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


Our Center shows its latest developments and technologies on NDT in the European Conference on Non-Destructive Testing

Seven technology communications were presented by CATEC at the event, which brought together leading European researchers and technologists in Sweden

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CATEC is a reference center in the development of Non-Destructive Testing technologies, from the use of different methods, systems development, automation, and technology transfer. Our center recently presented its latest innovations in this field, specifically a total of seven communications, at the 12th European Conference on Non-Destructive Testing (ECNDT) held in Gothenburg (Sweden) from 11 to 15 June.

The head of the Materials and Processes Division of CATEC, Fernando Lasagni, was in charge of presenting some of them as the diAAMond system, developed under the Clean Sky call of the European Commission, in collaboration with the Spanish company Tecnatom. We also presented our leak detection technology using infrared thermography and CO2 tracer gas, a work carried out in collaboration with the Airbus Group for inspection of hydraulic and pneumatic lines, and leakage of airplane fuel tank.

Tecnatom presented its WiiPA inspection system, an example of partnership with our Center and what is been transferred to the company. The event brought together leading researchers and technologists in Europe in the field of NDT, and included a scientific program with nearly 130 sessions and nearly 500 presentations.

July 10th 2018
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