Blockchain Enabled Secure Authentication for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

by   Yongxin Liu, et al.

The integration of air and ground smart vehicles is becoming a new paradigm of future transportation. A decent number of smart unmanned vehicles or UAS will be sharing the national airspace for various purposes, such as express delivery, surveillance, etc. However, the proliferation of UAS also brings challenges considering the safe integration of them into the current Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems. Especially when the current Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcasting (ADS-B) systems do not have message authentication mechanisms, it can not distinguish whether an authorized UAS is using the corresponding airspace. In this paper, we aim to address these practical challenges in two folds. We first use blockchain to provide a secure authentication platform for flight plan approval and sharing between the existing ATM facilities. We then use the fountain code to encode the authentication payloads and adapt them into the de facto communication protocol of ATM. This maintains backward compatibility and ensures the verification success rate under the noisy broadcasting channel. We simulate the realistic wireless communication scenarios and theoretically prove that our proposed authentication framework is with low latency and highly compatible with existing ATM communication protocols.


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