The Centre for Advanced Aerospace Technologies (FADA-CATEC)
and Boeing Research & Technology-Europe (BR&T-Europe) have subscribed
an agreement of collaboration to allow Boeing use the new Air Traffic
Laboratory for Advanced Systems (ATLAS) Experimental Flight Centre for testing
activities with unmanned aerial aircraft and systems. This facility is being
fostered by FADA-CATEC in the locality of Villacarrillo (Jaén) and will be operational
in the first trimester of 2014.
The agreement between both entities enables Boeing’s
European tech centre to benefit from its position of preferential customer and
use the aerodrome and the ATLAS facilities, with the goal of performing its own
tests, probes and validation of new technologies and applications related to
unmanned aerial systems. The agreement has been signed by the general director
of FADA-CATEC, Juan Pedro Vela, and the general director of Boeing Research & Technology-Europe,
José Enrique Román.
With this agreement, both entities strengthen the
collaboration in the spheres of technology and aerospace they started in 2009
and which is focused on different R&D projects and initiatives related to
the aerospace industry. According to Juan Pedro Vela, “this agreement involves
also the confirmation of the ATLAS Centre as a international reference point
for companies and R&D entities in the aerospace industry, enabling them
carry out their own tests and probes with the latest technologies in the field
of light unmanned systems and vehicles”, he stated.
By his side, José Enrique Román, expressed his
satisfaction for the subscribed agreement, “since our European research centre
will be able to continue developing new applications and technologies in one of
the world’s most promising aerospace areas”.
ATLAS Flight Centre
The Air Traffic Laboratory for Advanced Systems (ATLAS)
Flight Centre, located in Villacarrillo (Jaén), is the first Spanish facility
exclusively devoted to testing technologies and light unmanned aerial systems
and the first European site expressly designed to research and develop this
kind of technologies. The project is in the final steps and is expected to be
operational in the first trimester of 2014.
Located in Herrera within the town of Villacarrillo (Jaén),
ATLAS provides a strategic site and airspace ideally suited to test unmanned
aerial aircraft. The centre has an
aerodrome equipped with premises of excellence involving a main runway of 800 meters length and an
auxiliary grass runway of 400
meters, a platform and a three-floor building to plan
and monitor the missions (air traffic control tower with approach radar,
communications room and associated premises)
and services (space for offices, etc.).
The centre also has independent hangars with room for
MRO shopfloors and other logistic-technical premises as well as segregated
airspace of over 1,000
ATLAS will be home to up to four light and tactical
unmanned aerial vehicles with a maximum wingspan of 15 meters. Main
activities will be focused on studying how to improve UAVs’ capability and
flight test efficiency. Thus, operations with light and tactical UAS (MTOW of
650Kg) and validation of navigation technologies will be performed, as well as
new techniques, tests, certifications of UAS and accreditations of pilots,
operators and mechanics in this field.