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


Test bench for functional tests with new electromechanical actuators for aerospace applications

CATEC is working on the development of this new technology for the ACE project, coordinated by CESA and in which participate the Andalusian firms Skylife Enginnering and Aerotecnic

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Test bench for functional tests with new electromechanical actuators for aerospace applications
CATEC is working on the development of a new technology to its application in the aerospace sector: the ACE program (Development of an Electromechanical Micro-Actuator with Incorporation of New Technologies for Aerospace Applications), a project of the call RETOS-Collaboration 2016 of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

The objective of this initiative is to design, develop and validate an electro-mechanical micro-actuator that can be part of the blocking system of the landing gear and doors of a civil aircraft, replacing conventional hydraulic systems. CATEC's mission in this project is to design the actuator and develop a test bench to perform functional tests on the actuator.

ACE is a collaborative R&D project, coordinated by CESA, in which also participe the Andalusian companies Skylife Engineering and Aerotecnic.

The initiative is aimed to extend the use of electromechanical actuators to more aircraft systems, contributing to the concept of fly by wire and, as a consequence, the reduction of weight in the aircraft and its environmental impact. In addition, it aims to position the Spanish industry in the world market for electromechanical micro-actuators of the latest generation and reduce dependence on foreign suppliers.

February 2nd 2017
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