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 facilitates the structural and aerospace materials defects characterization by X-ray computed tomography

Through this service of the NDT area they can detect internal failures in the aircraft parts and get a high level of information of the components

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CATEC facilitates the structural and aerospace materials defects characterization by X-ray computed tomography
The X-ray computed tomography has become one of the most reliable and accurate techniques in the field of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), since it allows the detection of failures in the materials and components and / or the dimensional characterization of the elements analyzed, providing higher quality and resolution for the control in the manufacture of these pieces. Not only in the aviation field, but also in others such as the automotive, space, etc.

This technology allows to obtain a high level of information of the components, to characterize them at a microstructural level and to make a three-dimensional quantification, thus improving the traditional inspection techniques that today are inadequate for quality control in this type of parts and assemblies. Besides, it makes it possible to analyze large industrial parts, far away from those developed in the laboratory setting, with a great quality and an excellent resolution of the obtained graphic information.

This new technique is showing very positive results in the field of non-destructive testing, where CATEC has special equipment available to businesses and companies interested in doing their testing in the center facilities.

If you want more information on X-ray computed tomography, please contact Fernando Lasagni, director of the area Materials and Processes, or send an email at

September 30th 2013
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