CTC and ATLAS of Spain – Newest Members of International Consortium of Aeronautical Test Sites (ICATS)

Enlargement of first international collaboration between nations to share data on unmanned aerial systems.

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UAV testing facility in Oklahoma

Farnborough, UK (PRWEB) July 15, 2014

The International Consortium of Aeronautical Test Sites (ICATS) is quickly growing. At the Farnborough International Airshow today, the four executive countries that include Canada, USA, UK and France, officially welcome a fifth and sixth member, CATUAV Tech Center (CTC) and ATLAS (Air Traffic Laboratory for Advanced Systems), which will add Spain to the list of countries involved in the partnership.

“Joining ICATS will open possibilities of collaboration between ATLAS and the rest of members, such us R&D on experimental UAV projects in different countries,” said Silvia de los Santos, head of R&TD and Innovation Management, Head of R&TD and Innovation Management Area, Fundación Andaluza para el Desarrollo Aeroespacial (FADA-CATEC). “Technical and operational joint works are expected. Our membership will allow us to become part of the cutting edge in UAV research activities all over the world.”

In May of 2014, the representatives of the UAV test & service centre (CESA) (Bordeaux, France), the Oklahoma State University – University Multispectral Laboratories (Oklahoma, United States), the National Aeronautical Centre (Wales, United Kingdom) and the Unmanned Aerial Systems Centre of Excellence (Quebec, Canada) formally signed and celebrated the MOU. This agreement consolidates the various MOUs signed between the Centers in the past two (2) years.

“ICATS represents the first such collaboration between nations to share data on unmanned aerial systems,” said Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Technology, Dr. Stephen McKeever. “We think this is a great step forward for the UAS community, and we hope it is a vehicle by which we will be able to unify regulations across international boundaries.”

The mission of the individual test sites is to develop international centres of expertise focused on the development, applications and operations of UAS/RPAS. By joining forces the consortium the test centres aim at supporting and guiding the industry in the development, operations and certification of UAS/RPAS as established by their respective regulating bodies. ICATS will also focus on cross-borders normalisation of training and licensing, as well as airspace management and regulations. The test sites aim to engage with private, academic and public sector partners, as well as experts from around the world, to develop new business opportunities in the field of UAS/RPAS operations. In addition, they will support research and development activities; create jobs; promote investment; develop and commercialize advanced technologies and expand existing services, both in their own countries and cross-borders

The consortium will support the industry by enabling the development, testing and ultimate certification of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)/Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) to allow for their use in non-segregated airspace. This will be achieved by sharing of information on operational safety, flight regulations and, when allowed to do so, actual operational experiences. The test centres will help continue to bridge the gap between the establishment of regulations and actual operations.

Since the formal announcement, ICATS has received expressions of interest from several UAS/RPAS test sites in multiple countries. The consortium welcomes interest from all UAS test sites and encourages contact with the ICATS Director of International Relations, Dr. Stephen McKeever, Secretary of Science and Technology, State of Oklahoma.

Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence
The Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to develop an international centre of expertise and innovative services in the design, operations and applications of UAS. The UAS CE counts sixteen members in its ranks plus an important network of international partners.

Oklahoma State University - University Multispectral Laboratories (UML)
Government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO), the University Multispectral Laboratories (UML) is a not-for-profit trusted-agent institution owned by Oklahoma State University and operated by Cherokee Nations Research Laboratories. UML provides research, development, test, evaluation and training (RDT&E) laboratory and field facilities in support of C5ISR, cyber, UAS, energy and related missions across all federal, state, local and commercial requirements.

UAV test and service center (CESA)
Le Centre d'Essais et de Services sur les systèmes Autonomes (CESA), the first French civilian UAS testing zone, is a result of collaboration between the Regional Council of Aquitaine, the State, the French civil aviation authority (DGAC) and the Ministry of Defense. Managed and operated by the Bordeaux Technowest Technopole, CESA will soon allow certification and qualification of autonomous systems of less than 150 kg.

National Aeronautical Centre (NAC)
The National Aeronautical Centre (NAC) is a unique location in the UK that enables the development, testing and demonstration of systems and technologies associated to the aeronautical industry. Its key feature is the world's first area of restricted airspace designed specifically for military and civilian unmanned systems operations. This is enhanced by the facilities and organisations at the NAC, all of which deliver support to the sector’s most specialised working environment.

CATUAV Tech Center (CTC)
Located 45 km north of Barcelona, CTC provides excellent conditions for UAV development and testing for all companies, universities and interested individuals. The test site is located in an area of diverse terrains and remote sensing targets, including various crops and livestock for precision agriculture projects, forest and filed extensions for forestry and environmental projects and nearby towns for urban projects. The location also boasts some of the best climates of southern Europe, with meteorological conditions permitting UAV flight testing more than 300 days per year. Furthermore, with its low population, the area is perfect for carrying out UAV flight tests in total privacy and with the necessary safety conditions.

Air Traffic Laboratory for Advanced Systems (ATLAS)
ATLAS is a Flight Test Center which offers the international aerospace community an aerodrome equipped with excellent technological and scientific facilities and airspace ideally suited for the development of experimental flights with light and tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). ATLAS Center holds the first complex of buildings exclusively dedicated to safely perform tests, simulations and validation of technologies to be applied to UAS/RPAS, involving Air Traffic Management (ATM). Unique in Europe, these are the first facilities exclusively designed for testing these aircrafts, a field considered worldwide as one of the most promising in international aerospace industry.

For more information:

UAS CE, Quebec, Canada: Mr. Marc Moffatt , +1 (418) 487-3583, marc.moffatt(at)ville.alma.qc(dot)ca

OSU-UML, Oklahoma, U.S.: Mr. Paul Gaasbeck, +1 (580) 492 5835, pgaasbeck(at)okstate-uml(dot)org

CESA, Bordeaux, France: Mrs. Gosia Petaux, +33 6 16 57 27 94, m.petaux(at)technowest(dot)com

NAC, Wales, U.K.: Mr. Ray Mann, +44 (0)1989 564880, raymann(at)mann-org(dot)com

CTC, Barcelona, Spain: Marc Beltran, (+34) 93 830 05 30, info(at)catuav(dot)com

ATLAS, Villacarrillo, Spain: Silvia de los Santos, (+34) 954 115 193, ssantos(at)catec(dot)aero


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