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

Editorial

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Almost ten years passed since the creation of the Andalusian Foundation for Aerospace Development (FADA) and the Center for Advanced Aerospace Technologies (CATEC), which in just a decade have become one of the main drivers of research and innovation in the aerospace sector in Andalusia and Spain. Without them it would not be possible to understand all innovative activity and technological development of excellence that our industry has been developing in recent years to improve its competitiveness and positioning in the global market.

Ten years in which we have achieved important milestones and recognitions, some of them published in this newsletter, too: the awards granted by the Andalusian Aerospace HELICE cluster and the Social Sciences and Environment Academy, or the successful participation in the MBZIRC competition, in which we have led the only Spanish team that has competed with the main universities and R&D centers in the world in terms of robotics. But nothing compares to the gratifying work we have done for our companies to be more innovative and technological, and have increasingly inculcated the R&D seal in their DNA, as a fundamental value to keep on growing and reaching new goals in the aerospace sector.

We are moving forward, therefore, walking the right path, and we are sure that we have achieved a lot, but at the same time we know we have achieved nothing if we are not able to put new challenges on the horizon, and fulfill them, in order to not lose business opportunities and technology growth that the aerospace future offers. What we achieved will encourage us to continue working with greater effort and commitment, to position the Andalusian and Spanish aeronautics industry in the leading positions of the aerospace sector.

Joaquin Rodríguez Grau
Manager of CATEC


April 18th 2017
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In good health - 07/10/2018

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