(Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies)


Address: C. Wilbur y Orville Wright, 19 | 41300 La Rinconada | Seville

Contact: Antidio Viguria( )

Who we are

The Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies (CATEC) is a technology center established and managed by the Andalusian Foundation for Aerospace Development (FADA). It was created in 2008 and since then it has been carrying out important research and development work in technologies related to the sector that gives it its name and currently has numerous R&D&I projects underway.

Its mission is to promote and develop the creation of technological knowledge and its transfer to the aerospace industrial productive fabric, through activities of: Applied Research, Technological Development and Knowledge Management.

CATEC’s main facilities consist of a 4,500 m2 building (3,000 m2 laboratories and workshops, and 1,500 m2 offices) and are located in the Parque Tecnológico y Aeronáutico de Andalucía, Seville. It also has offices in Santiago de Compostela and the experimental flight center (ATLAS) in Jaén.

Main lines of research

CATEC currently has a staff of more than 90 employees, mostly PhDs and researchers. CATEC is structured around two main R&D&I activities:

  • Avionics and Systems: where equipment and facilities are available for hardware and software development of on-board and ground systems for UAS. The main objective is innovation in functionalities such as: control and navigation systems, technologies applied to detect & avoid, multi-vehicle coordination (air traffic automation, distributed training control), and new applications and services with drones.
  • Materials and processes: it has numerous solutions and technologies applied to the digitalization of aeronautical and industrial manufacturing processes. Such as non-destructive characterization and in-service failure analysis, additive manufacturing of aerospace components, robotization and process automation, and digitization of operator interfaces.

Main R&D&I projects

CATEC has a wide experience in the development of UAS technologies, being the main national private technology center in these technologies with more than 45 people working in the development of UAS technologies. With more than 14 years of experience, CATEC has collaborated with more than 100 companies and has participated in more than 25 European projects, coordinating 5 of them, and more than 50 national projects. The projects carried out at CATEC in the area of avionics and systems are highly characterized by innovative and disruptive development. Thus, many of them are related to intelligent navigation systems, air traffic management (UTM, U-Space,… ), highly autonomous UAS, navigation in degraded GNSS environments, Inspection and Maintenance, and many other technologies; in general, developments with high technological level applicable to the industry.

Finally, CATEC leads the Cervera iMOV3D Network, being the only Cervera Network in UAS. CATEC also participates in the Cervera CEL.IA network focused on new AI technologies and applications.

Awards and recognitions

As one of the main national players in the R&D sector, the technology center and its members have been awarded several prizes for excellence in research and development:

  • Participant in the winning team of challenge 3 in the MBZIRC 2020 competition: among more than 125 teams at international level and awarded with 250K$.
  • Innovation Radar Prize 2017 of the European Commission: CATEC has achieved this recognition for the development of a new pioneering technology worldwide that allows the use of aerial robots and small unmanned aircraft for the development of industrial inspections by contact. This technology, called AEROX, won in the final phase of a competition in which 48 of the most outstanding innovations from all over Europe participated.
  • Special Innovation Award at the 1st EU Drones Award: Award for the best drone-based application.
  • Research, Innovation and Development and Enterprise (R+D+I+D+E) Award of the Academy of Social Sciences and Environment of Andalusia 2017: CATEC has been awarded in the VII Edition of the Award. It has been distinguished in the “Research Center” category, for its contribution to the development of R&D&I in the aerospace sector and the transfer of knowledge and technology to companies in this field.
  • Antonio Torres Award for research, development and innovation 2017: The award was granted in the framework of the National Congress of R&D&I in Defense and Security awarded by the company ISDEFE (Ingeniería de Sistemas para la Defensa de España) attached to the Ministry of Defense.
  • European Robotics Challenges – EUROC 2017: CATEC is selected as one of the 2 best teams in aerial robotics in Europe.
  • MBZIRC ROBOTIC CHALLENGE – “Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge” 2016: CATEC at the international forefront in the field of robotics. 5th place – Challenge 1 – out of 130 international teams

Services offered

Avionics and Systems’ main lines of collaboration are:

  • Participation in national and international R&D projects.
  • Direct collaboration with companies for the development of new applications and products.

Our extensive experience and know-how allows us to support you in:

  • Design and implementation of on-board systems.
  • The design and development of unique payloads.
  • The implementation of advanced Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) techniques.
  • Development of specific applications and design of advanced control stations.
  • Drone traffic management systems (U-space/UTM)
  • Manufacturing, assembly and modification of UAS/drone prototypes.

Advanced R&D and technical consulting services:

  • Development of customized solutions.
  • Application of artificial intelligence techniques (deep and machine learning), advanced perception, computer vision and real-time processing.
  • Prototypes and proofs of concept.
  • Flight tests (ATLAS center).
  • Specific training for UAS/drone operation.
  • Obtaining flight permits.
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