These days, kids are being told to prepare for jobs that do not exist yet. In that respect, it is expected that within a few years, the sky will be full of drones: delivery drones, transport drones, inspection drones, etc. Therefore, a proper navigation and coordination system is needed to ensure that they do not crash into planes, jets, other drones, and buildings.
There is a sub-layer of the sky that has been chosen for this purpose with research already in progress. A combination of distributed ledger tech (DLT), blockchain, and automation will be used to ensure smooth air traffic control. Cranfield (a UK research university) says the idea is to accommodate manned and unmanned drones.
It has already been proven that unmanned drones are useful, for example, in bringing medical supplies to secluded areas or in inspecting tall buildings. According to the researchers, this new drone system will “open up a new age of commercial opportunities for the aviation sector, as well as drone-enhanced public services: urban air taxis, cargo and delivery services, security operations, healthcare support, and environmental monitoring.”
At the moment, there are 13 companies that are partnering to help the cause, some of which are Cranfield, Oxford University, Heathrow Airport, IAG, NATS, and SITA. Due to using blockchain, there will always be thousands of computers that have the data and history of every single flight. Cranfield said:
“The system includes ‘smart contracts’, controls over user actions backed up by coded security. Artificial Intelligence will enhance cybersecurity measures for the DLTs, allowing for constant real-time data collection, processing, and authorization during operations.”
So far, the future that seems to be approaching, at least for the people who live in cities, is a sky full of drones, transporting people and goods, putting out fires, and saving people that might get trapped in a disaster. With less human interaction, traffic control has a higher capacity for supervising more flights at the same time.