Drones: Applications and New Business Models

Postgraduate course. Face-to-face.


UPC School


The Aircraft
3 ECTS. 27 teaching hours.

The central item in the drone-based system is the aircraft itself. This subject will study the different types of aircraft, their features, power systems, propulsion, actuators, automatic pilots, etc.

The subject provides the basic criteria for selecting the appropriate aircraft depending on the mission.

a. Aerodynamics and mechanics of flight.
b. Unmanned aircraft: fixed wing, helicopter, quadrirotor. Performances. Applications and limitations.
c. Energy and energy management systems in RPAS.
d. Autopilot. Stabilisation, control and guidance systems.
e. Remote control and telemetry systems for aircraft.

The Payload
3 ECTS. 27 teaching hours.

In a drone system, the purpose of the aircraft is to transport the payload, which consists of the equipment necessary to carry out the mission, such as cameras for imaging or equipment for geo-referencing objects.

This subject will look at the different types of sensors required for the most common tasks, and consider the necessary criteria to select and correctly integrate sensors that make up the payload into the aircraft.

Mission Planning and Control
3 ECTS. 27 teaching hours.

In addition to the aircraft and payload, there are other essential elements in a drone system. In specific terms, the workstation is the subsystem which the pilot uses to steer the aircraft, and which transmits information and receives data from the mission. This course shows how the mission is planned from the ground station.

Moreover, all the subsystems in the drone system must operate in a coordinated manner, which requires middleware or another type of subsystem to facilitate the mission's automation and efficiency.

This subjects will also look at various architectures for performing mission management tasks.

Airspace: Structure, Applicable Regulations
3 ECTS. 27 teaching hours.

Today, the use of drones in Spain is governed by
regulations which we need to be aware of despite expected changes in the near
future. Moreover, it is also advisable to know the rules that are being applied in other countries inside and outside the EU, as well as the implementation of regulations by the EU to standardise the laws of the different countries, making it easier to develop transnational applications and facilitating the orderly and rapid development of the sector.

a. Regulatory institution and agencies for air traffic.
b. International, European and Spanish law on drones.
c. Aviation safety: security and safety.
d. Organisation, structure and management of airspace.
e. Airport infrastructure: classification and characteristics. Aeronautical constraints.

Applications and New Business Models
3 ECTS. 27 teaching hours.

The purpose of a drone system is obviously to carry out a mission. This is precisely the area in which an explosion in activity is anticipated, because opportunities for the application of drones (many of which are surprising, ingenious and creative) are today extremely numerous. In all likelihood, the coming years will see many more that are difficult to imagine today.

This subject will review various existing applications. It will be organised based on talks given by experts on each of the applications (environmental protection, fire prevention, forest management, monitoring of infrastructure supervision, audiovisual reports, etc.).

a. Market and business opportunities for RPAS systems.
b. Mission analysis and design by areas of activity:
i. Environmental protection (fire prevention, forest management, control of aquifers, control of waste and pollutants, pest control, etc.)
ii. Emergencies (fires, rescues and salvage, floods, landslides, etc.)
iii. Inspection of infrastructures (high and medium voltage lines, viaducts, tunnels, railways, various pipes, reservoirs, dams, etc.).
iv. Building (inspection of buildings, roofs, erecting from plans, etc)
v. Photogrammetry.
vi. Agriculture (remote sensing, crop analysis, precision agriculture, etc.)
vii. Videography (film, sports, documentary, cultural  reports, etc.)

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Information form
(34) 93 112 08 83

(135 teaching hours)

Start date:
Start date:01/02/2017 End date:30/07/2017
Tuesday  18:00 to 21:30Thursday  18:00 to 21:30
Taught at:
EETAC - Escola d'Enginyeria de Telecomunicació i Aeroespacial de Castelldefels
Campus del Baix Llobregat - Edifici C4. C
Esteve Terradas, 7

Registration fee:
2.500 €

Language of instruction:

Registration open until the beginning of the course or until end of vacancies.

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