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


We keep on advancing

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This report shows that CATEC is keeping on advancing, gaining territories, little by little, with work and humbly, but always with a lot of excitement. Excitement and dedication, firstly, in R&D&I, which has taken us in the past years to play a leading role in outstanding EC projects, specially in the area of unmanned flights. Good deeds in this field are going to allow us now to coordinate the EC-SAFEMOVIL Project, under the VII Framework Programme, which is a continuation of the AWARE Project, led also by our scientific director, Aníbal Ollero and his research team of the University of Seville. This is a very iconic project for our centre, due to the important topic of research –the cooperation of multiple systems and robots for the application of new technologies in the aeronautic and aerospace sphere- and because it allows also to strength our international visibility in the field of unmanned aircrafts research.

At CATEC we are also growing in equipments and services for the sector in parallel with this growth in projects. Precisely, for the area of unmanned flights we have just incorporated a new mobile unit which is going to facilitate steering and monitoring aircrafts when they are tested and which is going to improve technicians and engineers’ operating capacity. This new equipment has been added to the large technologies package and services that CATEC offers to partners and customers in this field where it has already a fleet of UAVs which are used to test and validate new systems and provide innovative services.

R&D&I Projects, services to companies and, finally, formation. CATEC wants to be –in fact it is already- a site for training and discussing, a meeting point to bring together advances, opportunities and challengers, an exchange of ideas site and connection between technology supply and demand. And from that condition, I am glad to point out a next event where CATEC is going to play an important role: the First Workshop on Research, Development and Education on Unmanned Aerial Systems (RED-UAS 2011) which is going to be hold from the 30th November to the 1st December, organized by our centre in collaboration with the University of Seville and which is going to have the participation of researchers and experts from different countries like Germany, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Turkey, Portugal and Norway.

It is our responsibility to persevere and insist on this three fields of actuation, vital to improve competitiveness of the Andalusian aeronautical industry and therefore to guarantee and expand its future horizons.

Juan Pedro Vela
Manager Director

September 23rd 2011
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The future of drones - 09/09/2019

Growing abroad - 04/25/2019

Good forecasts - 02/01/2019

In good health - 07/10/2018

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