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 centre has GPS and Galileo emulators for onboard software solutions for vehicles

Within its main advantages, this technology enable the development, adaptation and onboard hardware and software solutions quickly, efficiently and flexible. Besides, CATEC has the necessary staff and equipment to develop and adapt customized solutions

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The centre has GPS and Galileo emulators for onboard software solutions for vehicles
The Centre for Advanced Technologies and precisely the Area of Avionics and Unmanned Systems is responsible for developing algorithms and methodologies that enable the intelligent treatment and fusion of data from GPS, magnetometer and radio altimeter to be applied for the aerospace sector.

CATEC has a GSS 800, which allows the emulation at RF level of the constellations GPS (L1 and L2), Galileo (E1, E5ab and Safety of Life) and Glonass (L1). It also includes simGen software that allows modeling many parameters (patterns of the antenna, multipath, etc.) and simINERTIAL that let us simulate barometric and inertial sensors of navigation synchronized with the GNSS. This equipment has the ability to be operated in real time and remotely making possible to be used in HWIL testing equipment for aerospace navigation systems.

The algorithms are mainly based on the extended Kalman filter and can be applied to a large range of sensors, which linearizes about the current mean and covariance and improve GPS precision.

FADA-CATEC offers customized solutions for customers, thanks to its highly skilled professionals and cutting edge equipment to develop, adapt and test onboard hardware and software.

For further information, you can contact with Antidio Viguria.

October 31st 2011
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