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


Virtual and augmented reality room to develop new simulation Technologies and applications in aerospace processes

CATEC has a 3D projection lab involving ultrasound position and orientation Tracker to develop the most innovative techniques of teleoperation immersive systems.

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Virtual and augmented reality room to develop new simulation Technologies and applications in aerospace processes
Within the Area of Simulation and Software, CATEC has one of the most outstanding technological equipment to experiment and apply new technologies in the field of pilot training: its virtual augmented reality room (VA/AR). This equipment is composed of a 5x3 meters 130º curved screen, which also includes a ultrasound locator and positioning system. This laboratory is also provided with VR glasses and gloves which are able to create interfaces of fully immersion in simulated situations

This lab enables the development of the most innovative techniques of teleoperation immersive systems. Precisely, CATEC is focusing the use of virtual reality on the training and the design of simulation environments. The centre is working as well on the development of applications of augmented reality for the process of teleoperation and assembly assistance, either for equipment or in environments such as a FAL (Final Assembly Line).

As a complement to this activity, CATEC has all kinds of user interfaces, such as a Microsoft Surface, haptic devices, multi-touch laptops, and so on. The applications are numerous, from shopfloor information access systems to ground control stations and instructor positions in simulators or support systems for assembly.

This technology is fully available to be used by the enterprises and entities interested in it. For further information you can contact the Area of Simulation and Software’s manager, [Alberto Prieto.]mail:

July 31st 2012
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