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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Encouraging entrepreneurship and the development of new initiatives in the aerospace industry


CATEC participated last May 18th in a conference in the Andalusian Center for entrepreneurship, where they unveiled the new European project STEPHANIE, in the framework of the official announcement of Interreg Europe


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CATEC continues forward with its commitment to promoting entrepreneurship and activities aimed at entrepreneurs interested in the aerospace industry. On May 18, CATEC participated in an entrepreneurs' day at the Andalusian Center for entrepreneurship (Seville), where the European project STEPHANIE (Space TEchnology with PHotonics for market and societal challenges) was presented, an initiative that is framed in the Interreg Europe notice and involving our team.

This official European announcement promotes the exchange of experiences and knowledge of regional governments and stakeholders with the aim of improving regional development policies in strategic sectors such as the aerospace industry.

In the case of the STEPHANIE project, it brings together 8 members from 7 countries to share knowledge in order to ensure that European aerospace policy promotes R&D in the field of earth and space observation, and to develop products that have strong market potential and are able of addressing socio-environmental problems in Europe.

The project has five years of implementation (2017-2019), in which it aims to foster collaboration between different regions located in Italy, France, Czech Republic, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain, in order to address the lack of cooperation between government agencies, companies, research teams and citizens, and the lack of accessible funding for innovation actors.


June 14th 2017
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