The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center has just published a report discussing the use of blockchain for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

The report cites the use of blockchain for ensuring security and providing identity management solutions as well as air traffic management, flight authorization, and UAS conflict management. Flight data recorders or the black box provides information to investigators about the aircraft before an event or accident

How Blockchain Could Support UAS Operations

Blockchain technology is being looked on to deliver a framework that can be used by stakeholders in the commercial drone industry, as it can ensure security and provide for identity management as well as providing a supporting role in aircraft traffic management, UAS conflict management, and flight authorization .

Blockchain has already been used to address some UAS trust and integrity issues. Flight data recorders (also known as black boxes) can provide data that could help investigators learn what a UAS was doing prior to some event or incident. A blockchain-based flight recorder would do so in real time and could also allow law enforcement to be proactive instead of reactive. One company has proposed a blockchain-based black-box UAS system that would enable industry regulators to track and review drone flight data,insurance companies to insure drones based on reliable third-party data, and pilots to ensure compliance with regulators.

With NASA and the FAA leading an industry-wide standardization effort for drone traffic management, in 2018 Boeing announced that it was developing a traffic management system for all drones that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology. The system would efficiently track all drones flying through chosen traffic corridors. It would also blend a standardized programming interface to uphold industrial inspection, package delivery, and other important commercial applications.

Google’s Project Wing tried out its own UAS air traffic control (ATC) platform with plans to leverage the company’s cloud computing infrastructure to handle the expected large volume of flight paths and adjust them in fractions of a second. NASA has proposed a blockchain-based framework for the FAA-mandated automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) system to enable aircraft privacy while preventing spoofing, denial of service, and other risk factors.

Walmart has a plan for a network of autonomous robots controlled and authenticated through a blockchain network. Their patent application for a blockchain-based authentication system allows mobile autonomous electronic devices to identify and communicate with each other to minimize the times at which components of the delivery process have to be trusted. Walmart’s proposal documents a system in which multiple robots handle the delivery of a package throughout different legs of the supply chain using wireless signals to communicate and authenticate the identity of one another.

“In case of a package delivery operation, a blockchain-based repository could log information about the operations such as time,location, resources, delivery date, etc., and make the data accessible to authenticated users, and any other stakeholders along a package’s route.” —Amit Ganjoo, Founder and CEO of ANRA Technologies

IBM obtained a patent that uses blockchain for drone fleet security. Their blockchain ledger would store data associated with UAS flights, ensuring that air traffic controllers could supervise an ever-increasing number of drones. The chain would be a chronicle of each UAS’ path through time. When a transaction is conducted, the corresponding UAS parameters would be sent to one or more of the computing nodes in the system for validation and generate a new block. Once the new block was calculated, it would then be added to the stakeholder’s UAS blockchain. Among many other advantages, the use of a blockchain infrastructure helps in identifying non-compliant UASs as such activities are recorded in a protected ledger. The permissioned blockchain could include variable block times that change in response to environmental triggers. For instance, if a recreational drone flies too close toa restricted flight zone, it could trigger a risk flag, increasing the network’s time to provide airspace controllers with increased dataon the UAS and, if applicable, its operator.

Machine learning for drone navigation and data analytics is also driving numerous developments. Along with AI, blockchain is seen as a way to make drones more secure and easier to regulate and monitor. Blockchain is also being used to address drone cybersecurity concerns such as flight over people and property, and interference with the operation of commercial aircraft, as well as to address privacy considerations. Blockchain can provide security by ensuring confidential and secure communications; encrypted blockchain identifiers enable flexibility in establishing trust models across different devices. For example, a blockchain-based repository for package delivery could log information about the operation—such as time, location, resources, and delivery date—and make the data accessible to authorized users.

What Is a Blockchain?

A blockchain is an immutable, time-stamped digital ledger that is distributed and managed by a cluster of computers and allows digital information to be distributed but not copied [14]. Blockchain technology readily allows for the introduction of trust into a group or network. As such, there are two essential prerequisites for a blockchain application: a business network—this can be at a local, national, or international level (e.g., a store, airline ticket agency, rental car business, real estate broker) and untrusted or anonymous participants (e.g., buyers, sellers, agents, administrators, producers, consumers, suppliers). A familiar example of these two prerequisites includes a person wanting to buy a used car from a stranger. Experts predict that the blockchain market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of close to 83 percent by 2022. The U.S. DOT Volpe Center previously reviewed the ideas behind blockchains and detailed their application to the transportation industry .

“Blockchain is poised to transform the way we think about and analyze safety data. This is particularly exciting for unmanned aerial vehicles. Blockchain can be part of the solution to collecting and sharing reliable data about drones. When you combine machine learning with the data blockchain can provide on UAS registration, accountability, and tracking, an entire world becomes available for drone safety analysis, decision making, and even regulation.” —Regina Houston, Chief of the Aviation Safety Management Systems Division, U.S. DOT Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

The full report can be accessed here.

Source: Report

John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center or simply Volpe in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a center of transportation and logistics expertise, operating under the United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT).

The Volpe Center is named after Governor of Massachusetts and U.S. Secretary of Transportation John Volpe, and its work includes a broad mix of projects that cut across traditional transportation modes and technical disciplines including the Federal Aviation Administration’s Enhanced Traffic Management System (ETMS) and Safety Performance Analysis System (SPAS), and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SafeStat Online.

The Center assists federal, state, and local governments, industry, and academia in a number of areas of consultation including human factors research, system design, implementation and assessment, global tracking, strategic investment and resource allocation, environmental preservation, and organizational effectiveness.

Volpe is part of the U.S. DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration. However, it differs from most federal organizations in that it receives no direct appropriation from Congress. Instead, it is funded 100% through a fee-for-service structure in which all costs are covered by sponsored project work (approx. $200 million annually).

UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache.