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

Projects

The Fieldcopter project presents its results and applications in precision agriculture to entrepreneurs in agricultural and wine sector


Jerez de la Frontera hosted a conference to inform the benefits of using UAVs in the agricultural sector through this initiative, in which participates our Center


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The Fieldcopter project presents its results and applications in precision agriculture to entrepreneurs in agricultural and wine sector
The town of Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, hosted 25th October a technical conference to inform the agricultural and wine sector of Jerez about the results of the European FieldCopter project, which works on the development of new applications in the field of precision agriculture using UAVs that can produce great benefits for the care of crops and harvests.This project, which involved CATEC, allows the detection of different parameters in areas such as water stress, the localisation of pests and diseases, as well as nutritional deficiency in crops, such as vineyards - all through the use of UAV.

The conference was attended by over 50 businessmen and farmers, most of them linked to the wine sector, who learned about the benefits of using this type of technology applied to the monitoring of crops.The conference included presentations by experts of national and international prestige, including engineers and technicians of CATEC, Andalusia’s technology centre involved in the initiative. In addition, attendees visited a static display with various UAVs used in this area.

FieldCopter is a 7th Framework Programme collaborative project belonging GALILEO initiative, funded by the European Commission. Its aim is to develop a system that allows the collection of information in real time to facilitate the detection of environmental parameters and lead to new applications in precision agriculture, by combining communications technologies of the navigation system EGNOS with the latest UAV technologies.

The project relies on the participation of six partners from the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. CATEC participation focuses on the work of integration and development of navigation systems using the EGNOS system and a multispectral camera system integrated into unmanned vehicles (helicopters) for the monitoring and data collection. The project has completed this year validation testing, obtaining temperature maps of vineyards that are used to adjust the irrigation scheme to apply to crops.
The Fieldcopter project presents its results and applications in precision agriculture to entrepreneurs in agricultural and wine sector


November 19th 2013
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