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 participated in one of the most important global meetings on unmanned aircraft systems held in EEUU

Researchers from the centre and the University of Seville, who with CATEC works closely, presented the results of the pioneering projects developed in Andalusia in this field at ICUAS’2011

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CATEC participated in one of the most important global meetings on unmanned aircraft systems held in EEUU
CATEC participated last 27th May at the most relevant aeronautical conference in the world on unmanned air vehicles (UAV’s), ICUA’S 2011 held in Denver (EEUU), and which brought together representatives from universities and the most advanced research centres from all over the world which work on researching lines at the cutting edge in unmanned air systems.
CATEC was the only European technological centre participating at this prestigious event, whose representation was charged to its scientific director, Aníbal Ollero, and its Avionic and Unmanned Systems director, Antidio Viguria, together with researchers from the University of Seville, who with the centre works closely.  The two institutions presented there their researching results developed in fields like automation of airports, environmental surveillance by intelligent aircrafts, an the jointed transportation of cargo by unmanned air vehicles. 
This leading role of the CATEC-University of Seville team in this area can be accredited in the last five years not only due to its participation in more than 20 R&D projects, but also due to the publication of more than 100 works in scientific reviews. “There are very few researching centres, universities and companies which can accredit these figures, specially in Europe”, said Aníbal Ollero, who pointed out that research and develop of unmanned air vehicles systems is more advanced in EEUU “that’s why the most relevant International Conference in this field is held in Denver”.


June 22nd 2011
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