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 MOCHUELO project, the first system of night surveillance of agricultural farms through the use of UAV, presents its results

The initiative, developed thanks to a collaboration agreement between the Provincial Council of Jaen and FADA-CATEC, has included the development of flight campaigns with various UAVs equipped with cameras and other sensors at the ATLAS Center in Villacarrillo

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Last March 22, the provincial Council of Jaen hosted the presentation of the conclusions of the MOCHUELO project, an R&D initiative that has led to the successful development of a pioneering system through the use of unmanned aircraft (UAS / RPAS) to carry out safety tasks and nocturnal surveillance in olive and agricultural holdings in the province of Jaen.

The project, promoted thanks to a collaboration agreement between the Provincial Council of Jaen and FADA, was presented by the President of the provincial Council, Francisco Reyes; and the general director of FADA, Joaquin Rodriguez Grau, who emphasized the great utility that this project will have in the field of agriculture, and which has great possibilities of application in other important sectors.

The initiative has been developed by engineers and experts of CATEC in the ATLAS Centre of Villacarillo (Jaen) through various flight and test campaigns with different unmanned aircrafts equipped with visible spectrum cameras, infrared, thermographic, and other sensors that can determine the monitoring and detection of elements of interest and to take pictures in detail with a great quality.

The objective has been to demonstrate the viability and operation of this type of remotely controlled technologies to identify vehicles and people and the activities they carried out, and thus detect them at night to prevent the entry of potential intruders on farms and prevent thefts or intrusions not allowed in them.

In this way, the good results developed with this initiative can be transferred and applied to other economic sectors, such as the environment, safety and emergencies, topography, infrastructure inspection, architecture, archaeology or heritage, which can benefit from this new system and UAS-based technology in general.

April 18th 2017
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