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 widest portfolio of services and equipments to make structural tests on a large scale

Thanks to the Structural Test Area, our Centre has outstanding facilities, like a universal machine with a capacity of 4,000 KN or devices for impact and compression after impact tests

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CATEC has the best facilities and equipments for companies interested in the development of tests with structural components, both in a static and in a dynamic regime. This service includes state-of-the-art technology such as a universal machine with a capacity of 4,000 KN, which constitutes one of the four dynamic machines of traction-com¬pression for structural tests with the largest capacity in Spain, or large hydraulic actuators.

Also, our centre has several accurate video correlation systems for the measurement of strain and displacement in two and three dimensions, system for the modal analysis of frequencies and vibration modes and devices for impact and compression after impact tests. The equipment of CATEC in this area also includes climate altitude chambers and highly accelerated life test, in this case, for the detection of operation limits and components failure.
All these equipments and facilities make up the widest range of technological services for professionals and researchers focusing their activity in the field of tests and mechanical tests with structures and large scale components.

If you want to know this service and visit our laboratories, you may contact the person in charge of the Structural Test Area, Fernando Lasagni, (
CATEC: the widest portfolio of services and equipments to make structural tests on a large scale

November 13th 2012
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