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 coordinates the initiative MUAC-IREN about multi-UAV for long endurance applications

The projects is backed by the EU 7th Framework Programme and is willing to be an international research exchange network from Europe and other countries in the world to develop multi-UAV for long endurance applications

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CATEC coordinates the initiative MUAC-IREN about multi-UAV for long endurance applications
CATEC is currently leading a new European project backed by the 7th Framework Programme under the initiative PEOPLE: the project MUAC-IREN. This is about a project which is intended to be an international research exchange network among European researchers and technologists and from other countries with which the European Commission has agreements of collaboration.

In the case of MUAC-IREN, this project will support the exchange of researchers from CATEC, the University of Seville, through the Association of Industrial Cooperation and Research of Andalusia (AICIA), and the Dutch Technological Institute DLR with the University of Sydney to set up a network of cooperation in multi-UAV for long endurance applications.

This project is coordinated by CATEC whose results Could be used to complement other initiatives and projects developed currently by the Centre within this kind of applications in unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

The project’s objectives are focused on the research and development of technologies to encourage multi-UAV for long endurance applications and boost the knowledge transfer through the establishment of stable relationships among the different participating research teams as well as disseminate the joint work carried out through seminars related to this area at international level.

This is a 48-month project and has a budget of €195,300. For further information about MUAC-IREN, you can visit the website

May 29th 2012
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