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


Real-time simulation of wind models for flight simulators

Thanks to this technology pilots and students will be able to experiment real wind situations including orography and obstacles at the time

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Real-time simulation of wind models for flight simulators
The CATEC’s area of Simulation and Software has developed a new research and simulation service which enables to generate real- time simulation of wind models for flight simulators. By using this technology, a simulation of wind is performanced thanks to mathematical models in real-time simulations. Actually they are very common in pilots training.

Thanks to these mathematical models, calculations can be parallelized and reduced their time of execution so they can be used in training activities, since time of calculation passes from hours to few minutes. Simulation even enables the instructor to modify wind conditions in the course of the exercise; the system can change and be adapted to the new condition in few minutes of calculation.

This technology’s prime advantage and innovation is the possibility of developing customized wind models to train pilots with flight simulators performing with different aircrafts. The student is taught to manage different real wind situations according to the orography and possible obstacles. This new technique can be applied to different flight simulators (aircrafts, helicopters, and UAVs).

For further information about it, please contact the responsible of the area of Simulation and Software, Alberto Prieto.

February 7th 2012
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