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


Workshop of the STEPHANIE project to bring conclusions about good practices that improve the funding of R&D in Andalusia

Different experts, companies, research centers and representatives of the Administration attended this new seminar held in our facilities

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CATEC’s facilities have hosted a new workshop to discuss good European practices to promote R&D in the aerospace sector, in the context of the European project STEPHANIE, belonging to the Interreg Europe call. Different experts, companies, research centers and representatives of the Andalusian Administration attended it in order to present conclusions about the need to establish a set of good practices to improve the funding of R&D projects in Andalusia.

To this end, good practices from other European countries were analyzed, such as Germany, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Belgium and United Kingdom, in order to know if these measures can be implemented in Andalusia to optimize financial instruments for industry, universities and research technology centers.

Among the main conclusions were the need to improve communication between universities and technology centers, with companies and end users, and involve stakeholders and end users in the commitment to innovation, not only to research organizations. Likewise, the importance of aligning research projects and developments led by research centers and companies with the real needs of the market and end users was highlighted, and providing SMEs and entrepreneurs with mechanisms that facilitate their participation in R&D programs financed by third parties. Finally, during the seminar the latest advances of the STEPHANIE project were also presented.

On the other hand, within the framework of this same project, representatives of FADA-CATEC recently visited the Space Center of Liège (Belgium), where they met their facilities and held a meeting in order to encourage collaboration on possible European projects.

February 1st 2019
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