Red Cat Releases Blockchain-Based Data Storage for Drones
In an effort to make data from drone flights easily traceable and make drones more accountable, a start-up called Red Cat aims to store drone flight data on the blockchain to guarantee immutability. The company announced the second beta of its drone data platform this week.
Exponential growth in drone operations is evident and the likes of the Wall Street Journal and U.S. regulators expect the number of commercial and privately operated UAS to quadruple in the next three years. The manned pilot population is naturally concerned about these drones invading airspace, particularly near airports given that rouge drone infringements continue to occur. Not long ago suspected drone activity shut down London’s Heathrow airport in the middle of the busy Christmas season and an airliner suffered major damage to the nose section after what was expected to be a collision with a drone during the approach into Tijuana, Mexico.
According to Jeff Thompson, CEO of Red Cat a flight recorder for unmanned systems can help operators, regulators, insurance companies. Thompson claims Red Cat’s flight recorder and analysis software will make it easy to track the flight path and various data parameters for drone flights. Puerto Rico-based Red Cat announced its new product designed to track drones and analyze their activities in an effort to help pilots ensure that a flight stayed within the regulations of drone operations. Thompson shared that in 2017 he began exploring for solutions to major stumbling blocks that were holding back the commercial drone and he discovered the urgent need for a black-box kind of system. This black box equivalent is actually a flight recorder that tracks data about a flight. Thompson believed he could create a platform to reproduce this capability for drones and store it on the blockchain to take advantage of the immutability of blockchain data. Red Cat claims to be the first distributed system with secure and encrypted third-party data.
According to Thompson this tool could prove extremely helpful in cases like near-miss with a plane or an incident like the drone that shut down Gatwick Airport. Interested parties can check the record in Red Cat and be assured that the data they are viewing is accurate and hasn’t been tampered with in any way. Thompson said, “For drones to have equitable access to airspace, the industry will require reliable and immutable data to ensure accountability and track-ability. We developed Red Cat’s black box analytics and storage to enable compliance for the drone industry and ensure safer skies for everyone.”
Red Cat’s unit is currently in the beta testing phase. Interested Drone operators could participate in the testing by clicking here.
Thompson says Red Cat’s is still refining its products. The purpose of this new beta is to elicit additional feedback from the drone community, including regulators and insurance companies that could benefit from having access to data stored in Red Cat. The company has successfully raised $2.2 million to date.