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

Technology

Modelling scenarios or how to check the application of new systems and products in safe virtual environments


CATEC’s Simulation and Software Area is working on the design of simulated scenarios for their application in R&D projects depending on the clients needs


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Modelling scenarios or how to check the application of new systems and products in safe virtual environments
CATEC’s Simulation and Software Area is working on the development of new technologies, such as the modelling of scenarios for their later application in R&D projects. This activity is linked to the development of some sort of software for products or systems that need to be tested in virtual environments. It involves the 3D design of the specific scenario or ground, where the testing will take place, that permits the interaction with real systems.

The aim of this technology is to verify that the software or application developed within an investigation that will be used afterwards in the industry is tested before in a safe virtual environment. Thus, it does not involve any risk for the participants of the project (e.g. an unmanned aircraft or any other device) and it permits to detect or correct its faults before its implementation, as well as to significantly lower the costs.

Different aspects, such as the modelling of the scenario, the simulated weather conditions involved in the process, the modelling of the participants’ functioning, and the software tested in the virtual environment, take part in this kind of investigations. CATEC models and builds, through this technology, simulated scenarios depending on the needs of the clients or projects.

For further information about this technology or the visits to CATEC’s Simulation and Software Area, please contact us at simulacion@catec.aero.


January 30th 2013
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