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 incorporates a new X-ray computed tomography for non-destructive testing in materials and components

This is about a state-of-the-art precision technology to detect internal defects and failures in aeronautical pieces as well as for characterizing structures. It’s one of most advanced methods in the world

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CATEC incorporates a new X-ray computed tomography for non-destructive testing in materials and components
CATEC has incorporated a new service at the aerospace companies and entities’ disposal which is one of the most innovative precision technologies in the area of non-destructive testing: X-ray computed tomography. This is one of the most accqurate and reliable methods to detect failures of aerospace components as well as for characterizing structures giving more quality and resolution in aerospace components or in other technological sectors like automation, naval or mining, etc.

Besides determining constructive aspects and locate defects in a wide range of materials, this technique also provides detailed knowledge about the materials and work pieces thus important three-dimensional structural information can be achieved to understand their correlation with processing. This method is being successfully used in the aerospace sphere so far as it happens with other techniques or procedures which are applied in NDT using tactile or optical sensors like ultrasound inspection or infrared thermography, for example.

This is an outstanding technique since it can carry out inspection of industrial specimens or aeronautical pieces of big size which is very far from those tested in minor laboratories providing accurate information and contrast resolution.

This new service of X-ray computed tomography will be available for all those companies interested in performing their tests at the CATEC’s premises.

For further information about X-ray computed tomogrphy you can contact Fernando Lasagni, Materials and Processes’ manager.

CATEC incorporates a new X-ray computed tomography for non-destructive testing in materials and components

April 3rd 2012
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