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


New “Mission Master” system developed by CATEC to carry out specific missions with UAV

This device can integrate a wide variety of board sensors and decouple the aerial platform of the systems needed to perform a concrete mission

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New “Mission Master” system developed by CATEC to carry out specific missions with UAV
CATEC continues to expand its technological applications in the area of Avionics and Systems and has improved the performance of its new "Mission Master", which makes it easy to adapt the configuration of a UAV to the specific needs of each particular application.

The use of this Mission Master offers significant advantages in applications of remote sensing, cartography and security, among others. Specifically, it can quickly integrate a wide variety of board sensors (cameras, thermal imaging, LIDAR, etc.) and decouple the aerial platform systems needed to perform the mission. In addition, the use of "Mission Master" allows components can be reused easily in different aerial platforms, and can be updated part of the system without affecting critical components of the aircraft.

Some of its features are its high processing power and storage, small size and light weight, the compatibility of hardware (Windows, Linux, VxWorks, QNX), high capacity connectivity, and easy data recording from on board sensors and synchronized with telemetry of the aircraft.

To learn more about this technology and its advantages, you can contact or visit the Avionics and Unmanned Systems area at

February 16th 2016
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