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 shows its services and technologies at JEC Composites 2011

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Spain was the honor guest country at this show because its growing presence on this market. CATEC participated at the Spanish pavilion with its own stand, where its technological capacities and technical equipment in composites and the main researching lines and most highlighted projects were presented.

The participation in JEC Composites 2011 represented a great opportunity to know last advances and evolutions of the world composites sector. It served as well to let the CATEC’s researchers exchange knowledge with experts and establish possible agreements of collaboration to develop joint projects in this technological area.

CATEC’s performances and capacities

In the composite area, CATEC researches the mechanic and non-destructive characterization of composites and structures, and also to carry out environmental and reliability tests, service failures analysis and develop new methods of components manufacturing. These processes are focused through NDT systems like Computerized Tomography through X-rays, Infra-red Thermography, Laser Shearography and Ultrasound.

Through its structural tests area, the Center also carries out mechanic test through a variety of actuators (up to 630 KN), an universal machine for 4.000 KN static/dynamic tests and equipment for the dynamic characterization of structures. It also develops design and prototypes and components manufacturing tasks for Rapid Manufacturing both in polyamide and polyamide reinforced with metals, and manufacturing of testing panels in autoclave composites.
CATEC shows its services and technologies at JEC Composites 2011

April 6th 2011
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