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

Projects

DOMUS: the road to the integration of unmanned aerial systems operations in the U-space


CATEC participates along with 16 other companies and entities in this European project, which will hold a large demonstration with drones and manned aviation in our ATLAS Centre next summer


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CATEC is participating in the new European project called DOMUS, an initiative led by the Spanish air navigation company ENAIRE that intends to carry out in Spain and Andalusia one of the most advanced demonstrations of operation of the so-called U-space, the European drone traffic management system, which will be responsible for integrating them with the operations of manned aircraft and access to airspace.

The project, which will invest 4 million euros, two of them through European funds, has a consortium of 17 companies, which also include Alg, Isdefe, Ineco, Correos, CRIDA, Indra, GMV Aerospace & Defense , Everis Aerospace and Defense, Earth Networks, FuVeX, Pildo Labs, SOTICOL Robotics Systems, Vodafone Spain and the German Airmap. In addition, it counts on the support of the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) and the Spanish Aviation Safety Agency (AESA).

DOMUS is one of the six projects selected by the European public-private alliance SESAR Joint Undertaking to develop in-flight demonstrations of short-term services of the U-space system, according to the federated model of service provision under the coordination of a central administrator, ENAIRE. These demonstrations will provide an automated management of VLL-type (Very Low Level) flights in a large number of unmanned aircraft.

The work of DOMUS will finish with a demonstration next summer to be held in our ATLAS Experimental Flight Centre located in Villacarrillo, Jaen. During this demonstration some exercises with drones and manned aviation will be


April 25th 2019
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