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


FitALM Project: Industrialising additive manufacturing for aeronautic fittings

CATEC collaborates with Airbus in this new R&D project aimed to develop flight components manufactured using this technology, in which our Center is a reference

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FitALM Project: Industrialising additive manufacturing for aeronautic fittings
CATEC and Airbus (through Tablada factory in Seville and Centro Bahía de Cádiz factory in Puerto de Santa María) collaborates in the development of optimized flight parts fabricated by Additive Manufacturing: the project FitALM.

This project is an end-to-end project with the aim of industrialising different fitting configurations with the following framework:
• Manufacturing technology will be Selective Laser Melting (SLM)
• Titanium 6Al4V and Scalmalloy® (Al-base alloy) as manufacturing materials
• Parts will be Fittings, understood as those parts that transfer a punctual load and spread throughout the structure

Apart from the acquisition of know-how that every single development project provides, this project will contribute to SLM deployment by:
• Providing a quotation of fittings by type and loads and not based on the part model (a comparison with already industrialised fittings will add value to the project)
• Systematizing the parameters set-up procedure by a tested DoE
• Looking for a local optimal manufacturing parameter set

The FitALM Project is founded by Corporación Tecnológica de Andalucía (CTA).

FitALM Project: Industrialising additive manufacturing for aeronautic fittings

February 1st 2017
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