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 package of applications and control technologies for UAVs, in order to make them available to manufacturers and operators in this sector

This product, called RPAS Suite, consists of various technologies and equipment such as an autopilot, software of ground control station, a manager of payload and gimbal

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CATEC develops a package of applications and control technologies for UAVs, in order to make them available to manufacturers and operators in this sector
The sector of unmanned aircraft and systems (RPAS/UAV) is one of the most anticipated aspects in the future of the aerospace industry, especially in regards to the civilian use of these aircrafts which has been on the rise in the past few years. This situation is generating a series of new demands and requirements on the part of manufacturers and operators of these aircrafts, which has lead CATEC to develop new services on track to satisfy this new booming demand.

Therefore, the division of Avionics and Unmanned Systems of CATEC has configured RPAS Suite, a packet of technologies related to the control systems and applications of UAVs, with the goal of transferring the sector and adapting the technologies to each company, offering specific solutions to each case. These technologies have been validated in R&D projects and have been used successfully for inspection purposes and precision farming using UAVs.

This package consists of various technologies such as an autopilot, the software control station on land (GCS), a transmission payload and a gimbal. All these elements have a high degree of flexibility allowing them to quickly adapt the system to multiple applications and systems.

These technologies are complemented by other services and infrastructures also provided by CATEC in the field of UAVs, like the installations by the Center of Experimental Flights in Jaen, a broad platform of unmanned aircraft (rotary wing and fixed wing) as well as other unique equipment. For additional information, you can contact the area of Avionics at

June 15th 2015
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