- The introduction of UAS advantages in the scientific community that studies atmospheric research and weather knowledge. Some of these advantages are: a lower cost, better range and no personal risks (especially in very adverse conditions such as high concentration of ashes, high altitude, ice formation, intense magnetic fields or high radioactivity, in comparison with the dangers of using crewed aircraft).
- Development of technological research. The airfield, its laboratories and the air platforms will make it possible to test new aeronautical equipment and prototipes, with a reduced cost, and allowing its introduction in the large aircraft market. In addition, the new laboratories will stimulate the development of new companies, specialized in giving services to the necessities of the research equipment, providing the test facilities for this goal.
- Development of the industrial infrastructure. The large aircraft producers do not use equipment that has not been tested or certified for its aeronautical use, and this prevents new companies from entering the market. This Center will be very useful for the companies developing new on-board equipment, offering them the infrastructure needed to perform flight tests or certifying these systems. This environment will lead to the incorporation of these companies to the aeronautical market. All of this will be carried out in a space with extreme safety, due to the fact that with unmanned aircraft, it is possible to make flight tests in the limit of the flight envelope with no personal risk.
- Development of innovation. Actually, they barely exist in Europe centers where technology related with unmanned aerial systems are developed. Up to now, this studies have always been done using crewed aircraft. The only Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) that have been used as Aerial Research Platforms were the Global Hawk from the US. (which performed some flights over Fukushima's nuclear power station) and some other little sized drones. These ones operated as remote model aircraft, hence its limitations regarding conventional aircraft.
- Stimulate international cooperation in scientific research, as this is the only center in Europe, so it can become a reference as European Research Infrastructure in accordance with the standard of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). There are other airfields operating with RPAS in Europe, but those are located in the Nordic countries, with temperatures below zero degrees most of the year, so the CIAR will have some competitive advantages in regard to them. This will place Spain as an European leader in this field. A Center with these specific characteristics would become a promotion instrument for scientific cooperation, and knowledge opening and diffusion.
- Diffusion of knowledge, either through the advice of private companies or public administrations from the specialized areas of the center, or through formation and capacitation activities for scientifics interested in this area, seminars and conferences.
- Support to the development for the applicable regulation, which will allow to carry out safe flights: Aircraft and air space operative procedures certification.
- Joint Defense and Safety needs with civil initiatives, both from the Center or generated in the cooperation framework with other national and international organizations (Inta Strategic Plan, 2011), typical of dual-use technologies.
Technical objectives of the project
- Qualify RPAS to flight, with a scientific research goal, developing new equipment and scientific and technological instrumentation, needed for performing such campaigns.
- Provide the users of this aircraft the needed infrastructure to carry out such flights, and integrate de systems on the payload
- Support the development of the applicable regulation which will allow to perform safety flights.
To reach this goals, the tasks to accomplish are:
- Acquisition, maintenance and improving level of technologies of application in the ambit of the unmanned aircraft, as the stimulation of new uses through scientific research and technological development
- Realization of tests, analysis and experimental tasks needed to check and certify RPAS, components, equipment, subsystems and systems.
- Provide technical support and services in the field of competence of the Center to public entities and other research centers, as well as enterprises, industries or technology companies.
- Elaboration of scientific proposals, and the technological research to contribute to the development of RPAS and its applications.
- Diffusion of scientific, technological and technical knowledge acquired in the Centre, that could help to the development of the national industry.
- Collaboration and cooperation through the exchange channels with other Organisms and national and international companies.
- Continuous training of the technical crew of the Centre.
The Spanish economy should advance to an economic model where innovation and technological development are incorporated to the strategy of the companies. Where collaboration, both in the private and public system, are stimulated. Innovation is necessary to improve our productive system. This project joins both technological development with scientific knowledge in a field where the INTA and the Spanish industry have a clear competitive advance in RPAS.
This project has as the main target the definition of an Research Center, with its legal framework, infrastructure and equipment needed, organization, operating procedures, management model and integration with the rest of the research infrastructure, both national and international.
In this Center it will be possible to integrate the aircraft payloads, and use them in scientific research and technological development campaigns.
Up to now, RPAS only were used in the military field, so this Centre could be the launch platform for this systems in the civil field, opening the path for new applications at the service of society. This Center will provide RPAS with the infrastructure needed to carry out its flights, preparing its capacitation to fly in a segregated airspace.