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

News

Our Center collaborates with Vodafone in the development of a system to control the flight of drones through the 4G mobile network


CATEC participated in the technological milestone of the first flight in the world with an unmanned aircraft monitored with this system, carried out in Seville


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Our Center collaborates with Vodafone in the development of a system to control the flight of drones through the 4G mobile network
The Center of Network Excellence of the Vodafone Group located in Spain, in collaboration with the Center for Advanced Aerospace Technologies (CATEC) and the Sevillian company Skylife Engineering, have made the first flight in the world of an identified drone, geolocated and controlled through a 4G mobile network beyond the line of sight, carried out in Seville between Isla Mayor and Utrera.
 
The drone, equipped with a SIM data, covered 32 km at low altitude in 25 minutes, controlled and monitored remotely with the Vodafone 4G network which also acted as a radar. The device incorporated a software based on the protocol for unmanned air traffic management. 

This new technological milestone has been possible thanks to the public-private collaboration between Vodafone, the regional Government of Andalusia and other Andalusian companies and entities. In fact, the preliminary flight tests have been carried out in our ATLAS Experimental Flight Center in Jaen. In the same way, CATEC has been in charge of adapting the equipment that takes part of the drone, as well as the software that allows integrating the air system with the Vodafone network; and the Andalusian company Skylife Engineering was in charge of the infrastructure and software for receiving telemetry data, signal levels and position.
 
Francisco Roman, president of Vodafone Spain, and Susana Díaz, president of the Junta de Andalucia, participated in the presentation of the flight.
 
This flight allows laying the foundations so that in the future drones equipped with SIM 4G can be located and controlled remotely using mobile telephone networks. Thus, it would be possible to supervise and land them in case of access to demarcated areas as restricted (airports and aerodromes, military facilities, chemical plants ...), and ultimately the control of the airspace of drones (U-Space). In addition, this solution will make it possible to boost the use of drones safely in different sectors of economic activity such as: logistics, fleet management and transport, agriculture, border surveillance, critical infrastructures, fields in which significant economic growth is expected in the next years. 

Our Center collaborates with Vodafone in the development of a system to control the flight of drones through the 4G mobile network


December 29th 2017
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