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


Moving forward

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The main value of a research centre lies in the role it plays as promoter of technological development on the environment, collaborating with other entities and institutions with the purpose of transferring knowledge and R&D results to enterprises and industrial productive network, in order to improve their competitiveness and dissemination from a national and international point of view. Research and development would be useless if that hard laboratory working did not result in innovative and state-of-the-art applications that enable a new improvement or provide for a new added value to the industrial activity of a sector, in this case, the aerospace industry, since the enterprises are those which, thanks to these innovations, on their turn generate employment and wealth around them, and in other words, they may help to the economical growth.

That is why, at CATEC, we are especially proud of the new landmark that has been reached: the inclusion in the Record of Research Results Transfer Offices (OTRI), of the Ministry for Economy. That is a homologation that certificates the condition of our Centre as organization that gathers together top level research and scientific projects from a national and international point of view and also dedicated to the development and transfer of new technologies for its implementation in companies of the aerospace industry.

Such distinction also consolidates the work developed by CATEC as one of the most dynamic research centers and, even more important, it increases its possibilities to collaborate with other members of the OTRI network to exchange information and knowledge that may result in the execution of projects and initiatives for common use. We believe that, as a result of this cooperation work, there will appear new advances and progresses that will have a positive consequence on the technological development of the industry.

Doubtlessly, the qualification as OTRI means a step forward in the route of CATEC, which is, step by step, moving forward to occupy a place in the top technological centers ranking regarding the European aerospace environment, thanks to the participation and development of pioneering projects like some of those explained on this issue. A task that also involves the promotion in the main events and forums of the aeronautic industry and other dissemination activities among institutions and entities that already value as positive our work and effort supporting R&D. This is an effort and a commitment that we will keep carrying on.

Juan Pedro Vela
Managing Director

November 13th 2012
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The future of drones - 09/09/2019

Growing abroad - 04/25/2019

Good forecasts - 02/01/2019

In good health - 07/10/2018

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