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 offers the best technological service for taking accelerated life testing and detecting failures in components

Our center has a HALT-HASS (Highly Accelerated Life Testing-Higly Accelerated Stress Screening) chamber for this kind of testing, which is widely used in companies of the aircraft industry and other sectors, such as the energy or the shipping ones

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The highly accelerated life testing consists of reproducing, in a controlled and fast way, the conditions that a particular product may tackle over its useful life. These tests may involve, separated or combined, thermal, mechanical (vibration) or humidity cycles. Besides, they can be used to find the operating and destructive limits of a product or component during its development, or to produce improvements in their features.

CATEC has a HALT-HASS chamber for this type of testing, which allows to detect faults in the design and manufacture of aerospace components in the aircraft industry. The system can also be applied to the conditioning of materials, especially composites, in order to subject them to mechanical testing campaigns, and to study their degradation.

CATEC offers this service to all those companies, institutions or researchers that need to test structural components. The main advantage of the HALT-HASS chamber to be highlighted is that its environments are designed for providing high levels of stress, making visible the design faults, in short times, with regard to conventional testing.

For further information on this service, please contact the Area of Structural Testing.
CATEC offers the best technological service for taking accelerated life testing and detecting failures in components

January 30th 2013
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