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 Mobile Unit with unmanned aircraft to be tested outdoors

This new device will facilitate work and testing with UAVs outdoors and will help technicians and engineers when monitoring these aircrafts

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New Mobile Unit with unmanned aircraft to be tested outdoors
The Centre for Advanced Aerospace Technologies (CATEC) has increased and improved its technology equipment and facilities with the incorporation of a new mobile unit for testing UAVs flights. This device will facilitate work with the aircrafts outdoors and tests with the models and which is going to help technicians and engineers in the guidance and monitoring of this kind of aircrafts. Likewise, it provides a safer and more comfortable working environment for professionals of CATEC, which allows them to enjoy a better place for their necessities without losing the notion of airspace and keeping a direct and nimble communications among them.

The Vehicle has two different parts: rear cab to monitor UAVs and driving cab. The rear cab has a monitoring area where aircrafts can be monitored by CATEC technicians and a watching area dedicated to telemetry and development engineers and customers or partner entities who want to watch theses tests with unmanned air vehicles outdoors. It is 17 cubic meters and has capacity for 5 operators. On the other hand, three persons can be placed at the driving cab

This new infrastructure can be added to the large CATEC’ service portfolio, that can be offered to partners and customers, especially in the unmanned aircraft area, where the centre has already a fleet of UAVs which is used as experimental platform and to validate new systems and provide innovative services.

For further information, you can contact with the responsible of this service, Antidio Viguria.

New Mobile Unit with unmanned aircraft to be tested outdoors

September 26th 2011
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