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

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Our Centre collaborates on a workshop to define the new strategic plan and economic development of Seville for the next years


Our director, Joaquin Rodriguez, took part in a debate on the diagnostic reporting and opportunities of growth for aeronautical, industry and logistics sectors in the Andalusian capital


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Last April, the city council of Seville, through its Area of Economics, Trade and Institutional Relations, held a day in which different social and economic agents of the city analyzed the first diagnostic studies on the different productive sectors of the capital and its metropolitan area (logistics and transportation, industry and aeronautics) that they have made for the revision of its Strategic Plan 2020-30. This was the first meeting to advance a document containing the planning of labor and economic development of the city in the long run, defining sectors and market niches, as well as growth opportunities, through collective work with other entities and organizations.

This roundtable was attended by our director, Joaquin Rodriguez Grau, also president of the Helice Cluster, along with directors of the Airbus Group, the Port of Seville, the Confederation of Employers of Seville, Fedeme, the Chamber of Commerce of Seville, the companies Hispacold, Siderurgica Sevillana and Sevisur Logística, and the Business Parks Association of Seville, as well as representatives of the trade unions CCOO and UGT and the president of the Economic and Social Council of Seville, Milagro Martín. The event was chaired by Carmen Castreño, the delegate of Economy of the City of Seville, and was attended by the Deputy Minister of Finance and Public Administration of the City Council, Joaquin Castillo, and Gaspar Llanes, General Secretary of Economy of the Regional Government of Andalusia. About 200 people attended the conference.

Some of the contributions and conclusions of this first meeting of debate highlighted the need for a better interconnection between companies located in Seville; the bet on research, development and innovation; the business alliances to win size; the collaboration between industry and their own services companies; the transfer of technologies; the revitalization of the business parks; specific training of employees and of small and medium entrepreneurs in new market niches; the boost to sustainable mobility and electric vehicles; the cooperation in research.


June 14th 2017
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