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

News

CATEC collaborates with Vodafone in developing new mobility technologies by using drones


These applications are being presented through live demonstrations this week at the 2018 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, one of the biggest technology events in the world


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CATEC collaborates with Vodafone in developing new mobility technologies by using drones
Our Center has been collaborating for a long time with Vodafone Spain in the development of new technologies that are implicating in using unmanned aerial systems (drones/UVAs/RPAS), in their new applications in the area of mobility, like the localization and monitoring of operations through the installation of its new mobile telephone technology in these unmanned aircrafts.

These new technologies are being presented through a series of live demonstrations in the 2018 Mobile World Congress (MCW), that is celebrated in Barcelona from February 26 to March 1 and which gives the world's leading technology companies to get to know each other´s latest innovations and pioneering developments in the field of mobility and mobile phones.

CATEC and Vodafone have carried out a demonstration of the RPS (Radio Positioning System) technology through which it has been demonstrated that it is possible to calculate the position of a drone in flight beyond visual line of sight and in real time, solely using Vodafone´s 4G network infrastructure on a cell phone. This technology already has been demonstrated in another prior developed trial at the end of 2017, which was assumedly the first executed flight with these characteristics in Spain and a milestone in terms of using this technology at the international level.

A second exhibition was also carried out where it had shown the use of the mobile telephone network to transmit HD videos and telemetry in real time and to coordinate the flight of a drone from another location. Thus, the attendees at the Vodafone stand at the 2018 MWC were able to command the drone from Barcelona, hundreds of kilometers away from the flight of the drone in Seville.

CATEC’s work on these two applications has been centered on the modification and integration of the launch teams and the development of the software aboard the drone, which allows aerial system integration with the 4G network. This initiative will strengthen the collaboration that both companies came supporting for the development of mobility and air traffic management applications through drones, as well as to liberalize the use of these aircrafts for professional activities. This aspect is taking European institutions years to find the balance between the sector’s development and the necessary air traffic security and control.


April 1st 2018
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