When you think about the most impressive technologies to emerge in the world in the last decade, drones and blockchain are right at the top of the list.
Drones, which are unmanned aircraft, are most popular today for their recreational usage, military capabilities, and limited commercial applications.
Video marketing, search and rescue, inspection at heights, and aerial photography are a few of the commercial uses today, but there’s great potential for many more applications in the near future.
In the next five years, drones are expected to make over 2.5 billion flights annually.
Businesses will be using drones for product delivery, emergency response, passenger transport, agriculture tending, wildlife reconnaissance, and much more.
What’s more impressive is that almost all of them will be flying autonomously, without the need for humans to control their every move.
The new generation of drones will be outfitted with Internet of Things (IoT) capability, meaning they will be smart enough to complete their given mission without any human intervention.
So what’s stopping this new generation of advanced, autonomous drones from taking flight today?
Safety. Or more specifically, a lack of standardized operating procedures.
Manned aircraft (airplanes) need to be able to trust that their high-flying counterparts won’t interrupt their flights, which could result in a catastrophe.
Airplanes rely on two main pieces of technology to scope out the area around them.
Radars scan the immediate vicinity for objects that could potentially run into the airplane’s flight path. Transponders ping a signal back to the radar.
The problem with drones is they are about the size of a bird, and a typical air radar cannot pick up an object as small as a bird.
Transponders aren’t always reliable either, as there are many different makes and models and they don’t always work well together.
There needs to be a better solution in which thousands of drones and airplanes can simultaneously fly in the sky and avoid any air disasters.
That’s where blockchain comes into the picture.
At least, that’s how one up-and-coming tech company from London, England sees it playing out.
Here's the discussion video between Neuron and Hedera:
Drone Surveillance Network to deploy drones at scale.
Neuron Innovations is building a shared data network, powered by the Hedera Hashgraph blockchain, that can be used by aviation and drone users to trade real-time location data. The data is collected via an interconnected network of ground-based sensors and will be available in the form of APIs which integrate with the leading pilot apps.
Neuron calls this system a Shared Airspace Picture and believes it will make the airways safer by preventing airplanes and drones from ever crossing paths.
Why choose Hedera Hashgraph?
Hedera Hashgraph is the third generation of blockchain technologies (after Bitcoin and Ethereum). Hedera uses a scalable distributed network architecture that provides high throughput—capable of producing 10,000+ transactions per second.
The Hashgraph is fast, secure, and decentralized.
The concept of decentralization is important for a data network of this scope, as it can be difficult to incentivize private companies to trade data fairly if there is a monopoly or duopoly on the data embedded in the network.
Neuron envisions anyone with a mobile phone will be able to act as a ground sensor by using a synapse link that allows 3rd parties to connect to the network and sell their data to customers.
The software will be open-source and use Hedera’s HBAR token to authenticate the network.
The sensors provide data to the vehicles (airplanes or drones), and the vehicles pay the sensor.
Neuron will take a small commission on data sales and app services (an average of $1.70 USD per flight).
Hedera Consensus Service creates a verifiable audit trail.
Hedera Consensus Service acts as a trust layer for the Neuron API, meaning all the data will be submitted to the network for consensus and be given a trusted timestamp in fair order.
This allows any 3rd party to access the log of data and pull verified information from it.
In the event that an air accident does occur, governments, industry regulators, and air accident investigators can verify the data with confidence to determine exactly what went wrong.
Neuron’s innovative solutions will be applicable across many industries
Neuron and their innovative technologies are initially targeting the aviation and autonomous drone industries, as there’s an immediate need for a new set of safe operating procedures.
Once their drone surveillance network is up and running, they may set their sights on other industries.
Other autonomous vehicles like passenger cars and commercial trucks may require a similar set of standardized operating procedures and Neuron, with the help of Hedera Hashgraph, may provide the best solution to keep the roads safe.