution of the test flights required to demonstrate that the operations to be carried out can be done so safely
• Advice in obtaining insurance or in the preparation and management of any supplementary information

In addition, the ATLAS Center makes available its facilities of excellence to develop this type of flights and tests, between runways and take-off (main and auxiliary), a building that houses the control tower and radar to monitor air operations, and two hangars for parking and maintenance of aircraft. It also has a reserve of segregated airspace of more than 1,000 km2, and a climate with more than 300 days of sunshine per year, making it a unique space in Europe for UAS / RPAS operations.

If you want to know more in details about these services, you can contact us through the mail info@atlascenter.aero.


June 14th 2017
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