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The IoT and Next-Gen Aviation Technology

Modern aircrafts feature a plethora of highly sophisticated gadgets. There are devices that measure temperatures, speeds, distances, heights and more; and they're all necessary to maintain a stellar record of safety. However, the aviation industry is also making huge strides toward a full-on embrace of the Internet of Things and all it has to offer. Some innovative developers are already working on IoT-centric applications within aviation and aerospace.

Paul Maritz, CEO with Pivotal, a company that specializing in big data and IoT interoperability, summarized the driving force behind the IoT by saying: "The Internet of Things is all about catching things in progress rather than waiting until after the fact to analyze the data. As advanced telemetry is added into all devices, it will ramp up the data volume by two orders of magnitude, thus there is a need for real-time analysis."

The Connected Fighter Jet

Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II might be the most sophisticated military aircraft to date. As such, it should come as no surprise that the vehicle already utilizes the latest in IoT-powered tech. This includes 360-degree radar coverage, real time data analysis and a level of interconnectedness that has yet to be seen on a real-life battlefield.

An official statement regarding the functionality of the F-35 Lightning II states: "Advanced avionics give the pilot real-time access to battle space information with 360-degree coverage and an unparalleled ability to dominate the tactical environment. Data collected by sensors on the F-35 will immediately be shared with commanders at sea, in the air or on the ground, providing an instantaneous, high-fidelity view of ongoing operations – making the F-35 a formidable force multiplier while enhancing coalition operations."

The Smart Aircraft Engine

As impressive as the F-35 Lightning II is, it's not the only IoT-powered device that's making waves in the aviation industry. Pratt & Whitney's latest Geared Turbo Fan engine features 5,000 real-time sensors that are constantly collecting data. In fact, the system generates as much as 10 GB of data per second. To put that into scale, a 12-hour flight for a typical aircraft would result in approximately 850 GB of new data.

The Next Generation of Airports

Believe it or not, the next generation of airports is already upon us. In fact, Dubai Airports has likened their passenger experience to that of a pit stop in NASCAR or Formula 1 racing. They're already using interconnected technology and networks to accommodate 200,000 passengers on a daily basis. By implementing smartphone functionality, IT officials with Dubai Airports are able to help patrons reach their flights in time and even ensure their luggage arrives where it's supposed to.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive with Dubai Airports, stated: '"I’m looking forward to changing the game and using the technology. If we can improve the on-time performance the customer is happy and the airline is happy. The potential there is enormous in terms of turnaround time. A plane on the grounds makes zero, imagine what we could achieve."''

The Future of Aviation and The Internet of Things

Although the IoT is still in its infancy, it is already showing tremendous potential for the future. Innovations like interconnected jets, smart engines and connected airports really are the tip of the iceberg.


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