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


SIMSART Project or how to train future pilots and UAS operators through new simulation technologies

CATEC participates with the companies NADS, USOL and the Polytechnic University of Madrid in this project intented to respond the future training needs in the field of unmanned aircraft

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SIMSART Project or how to train future pilots and UAS operators through new simulation technologies
The SIMSART project, "Highly interoperable simulator for training of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems pilots" will develop a new generation of unmanned vehicles simulators responding to the future training needs of operators of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), in line with the integration of these aircraft in non-segregated airspace.

SIMSART will allow ab-initio training, type certification and recurrent training to RPAS pilots according to the future regulations currently in development by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). CATEC participates in this initiative in a consortium led by the company Nextel Aerospace Defence and Security (NADS), also integrated by the company Unmanned Solutions (USOL) and the Dynamics Systems Research Group of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM).

Specifically, CATEC is responsible for the generation of the simulation model for rotary wing aircraft, the full development of the post of instructor, and adaptation, integration and development of specific modules of both the ground control station and the autopilot currently developing in the center.

The SIMSART project is supported by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under the National Programme for Research Aimed at the Challenges of Society, within the National Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2013-2016.

June 15th 2015
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