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 extends its technological applications RPAS/UAS for the aerospace industry with a new system designed specifically for missions

The use of this Mission Master offers important advantages in applications of remote sensing, cartography and security, among others

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CATEC extends its technological applications RPAS/UAS for the aerospace industry with a new system designed specifically for missions
Within their new technologies in the field of aircraft and unmanned systems (RPAS/UAS), CATEC has developed a "Mission Master" that lets easily tailor the configuration of an UAV to the specific needs of each specific application. This device allows to integrate very fast a wide variety of board sensors (cameras, thermal imaging, multispectral, LIDAR, etc.) and decouple the aerial platform of the systems needed to perform a mission.

In addition, the use of the "Mission Master" allows the components of the mission can be reused easily in different aerial platforms (UAV) and there is also the possibility to update part of the mission system without affecting the critical components of the aircraft.

The main features of this technology are the following:

• Processing Capacity: x86 CPU Intel Atom with two cores.
• Reduced Size: 62x78x142mm.
• Light Weight: 420 g.
• Box and robust connectors (including extended temperature range).
• High-capacity connectivity: four RS232/422, four USB two GbE ports and a slot MPCI.
• Hardware compatible with Windows, Linux, VxWorks and QNX.
• Large storage capacity (standard version with solid state hard drive 120 GB).
• Easy register a large volume of data from one or several board sensors and synchronized with the telemetry of the aircraft.
• Communications Library that transmits to the ground control station a channel digital video with synchronized telemetry.

For more information on this technology, you can contact the department of Avionics and UInmanned Systems at

December 31st 2014
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