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 develops a new project to implement highly accelerated life tests in aerospace components

The use of these techniques, which are being studied in the EVA2 project, may enable an important time and costs saving in the phase of structures design for the aeronautical sector

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CATEC develops a new project to implement highly accelerated life tests in aerospace components
Highly Accelerated Life Test (HALT) and Highly Accelerated Stress Screening (HASS) are innovative techniques that can detect and eliminate manufacture errors due to different reasons. This type of tests requires the development and validation of a technique that allows performing this kind of tests with structural components.

The EVA2 project, one of the initiatives that are being currently developed by CATEC, aims fulfilling this requirement, since the use of these techniques in the aeronautical sector may have, doubtlessly, a very positive impact in time and costs saving in the designing stage of aerostructures and aerospace components.

This project aims including, developing and implementing the methodology of HALT-HASS tests in validation processes of aerospace structural composite components, extrapolating such technology beyond the current application field. Specifically, the project aims three main goals:
- Developing HALT in structural components with independent requests.
- Implementing HALT in composite materials examples.
- Performing HALT in aerostructures.

The initiative is being developed by FADA-CATEC. It has a duration of two years (period 2011-2013), and it receives a financing of 250,000 euros through the Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment Regional Ministry of Andalusia as a Project of Knowledge Application of year 2010, with the support of ERDF funds.

November 13th 2012
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