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 Ministry of Science and Innovation grants CATEC with the homologation as National Technological Centre

This qualification recognises the important R&D&I activity developed by the centre and which will allow increase the opportunities of access to incentives and national and regional grants

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CATEC has been granted by the Ministry of Science and Innovation with the homologation as National Technological Centre, this qualification recognises the intense R&D&I activity developed to increase competitiveness among the aeronautical and aerospace national and regional sector and which provides backing to the centre, started hardly two years ego though an agreement between the Regional and the Central Government. 
This recognition will allow CATEC to increase the opportunities of access to R&D&I grants and helps offered by the Ministry of Science and Innovation at national level, and what will let it be considered as a researching organism to all intents and purposes in R&D&I projects led by companies and co-financed by other public organisms close to this Ministry, like the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) or as well to participate in other R&D grants at regional level, with entities like Technological Corporation of Andalusia (CTA) and the Agency IDEA.
To be able to opt to the qualification as National Technological Centre, CATEC has accomplished some general and specific requirements related to the nature and activity of the entity, its staff qualification or the income percent and the number of customers who have already been invoiced for R&D works and projects.    
Currently, the projects portfolio managed by CATEC amounts to 4,6 millions of Euro and its research and services cover the areas of materials and processes, structural testing, automation and robotics, simulation and software, knowledge management and avionics and unmanned Systems, in this last field it is leading European research and becoming worldwide relevant.
The Ministry of Science and Innovation grants CATEC with the homologation as National Technological Centre

June 22nd 2011
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