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, the best laboratory for the development of new techniques for simulation and augmented virtual reality

The centre has virtual and augmented devices, like a laboratory or the latest 3D room, which can create interfaces where the user finds simulated situations

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CATEC, the best laboratory for the development of new techniques for simulation and augmented virtual reality
CATEC is also focusing on the development of other important researches and works like new technologies related to simulation and experimentation in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), very common on training and formation of pilots and implantation of on-board systems. For that reason, it is developing the most innovative techniques of teleoperation and immersive systems through AV/VR devices, like a laboratory or 3D room, with a 5x3 meters 130º curved screen, which also includes a ultrasound locator and positioning system. This laboratory is also provided with VR glasses and gloves which are able to create interfaces of fully immersion in simulated situations.  
CATEC uses virtual reality for training and design, while augmented reality is used for teleoperation and assembly processes of equipments and environments like a Final Assembly Line
The centre not only has VR/AR sites, but also all kind of users interfaces like Surface Microsoft, haptic displays (which allows simulate movements that are lately applied, for instance in unmanned systems), multi-tactile portable displays, etc. There are multiple applications of this kind of technology, from information access Systems in plant to ground control stations, passing by instructor sites in simulators or assembly instructions systems.


July 29th 2011
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