NASA Proposed Blockchain Solution For Air Traffic Management in the USA

NASA Proposed Blockchain Solution For Air Traffic Management in the USA

News
January 15, 2019 by Ramaa Mohan
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In another major implementation win for the blockchain technology, NASA releases a proposal to implement the blockchain technology in air traffic management. The idea behind the proposal is to better the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast system that is currently being pushed in the aviation industry. The basic idea is to integrate the blockchain technology with the
NASA Proposed Blockchain Solution For Air Traffic

In another major implementation win for the blockchain technology, NASA releases a proposal to implement the blockchain technology in air traffic management. The idea behind the proposal is to better the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast system that is currently being pushed in the aviation industry.

The basic idea is to integrate the blockchain technology with the existing system to do away with the privacy loopholes that inherently exist in the system.

NASA Releases Paper

The paper NASA published on the implementation of the blockchain in air traffic management is a response to the Federal Aviation Administration’s direction to implement the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast system by 2020.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently announced to all bodies of the U.S Aviation sector to adopt this new system. However, there are many privacy loopholes, security vulnerabilities and many other issues in the system that can cause problems.

To do away with these inherent privacy flaws of the new system, a NASA aeronautical engineer Ronald Reisman proposed an integration of the system with the distributed ledger technology.

By doing so, Ronald Reisman wants to provide aircrafts the necessary anonymity and security that they require while enabling effective communication between the concerned and authorised parties in air traffic management. In his own words he says, “enabling aircraft privacy and anonymity while fostering secure and efficient [methods] for communication with Air Traffic Services and other [authorized] parties.”

Reisman calls his solution the Aviation Blockchain Infrastructure (ABI). It is a system that works on Linux Hyperledger Fabric and smart contracts. It also facilitates privileged information sharing across the board as well as public sharing options of authorised data.

NASA published the paper on the 7th of January. And it is being widely acclaimed and considered in the country. The implementation of which will ensure further air power dominance of the USA.

ADS-B Faces Resistance

According to the FAA’s instructions, the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast system is to be implemented by 2020 across the aviation sector of the United States. However, the system is facing a lot of resistance because of the lax security features it harbours.

Many aviation industrialists have come out against the system quoting that it has many vulnerabilities and is and can be very susceptible to attacks. The blatant vulnerabilities of the system can inadvertently facilitate spoofing and denial of service (DoS) among other attacks.

All of which are reasons for the system not to be implemented. However, the FAA has clearly stated repeatedly that they want all aviation bodies in the country to implement the system by 2020.

Yet To Be Confirmed

While the proposal of blockchain integration comes from one of the most respected institutions across the world, there are many proposals that are doing the rounds right now. All the proposals have a variety of solutions using which the vulnerabilities can be tackled.

The particular paper in question is getting a lot of attention because of the stature of the publication. And though the paper is being taken into serious consideration at the FAA, no confirmation about the implementation has been given yet to this solution nor the other ones.

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