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

Projects

MAPER: new porous materials and alternative manufacturing techniques for application in the space sector


CATEC is developing this project through the application of Additive Manufacturing technology to create new production routes of material production through alternative systems to the traditional manufacturing


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MAPER: new porous materials and alternative manufacturing techniques for application in the space sector
Our Center is working on an R&D project directed to develop new materials and manufacturing components for application in the space sector to reduce costs in the production of pieces for this area and the possibility of increasing the efficiency of the new manufacturing system by the production of highly complex geometrical structures that can not be made by conventional techniques.

The aim of the project called MAPER ("development of porous materials and grid pattern structures for aerospace applications"), is to develop new routes of structures and materials production to be applied in the space domain as an alternative technique to the traditional manufacturing. The initiative also aims to optimize other traditional production techniques to develop functional materials, which has never been created for this kind of use in the sector before.

To achieve these objectives, CATEC is using Additive Manufacturing technology (or additive manufacturing), which provides significant benefits regarding to conventional manufacturing techniques, including the ability to make complex structures and impossible geometries, as well as an important minimization of structural weight.

MAPER is funded by the program Incentive to the Andalusian Knowledge System Agents of the Regional Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Science and Job. It also has the collaboration of Engineering and Materials Science, and Transportation Department of the Engineers’ School (ETSI) from the University of Seville.


July 4th 2014
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