How is Blockchain Revolutionizing Airspace Management?

blockchain and drones

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been the subject of interest in recent times for the convenience, flexibility, and efficiency they offer.  More than that, their potential to possibly revolutionize certain processes, businesses, and industries has been made apparent with the advancement of various technology fields, namely blockchain, artificial intelligence, and a combination of the two. 

Although the applications of drones are wide and varied, their implementation in the real world is yet to prove to be the takeover that it has the potential to be. Many businesses and industries are still doubtful of the security, safety, and reliability of drones. However, the emergence of blockchain and the subsequent advancements in the field have helped build a decentralized system that allows for maximum control access to the airspace. Higher levels of data integrity, safety, and security are ensured through this new system. 

A UAV traffic management system (UTM) has been used as a solution to create a more reliable and safe flight experience when it comes to commercial drones. Currently, the potential of the UTM system remains largely unrealized in its present form. It is not able to guarantee cyber security to any satisfying degree, and it is centralized and unscalable. 


Blockchain and How It Is Used 

The fundamental working principle behind blockchain technology is decentralization. Decentralization allows for information to be accessible to users within a distributed network. 

The question of trust and data integrity is answered when every user in the network has their own copy of the data. Corrupted data will be noticed easily by the rest of the network users, so the need for a Trusted Third Party (TTP) is overcome. Decentralization also allows for real-time, shared access and view of data. 

The advantages offered by implementing blockchain technology that is invaluable for a safe and secure drone flight and the drone operator are: 

  • Security 
  • Integrity 
  • Accuracy 
  • Efficiency 
  • Transparency 

With the help of both AI and blockchain, workflows are automated, and manual interference is almost completely minimized. Usually, operators would need to manually carry out all processes and implement the necessary changes, as well as keep up a continuous evaluation of the airspace. Flight paths would need to be planned, and steering clear of in-flight risks would require constant vigilance. 

However, planning, executing, and adapting a flight within the complexity of the airspace is no easy task, and the reliance on manual effort could prove to be a mistake. After all, humans are error-prone. 

Implementing blockchain technology means cutting through the manual effort to automate the workflow. Features added in this new system include: 

  • Accurate flight data 
  • Automated Compliance
  • Maintenance guarantees 
  • Systemwide auditability 


Building a Better System 

A more robust UTM system can be built to integrate drones in controlled airspace, removing the burden on operators and authorities by enabling more autonomous workflows. We’ll explore some key qualities of a UTM system powered by blockchain technology: 

  • An airspace system built on blockchain simplifies the process of sharing accurate flight data by removing the burden on drone operators. Blockchain technology can assign a unique ID to every unmanned aircraft and maintain a real-time record of each drone’s status, flight details (e.g., altitude, coordinates), operator, and maintenance history. This approach enables flight awareness for airspace authorities and provides situational awareness to other aircraft operators so they can maintain safe separation.
  • Standards compliance is automated so unmanned flights can be automatically and continuously monitored according to local regulations and custom safety standards, relieving the authorities of this duty. 
  • A blockchain ledger with smart contracts can help ensure drones are safe to fly. For example, if a maintenance request is created to replace a drone’s battery, a smart contract can ensure the request is resolved and signed off by a technician’s private key before the drone can operate again. This will prevent operators from choosing a drone that’s not equipped to complete a mission safely and securely.
  • Blockchain technology is the key to maintain high standards of auditability by providing a verified data source of all unmanned flight records and service logs. In a blockchain-backed airspace system, each flight log is linked to the previous log with cryptography so they can’t be altered retroactively. That means authorities can analyze flight data and determine the sequence of events with 100% certainty.


The features of blockchain, mainly decentralization and cryptography, help build a safe and secure system with additional features to automate as much of the process as possible while also offering key insights that will create a detailed, error-free drone operation. Technological advancements have opened up the possibility of a safer, more secure airspace by building a more comprehensive system that facilitates the commercialized use of autonomous aviation. The growth of fields like blockchain and AI presents an exciting future for integrated drones in the global airspace. 


Looking for a UTM system for ensuring a safe and secure flight experience? Contact us to learn more about airspace management powered by blockchain.

Geofencing Capabilities for Assuring No-Fly Zones

No-Fly Zone

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) such as drones have presented a new form of convenience and flexibility for businesses across several industries and sectors. A handful of leading organizations have test-driven drones for various purposes, and the results have been impressive. 

However, the security and reliability of drones are yet to be established to a comforting enough degree to reach wide-scale use. One reason for this is the constant in-flight risks exposed to an aircraft during its journey. Presently, a vital safety measure available today is geofencing. 


Geofencing: What it is and how it helps 

Simply put, geofencing is a virtual wall that restricts the movement of drones. It is done using a combination of technology like global positioning satellites, your drones’ internal software, radio frequency identification, and WiFi. Geofencing allows for stricter monitoring and prevention of aircraft flying into restricted areas or no-fly zones. 

Certain areas are generally more unsafe than others to fly through, and a virtual boundary is put up in these geographical areas. This helps drones steer clear of areas that are unsafe to travel through, for instance, heavily populated areas, airports, schools, government land and property, and prisons. Fencing off these areas also ensures these areas are kept free from any possible risks. 

The use of drones has become increasingly popular amongst the general public. After several unfortunate instances of unmanned drones flying into unauthorized areas or no-fly zones such as airports, geofencing has become a pressing necessity. 


Benefits of Geofencing 

One of the biggest benefits is the safety of the drone. Both the drone and the operator can rest easier knowing the chance of accidents is greatly decreased. In addition to accidents, it also eliminates the risk of drones flying into dangerous areas, saving both the drone and the operator from trouble. 

