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


FADA-CATEC receives the Special Prize for Innovation of the “EU Drone Awards” for an application for the use of UAS in aeronautical plants

The award was delivered in the European Parliament to the team composed by our Center, Airbus and the University Seville, which also won the prize in the category for the Best Drones Based Application of the competition

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The team formed by FADA-CATEC, Airbus and the University of Seville has recently been awarded the “EU Drone Awards” for their proposal for the use of unmanned aerial systems in various tasks of manufacture and assembly inside aerospace plants. Specifically, it has been awarded in the category to the Best Drones-Based Application, one of the three categories of the competition, in addition to the Special Innovative Prize.

This international competition, unique in Europe, seeks to promote new developments and projects of entrepreneurship based on applications with autonomous systems and unmanned systems and is part of the 5th Edition of the European Young Innovators Forum (EYIF) held in Brussels.

The awards were presented last January 24 at a ceremony held in the European Parliament with the attendance of representatives of FADA-CATEC, Airbus and the University of Seville, who collected the award. The team formed by FADA-CATEC, Airbus and the University of Seville has been the only Spanish team to have chosen the awards, having been selected from more than 50 proposals and applications of teams and companies from more than 14 European countries.

The application presented has been developed under the European project EUROC (European Robotic Challenges) and selected as one of the 5 best in Europe. This application proposes to use drones for tool localization tasks (FOD) and small parts logistics with the aim of reducing the times of manufacturing processes, especially inside the assembly plants of aerostructures.

The award failure has been evaluated by a panel of experts and prestigious technology companies like PwC, Intel, Parrot or the EYIF organization. The achievement of this award places FADA-CATEC and the team members at the forefront of European and international drones and aerial robotics, with the use of UAS for the development of multiple applications in the industrial field.

February 2nd 2017
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