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

Services

CATEC increments its Rapid Manufacturing activity to serve aerospace enterprises


The centre has several rapid manufacturing systems to design and manufacture polyamide and metallic components and pieces, giving great advantages to reduce costs when producing small lots


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CATEC increments its Rapid Manufacturing activity to serve aerospace enterprises
The so called technique Rapid Manufacturing is a new technology consisting of functional or direct end parts obtained directly from a 3D CAD which are manufactured through Selective Laser Sintering. More and more, different industrial sector, notably Aeronautics, are applying the technology at the development or end-use stages, for the production of small lots at fixed production costs.

The Laboratories of the Materials and Processes Department are equipped with two HiQ 3DSystem and SLM250 MTT rapid manufacturing systems for the design and manufacture of polyamide and metal base components, respectively. CATEC provides these external services to aerospace and technology enterprises, in fact, the centre is developing a variety of works for aerospace enterprises aimed at covering the demand arising from this field in the last few years, mainly from the development of on-board components for aircrafts.

Researches and works carried out by CATEC have reached significant progress in this kind of new technologies of manufacturing and rapid manufacturing. Precisely, these projects have reached a lower weight in secondary structural components, as well as the optimization and redesign of geometric components and structures. Within the aeronautical industry and notably within the aerospace industry the on-board load represents a very important cost for the whole aircraft, that’s why, it is especially important to reduce components and parts’ weight.

If you want to know our Rapid Manufacturing equipment and visit our laboratorios, you can contact Fernando Lasagni, Area of Materials and Processes’ manager.


July 31st 2012
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