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The Crew Behind The Uncrewed: Laura Train

What position do you hold and what are your responsibilities within UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía?

I work as a flight control engineer in the Flight Control department. Since I joined in July 2022, I have been training in the different areas of the department, at first more focused on the development of autopilot software and I also had the opportunity to participate in gains adjustment adaptation campaigns. Now I am more focused on the navigation and R&D part, specifically on proposing and testing new sensors both in the laboratory and in flight.

 

You are one of the talented newcomers to UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía. What caught your attention to join the company and what stands out the most about it?

What I like the most is being able to be involved in practically the entire design, development and validation cycle of a guidance, navigation and control product. At an engineering level, it is "the best" to see that the design on paper evolves into code, and later prove for yourself that it does what you initially wanted in flight. I love the company's philosophy of prioritizing flight tests of new solutions/products, since I have been able to see that accumulating flight hours means being able to improve technically by leaps and bounds.

laura train

 

What areas or functions of UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía attract you the most to continue developing your career with us?

Since I joined the company there is not a day that I have not left with something new learned. The environment is very dynamic, new challenges appear very frequently and you are continuously improving and studying to be able to solve them. For me it is essential to have the feeling that the work you do every day is making you better technically and that you have a team with which you share the same motivation.

 

You have also been vice president of the UC3M Rocket Association and now part of the avionics team. What does your collaboration contribute to your day to day at UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía? And the other way around?

Having had the experience of designing, manufacturing and launching a rocket at STAR empowers you with many skills that you don't acquire just studying a degree in college. On a technical level of course, but also learn to manage your time and financial resources. Last year we were at EuRoC (European Rocketry Challenge), where in order to launch the rocket you present, you have to demonstrate fluency in technical reviews, justify your design before a committee of experts and be prepared to fail and learn from it. The fact of having participated in these activities as a student has given me the skills to face the challenges that I have every day at UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía. And obviously the other way around, even if they are different engineering problems. This year in the association we are going to launch a rocket at EuRoC again. Last year we had many hours of testing to go before launch. On rockets, we don't do test flights as such before launch, but from my experience at UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía they learned that there are many other things we can test about the avionics before we integrate it into the rocket, as well as the mentality of iterating on the prototypes to gradually validate the entire system.

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About

UAV Navigation is a privately-owned company that has specialized in the design of flight control solutions for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) since 2004. It is used by a variety of Tier 1 aerospace manufacturers in a wide range of UAV - also known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or 'drones'. These include high-performance tactical unmanned planes, aerial targets, mini-UAVs and helicopters.