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


Topology optimization for weight reduction in aerospace components and structures

CATEC offers companies and organizations this new technological service, which has already achieved significant success with work aimed at its application in the aerospace sector

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Topology optimization for weight reduction in aerospace components and structures
Weight reduction in components and structures used in the aerospace industry is one of the key areas to achieve greater efficiency and sustainability in future aviation, because a lighter aircraft will mean fuel saving and environmental respect.

This is the reason why CATEC has launched in this field a new service for topology optimization that can achieve large reduction in weight but keeping their properties and mechanical requirements.

Thanks to new computational methods, optimization may be led to a more complex level of analysis in a static, dynamic, plastic, modal or impact level, among others, which can be considered during the optimization process.

The development of this methodology has a wide field for additive manufacturing technologies due to the great possibilities in terms of design (very complex geometries).

CATEC has done an important work in this field, such as the structural optimization of the connector of support for the payload adapter (ACU) and the space launcher VEGA, both developed with Airbus Defence & Space.

For further information about this service, please contact Materials and Processes area.

July 31st 2015
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