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Securing ADS-B data transmissions using blockchain: a comprehensive survey and analysis

Swathi Pennapareddy (Department of Aerospace Engineering, Jain University, Bangalore, India)
K. Natarajan (Department of Aerospace Engineering, International Institute for Aerospace Engineering and Management, Jain University, Ramnagara, India)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 6 October 2022

Issue publication date: 24 January 2023

176

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the various solutions and recommendations provided by researchers in applying the blockchain concept to different problems in aviation industry. It will discuss and highlight the specific approaches that leverages blockchain to mitigate the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) security issues. Furthermore, it introduces an innovative design and method to secure ADS-B data using a tamper-resistant distributed public ledger of authenticated flight plans and validates the position and other parameters of the associated aircraft identifier against the flight paths/routes that are stored in the blockchain ledger.

Design/methodology/approach

ADS-B is the key technology that is mandated by Federal Aviation Administration in USA by 2020. However, ADS-B data is neither encrypted nor authenticated. This paper proposes a novel solution using blockchain to secure the ADS-B data communications and in-depth analysis of existing solutions covering the following aspects: classification of various possible attacks on ADS-B. Presents various solutions proposed by different researchers regarding use of blockchain in aviation industry. Discuss a new solution to secure ADS-B using blockchain. Discuss the high-level architectural framework of the proposed and patented solution. Finally, presents the conclusions and future work scope.

Findings

While the main intention of this paper is to bring together all the existing solutions using blockchain to secure aviation and ADS-B data at one place, the proposed novel solution could contribute to maintaining security and privacy for aircrafts flying in the airspace at any point in time. Continuously securing the ADS-B data transmissions based upon the filed flight plans in real time can provide a mechanism to identify spoofed aircraft messages and communicate the same to ground stations for authentication of existence of such a malicious aircraft. Thus, this solution also differs from all the existing ones.

Practical implications

As aviation industry is in its infancy stage in implementing blockchain-based solutions, practical implementation of the proposed concept might take longer.

Originality/value

This paper is a comprehensive survey and review paper. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first of its kind that presents various use cases for usage of blockchain in aviation industry along with a detailed review of existing proposed or implemented solutions using blockchain to secure ADS-B data. This can serve as an invaluable reference for the future researchers on this topic in both industry and academia.

Keywords

Citation

Pennapareddy, S. and Natarajan, K. (2023), "Securing ADS-B data transmissions using blockchain: a comprehensive survey and analysis", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 95 No. 3, pp. 452-463. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-02-2022-0058

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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