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The Internet of Drones Is Coming

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An unmanned aerial vehicle in action.

Robert J. Hall of AT&T Laboratories believes the answer to growing drone traffic density lies in an "Internet of drones."


Drones are advanced enough to conceivably be used for delivering goods, but a significant barrier remains in the form of drone traffic density, and Robert J. Hall at AT&T Labs believes the answer lies in an "Internet of drones."

Hall says drones can best avoid each other if they know about each other, which is the essence of his Geocast Air Operations Framework (GAOF) prototype. "The goal of the work is to demonstrate a path toward an improved system for the operation of drones, with the necessary secure command and control among all legitimate stakeholders, including drone operator, [U.S. Federal Aviation Administration], law enforcement, private property owners, and citizens," Hall says.

GAOF works by automatically flipping between cellular and wireless ad-hoc network tiers depending on availability.

The system also makes use of geographic addressing (GA), which is similar to how subnets work on the Internet. In GA, circles centered around different latitudes and longitudes are assigned their own addresses, which are shared among all drones within that circle. Every device that wishes to monitor an area comes with up a query message, which is then transmitted to a specific geographic address. The drones within that address region send their replies back to the geographic address of the querying drone.

From Motherboard
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