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


On the right way

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At CATEC we have always been responsible for our work, as a technology centre; our objectives and our illusions had to lie in a fundamental premise: the economic feasibility. In other words, our project would only be sustainable if we were able to attract other different resources from public funds, which enabled the first big effort to start the Centre, resources coming from private markets and from EC and Spanish public grants for RDI projects which are no less competitive.

Our 2010 balance sheet points out clearly that we are on the right way, since private invoicing for RD works to third parties amounted to €2.2 millions, which represents 57% of the Centre’s total income. Furthermore, an important part of 43% of public invoicing corresponds to grants which have been reached after a competitive process where CATEC showed to have more experience and/or best projects. This income distribution is good news from the sustainable point of view. And it is mainly better news from the utility point of view which is our raison d’être.

Because CATEC was created for that reason, for aerospace companies to dispose of a technology and reliable allied for their R&D&I projects. Today CATEC is not only that referral technology allied for Andalusian firms, but also for national and international ones. Besides, it has been able to bring R&D&I aerospace projects to Andalusia which could have “escaped” elsewhere.

This new Infocatec issue is again a reliable showcase of our Centre’s activity and projects. From these lines, I thank all of you who have trusted and still do our capacities. We will keep on working to be worthy of your trust and of those new companies and institutional partners who want to count on us.

Juan Pedro Vela
General Director

October 31st 2011
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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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