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


The Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Union, Pierre Moscovici, visited CATEC

The Commissioner was accompanied by the Andalusian President Susana Diaz, who met some of the initiatives financed by European funds in which our technology center is involved

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The Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Union, Pierre Moscovici, accompanied by the President of Andalusia, Susana Diaz, visit our facilities to learn some of the projects financed by European funds in which CATEC participates, specifically focused on the application of unmanned systems (drones) and the additive manufacturing new technology, also known as 3D printing.

The visit was introduced by the president of FADA-CATEC and director of the Agency of Innovation and Development of Andalusia IDEA, Antonio Gonzalez Marin, and included a tour through both Avionics and Systems, and Materials and Processes divisions, from where were explained some of the lines of research and attended practical demonstrations of these technologies.

In particular, the European Commissioner and the Andalusian president knew first-hand ARCOW project’s results, which is part of the EUROC robotics competition and has developed a system based on the use of drones to improve logistics processes and transport within aerospace facilities. This project was awarded this year with the Special Innovative Prize of the 1st EU Drones Prize organized by the European Commission, and delivered at the European Parliament headquarters.

Moscovici and Diaz also knew about the OUTCOME (the Clean Sky program) and ADDISPACE (Interreg Sudoe of the call) projects. Linked to the latter, the European Commissioner showed a particular interest in 3D printing technology, which CATEC works for the aerospace industry and has developed applications for space launchers, satellites, military and commercial aircraft.

The Regional Ministers of Knowledge and Economy, Antonio Ramirez de Arellano, and Finance and Public Administration, Maria Jesus Montero, also attended the visit.

November 20th 2017
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