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

Technology

CATEC develops a pioneering aerial contact technology to carry out industrial inspections by using drones


This new technological development has been nominated for the Innovation Radar Prize 2017, promoted by the European Commission


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Our center has developed a new pioneering technology worldwide that allows the use of airborne robots and small unmanned aircraft, popularly known as drones, for industrial contact inspections. Specifically, CATEC has designed a new drone that is able of performing inspections that require contact, for example, with ultrasonic sensors, which "represents a great step further for the use of this type of aerial robots in different tasks, as they not only could see from the air but also touch and feel", explains Antidio Viguria, Head of Avionics & Systems Division in CATEC.

CATEC has focused on developing a new technology that is able to maintain contact in a safe and reliable way. The drone designed performs very precise movements and includes a completely new contact device that allows decouple and dampen external perturbations that may suffer during the work done in the air. An aspect that is critical in order to keep stability while the drone is performing contact operations. The initiative is part of the AEROARMS project, led by the University of Seville and funded by the European Commission program Horizon 2020 for Research and Development.

This aerial contact technology developed by CATEC is a major step into this vision that already allows today performing industrial contact inspections using a drone not only minimizing time and resources, but also decreasing human risks working at height.

This new technology has been named for the 2017 Innovation Radar Prize promoted by the European Commision that will be known in ICT's Proposer Day in Budapest, Hungary on 9 November.

You can see a demonstration video of this new technology this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQdMlfK8VjY




October 9th 2017
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