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

Editorial

UNVEX ECO-AGRO: the future of drones



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Last October 9-11 UNVEX ECO-AGRO, the first national professional congress on unmanned aerial systems (UAS / RPAS), also called UAVs and drones, was held in Andalusia. This was the first event of Spain and Europe fully devoted to the applications of these technologies to two particularly important sectors in our country: environment and agriculture.

UNVEX ECO-AGRO brought together all actors in this field (companies, research organizations, agricultural organizations, governments, regulators, etc.) and focused on the role of prevention and protection of natural resources and precision agriculture represented in Spain, a country with almost 25 million hectares of arable land and 27% of its territory included in Natura 2000 Network. In addition, two sectors that need to get on the train of new technologies to be more efficient and competitive and strengthen their economy and productive fabric.

The objective was to connect users and companies with the central and regional administrations and agricultural organizations, taking into account the contribution of financial experts, consultants and academics to address the challenges and needs of the sector, to present the latest technologies and products in this field, and to hold business meetings among attendees. There is no meeting in Spain as UNVEX ECO AGRO that brings together all the network of actors involved in this sector, from platform manufacturers, software developers, RPAS operators, consulting and insurance companies, universities and research centers, to users end of UAVs and their technologies: farmers associations, public entities managers of protected natural areas and public officials related to agriculture and the environment.

From CATEC we have always bet on unmanned systems and aircraft sector, and it has been one of our main lines of work and research, aware of the future projection of these technologies for its application in multiple sectors. Now more than ever we see this commitment, specially in UNVEX ECO-AGRO, as a bet of the future that is already here, and which constitutes a business and growth opportunity for our industry, our companies and our R&D in sectors that contribute to generate wealth and employment for our society. An opportunity that, without a doubt, we should not let go and that will place Andalusia at the international epicenter of new technologies in the aviation sector and at the forefront of aeronautical innovation in the 21st century. Take advantage of it.

Joaquín Rodríguez Grau
Director of CATEC


November 20th 2017
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