It is not unheard of for drones to fly into extremely inappropriate areas such as military bases. There is also the possibility of drones being flown into such sensitive areas to observe and photograph. As a result of this risk, there is an urgent security risk that is posed. To combat this risk to a large extent, the implementation of geofencing has added a more robust level of security to no-fly zones. 


Geofencing and No-Fly Zones: Putting Two and Two Together 

No Fly zones are made more secure with the addition of geofencing technologies. While highly sensitive areas such as military bases have been ordered to shoot down drones that fly into restricted areas, the implementation of geofencing will make this need redundant. 

Upon invading this area, you’ll receive a warning alert through the app you are using to fly your drone. And in some instances, geofencing renders the aircraft unresponsive, in which case your drone will stop flying to prevent you from entering. 


Integrating Geofencing for Increased Airspace Awareness 

For a securer approach to Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM), reliable levels of airspace awareness are essential for the best possible drone flight experience. This means dependable methods of generating unforeseen trends in the airspace and intelligently maneuvers through by using environmental data. 

The combination of AI and blockchain technologies lift the burden off of operators to manually keep track of the drone’s flight without failing vigilance. New routes can be automatically generated as conditions and regulations change. For instance, built-in systems help the drone automatically steer clear of no-fly zones. 

The operators can also establish safe areas before the flight, and a robust map of airspace, weather, regulatory, and location data can be used to keep track of these areas. These restricted areas do not necessarily need to be limited to government properties and airports. Being able to set one’s own geofences can help in instances such as training. To prevent the drone from being endangered under inexperienced hands, virtual boundaries can be set, and in the event that the drone loses control, there is no harm done as the aircraft will lose its movement. 

Geofencing is a thorough system that not only alerts the operator as soon as it encounters a no-fly zone so appropriate action can be taken but can also render the aircraft unresponsive designed to promote safe drone use and accountability. 

Looking for more information on how SkyGrid’s technology implements geofencing? Contact us to learn more about our advanced enterprise features.

Free Airspace Map for Safe Drone Operations

Free Airspace Map for Safe Drone Operations

Navigating low-altitude airspace is complex. Drone operators need to monitor weather changes, avoid buildings and construction cranes, factor in risks on the ground and comply with shifting regulatory dynamics. That’s why we created your go-to airspace map for safe drone operations. 

Our free, SkyGrid Flight Control app provides a robust map of airspace, weather, regulatory, and location data, such as airspace traffic, hyper-local weather, flight restrictions, population density, and more, which is critical to help drone operators minimize risks in the airspace and more intelligently manage unmanned flights. Did we mention it’s easy to use? All the airspace data provided in our app makes it easy for drone operators to execute safe and compliant missions. 

Check out the quick overview from our team and read on for more details: 


Airspace and Weather Intelligence 

Our airspace intelligence includes advanced weather data, such as precipitation, temperature, wind direction and speed, cloud cover, visibility, and more. 

The hyper-local weather data is updated every 60 seconds and detailed to the 500-meter radius. When you consider how quickly weather patterns can change, more detailed, real-time data becomes critical to minimize risks in the airspace, mainly because these factors can impact the flight path, battery life, and overall success of the mission. Additionally, our map layers have layer legends, enabling drone operators to quickly understand and translate the ground intelligence and regulations in the operators’ flight area before take-off to stay compliant. 

As shown below, pilots can select a tile on our airspace map for an overview of the hyper-local weather details.  

SkyGrid Flight Control Free Airspace Map for Safe Drone Operations

Location Insights and Ground Intelligence  

Our location insights include roadway traffic, population density, local buildings, and obstacles. 

The traffic layer displays traffic density on roadways to help drone operators avoid flying over potentially dangerous situations like congested areas that may pose a risk to vehicles and people on the ground. As you’d expect, the green roads represent light traffic whereas the red roads represent heavy traffic. Operators can use this tool to understand what time of the day has the least amount of traffic and schedule their missions accordingly. Additionally, the population density map layer helps visualize a heavily populated area when operating a drone. 

SkyGrid Flight Control Free Airspace Map for Safe Drone Operations

Drone pilots can evaluate the airspace with a variety of map styles, such as satellite view or in 3D, making it easier to plan inspections and other object-centric flights. When reviewing their mission plan, a different point of view is also helpful for drone pilots to ensure there are no buildings or infrastructures too close to the flight path. 

SkyGrid Flight Control Free Airspace Map for Safe Drone Operations gif

Regulatory Data and Advisories  

Our regulatory data includes airspace classes and advisories from the FAA, such as National Security UAS Flight Restrictions. We also display the FAA’s UAS Facility Maps that show the pre-approved ceilings in controlled airspace where LAANC is available for auto-approval.  

With LAANC operators can: 

  • Check local airspace and explore where it’s safe to fly.  
  • Request authorization from the FAA up to 30 days before taking flight. 
  • Access U.S. controlled airspace at or below 400 feet. 
  • View past, present and scheduled authorizations.  

For example, the area in purple shows Class C airspace where auto-approval is available up to the pre-approved altitude displayed in the grid, and the area in green indicates Class D airspace.

SkyGrid Flight Control Free Airspace Map for Safe Drone Operations

For enterprises, SkyGrid also offers advanced data layers based on the unique needs of the mission. These data layers can include manned air traffic, foot traffic, radar-detected objects, and other data layers customized to the specific enterprise. To further simplify drone operations, enterprises can also leverage our AI technology to automatically plan, execute, and adapt flights as conditions change.

Download SkyGrid Flight Control for free in the iPad App Store or learn more about our advanced enterprise features.