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


Fernando Lasagni is awarded with the prestigious Georg-Sachs-Preis international prize, by the German Society of Materials

Our Head of the Materials and Processes Division and its team have been recognized for their work in the application of additive manufacturing technology (3D printing) to new uses in the aerospace field

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Fernando Lasagni, Head of the Materials and Processes Division of CATEC, has been awarded the prestigious Georg-Sachs-Preis international prize, by the German Society of Material (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Materialkunde) in order to recognize the work and scientific projection of those researchers, ideas and technologies related to the science and engineering of the materials that have managed to be implemented in the industry and that constitute a reference for their novelty.

Dr. Fernando Lasagni and his team have been recognized for their work in the field of the application of additive manufacturing technology, popularly known as 3D printing, to new uses in the aeronautical and aerospace field, such as the manufacturing of parts for space launchers, and for different and civil and military aircraft and next-generation helicopters.

According to the German scientific society, "Lasagni’s team has participated in the development and manufacture of critical flight components, that is, structures of maximum responsibility with the highest quality requirements, which also reduce the launch and manufacturing costs, and delivery times". Another reason for the award has been the development of procedures and non-destructive tests for the qualification and quality analysis of aerospace components by computerized tomography, procedures that have been validated by the European Space Agency (ESA).

Likewise, the work carried out by Lasagni and his team have been highlighted as referents in the R&D of aerospace components by 3D printing, and qualified to fly. These activities have been possible thanks to the collaboration with companies such as Airbus Defence & Space, CITD, TRYO Aerospace, Iberespacio, Zero 2 Infinity, Renishaw, Airgrup, or Alestis Aerospace, among others.

The Georg-Sachs-Preis will be awarded during a ceremony to be held in the German city of Darmstadt next September, on the occasion of the "Materials Science and Engineering" (MSE) Conference, which will bring together more than 1,500 scientists and experts from around the world in the field of Engineering and Materials Science. The work and research carried out by Lasagni and his team will also be presented at this conference.

July 10th 2018
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