Technological milestones to keep on growing

A new year ends and it's time to take stock of the work done and technological milestones achieved by FADA-CATEC in 2017, which confirms one more year the good work we have carried out to foster innovation and technological development in the aerospace sector in general.
These results confirm we are one of the most advanced research and technology centers in the sector in Spain and Europe, especially in fields such as robotics, unmanned systems and new advanced manufacturing processes (Factory of the Future, Industry 4.0), in addition to additive manufacturing technology (3D printing). We do not say it, but Administrations and entities with their awards and recognitions have valued this year in a very special way the work and effort that our Center and its researchers, experts and technicians have developed looking for constant technological innovation. A great support to the role that FADA-CATEC plays in the sector, working for R&D to become an indispensable element in our aerospace companies.
We are especially proud of the Innovation Radar Prize 2017, granted by the European Commission, and the Jury Innovation Prize of the "EU Drone Awards", collected in the European Parliament, for our latest developments in the field of unmanned robotic systems, which are already a global milestone. Also of the awards of the Andalusian Aerospace Cluster, HELICE, the Academy of Social Sciences and the Environment of Andalusia, or the "Antonio Torres" Prize of the IV National Congress of R&D in Defence and Security , which serve as an incentive to keep on working for innovation and strengthening the competitiveness of our aerospace sector.
There are many other important initiatives and technological projects that we have carried out last year, among which I would like to highlight the participation in international robotics competition MBZIRC, in which the team formed by CATEC achieved important results among the best and most prestigious universities and research centers around the world; or the organization of UNVEX ECO-AGRO, the first congress in Spain devoted specifically to the drone sector and its applications in agriculture and the environment, and which is now a national reference. No less relevant was the collaboration on technological milestones as the first drone flight identified, geolocated and controlled through the mobile network, using Vodafone's 4G network and carried out in Seville.
In short, it has been a year to be satisfied with the successes achieved and to reaffirm our trajectory in these ten years of life of FADA-CATEC, but also to make us see that only with good work will we be able to achieve the challenges of the aerospace sector, helping our companies and the industry to reach them. For a 2018 full of new projects, Happy New Year!
Joaquín Rodríguez Grau
Director of CATEC


Structural Health Monitoring (SHM)

CATEC is a specialist in this technology and has developed some solutions and tools for its implementation in service in aerospace industry

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SHM is a set of techniques aimed to minoring the health of structures during their useful life. This monitoring detects some changes in the material or in the geometric conditions of the system that may negatively affect their qualities.

This process is organized in four levels:

1) Determination the presence of damages in the structure.
(2) Geometric location of the damage.
(3) Quantification of the intensity.
(4) Prediction of the remaining life of the analyzed element.

In order to perform all these actions it is required a network of sensors distributed on the structure under examination and connected to a central system that provides real-time information on the state of the component, such as fiber optic technology and FBG sensors.

The FBG (Fiber Bragg Grating) sensors basically consist of a "marking" that is included directly on the lines of optical fiber (marked of Bragg). The behavior of the Bragg sensors is analogous to that of a filter, that is, it reflects a certain wavelength of light that illuminates the optical fiber and lets the rest pass. By changing the wavelength reflected by the sensor it is possible to determine the deformation state to which the structure is subjected. In addition, the same fiber optic line can contain up to about 40-60 sensors, drastically reducing the number of lines to be used to monitor various points on the structure.

CATEC is a specialist in this technology and has developed some solutions and tools for its implementation in service. The technology is available for both the sensing and monitoring of various structures and for the monitoring of structural tests.

Sources: CATEC (FERNANDEZ R., GUTIERREZ N., JIMENEZ H., MARTIN F., RUBIO L., JIMENEZ-VICARIA J., PAULOTTO C., LASAGNI F.: On the Structural Testing Monitoring of CFRP cockpit and concrete/CFRP pillar by FBG sensors, Advanced Engineering Materials, Volume 18, Issue 7, 1289-1298, 2016.)

For more information about this technology, you can contact to Materials & Processes:

April 18th 2017
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