An international team of Distributed Sky is using blockchain technology to solve the 3 major problems of integrating unmanned aircraft into international airspace.
Developers team has been working on an air traffic control system for unmanned aircraft powered by blockchain technology for two years. And now they are announcing Distributed Sky, a non-profit that gathered experts from Australia, Singapore, Russia, Germany and the USA to overcome the challenges of the next stage of air traffic control.
Distributed Sky project uses blockchain technology to deliver a framework that can be used by all stakeholders on the commercial drone market. The team used open-source projects in blockchain and drone space to create a framework that suits best for a global air traffic control system. The 3 major components of unmanned traffic management (UTM) system are:
1. Registration system. Ethereum blockchain is used to power registration system for drones and smart contracts mechanism allows autonomous drones to act as fully independent economic agents.
2. Communication system. The team works with the most common protocol in the drone space - MAVlink. Developers also plan to integrate Whisper protocol from Ethereum for real-time drone communication to increase the cyber security protection of the system.
3. Geofencing and traffic control. The map data is stored using p2p IPFS network and the drones can leverage it to avoid entering prohibited areas and crashing into obstacles.
"In a situation where countries have elevated risks for national security from drone flights, but they still need to work together in the shared or connected airspace, blockchain technology brings the one most important benefit to the table - independent arbitrage" - said Sergei Lonshakov, co-founder and lead architect of the project.
The industry validates Sergei’s point. Recently, International Commercial Aviation Organisation (ICAO) outlined the key components that are necessary for a global UTM system and they align with the vision Distributed Sky team has.
Distributed Sky team already made tests both in computer simulations and in a real-world environment. The pilot projects took place in Russia and in the USA and proved that multiple drones could eliminate collision in the shared airspace and avoid restricted areas in autonomous mode.
The founding team has been working for 2 years, but new partners are very welcome. "The project of such scale and complexity requires a joint effort of all stakeholders in the commercial drone industry because we all have to share the same airspace. Blockchain technology can facilitate the cooperation of all stakeholders on commercial drone market" - said Vitaly Bulatov who is leading the day-to-day operations of the project.
Source: Distributed Sky project