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

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CATEC shows its capabilities and expertise in additive manufacturing to the main entities and companies in the defence sector


Our team participated in the “Impact of the Additive Manufacturing in Defence” workshop, organized by the Spanish Ministry and in which statements were made by other organizations such as the INTA, Airbus, Navantia, ITP, Mizar, Atos and Renishaw


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CATEC has presented its technological capabilities and experience in additive manufacturing (3D printing) to the main companies and entities of the defence sector in Spain in order to show some of the advantages and applications that this technology can have for its use in this area. This presentation took place in the “Technology Day: Impact of the additive manufacturing in defence,” held at the Higher Technical School of Engineering and Industrial Design of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) and organized by the Ministry of Defence.

Our team participated with a presentation describing our experience in the aerospace sector and its direct application in structural solutions for defence. In this regard, some applications were analyzed from the point of view of their manufacturing and inspections, highlighting our long trajectory in the space industry in collaboration with companies such as Airbus in the development of components for space launchers (Ariane 5 and Vega), satellites (HIPPARCOS, SEOSAT and other telecommunications satellites), and of the aeronautical sector with components for the A400M aircraft, C295 and A320neo of Airbus.

The event was structured in several blocks on which representatives of various technological teams, universities, companies and the Ministry of Defence itself presented the latest developments in the field of additive manufacturing. Amongst them participated the National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA), the Higher Technical School of Engineering and Industrial Design of the UPM, and companies such as Airbus Defence & Space; Navantia, ITP, Mizar, Atos and Renishaw.


June 14th 2017
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