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

Projects

CATEC collaborates in the European project STEPHANIE for the promotion of the use of space applications and their implementation in the market


The initiative is part of the Interreg Europe call in which 8 partners from 7 countries participate: Italy, France, Czech Republic, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain


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Promote R&D in the field of observation of land and space, in order to promote the development of products that have a strong market potential and with capacity to address socio-environmental problems in Europe. This is the goal of the new STEPHANIE project (Space TEchnology with Photonics for market and societal challenges), a new initiative in which the Center for Advanced Aerospace Technologies (FADA-CATEC) participates and which is part of the Interreg Europe call.

STEPHANIE brings together 8 partners from 7 areas to exchange knowledge on how to ensure that policy is designed to guarantee real benefits from space technology based on photonics, particularly in space and earth observation.

Space technologies based on photonics are considered as one of Europe’s areas of key industrial competence. They have huge potential to address a number of today’s grand societal challenges, in particular health and wellbeing, climate action and secure societies.

STEPHANIE has an execution period of five years (2017-2021), in which it aims to encourage collaboration between different regions located in Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain. The ultimate goal is to address the lack of cooperation between government agencies, companies, research centers and society, and the lack of accessible funding for actors linked to the field of innovation in the space sector. It also aims to raise awareness about the opportunities for entrepreneurship and professional specialization offered by the space sector in the labour market.


October 9th 2017
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