IoT is an advanced technology development that started taking its place in various industries a few years back. This is based on a data sharing and monitoring technology that opens the various avenues of being able to come to efficient services and conclusions.
In the aviation industry, this is being used to foster various services ranging from the safety of the aircraft itself to the increased smooth experience of the passengers traveling.
What is IoT?
IoT refers to the abundance of physical devices which surround us every day like smartphones, computers, tablets, etc. very well equipped with softwares for storing, collecting, processing, and sending data for various purposes across the devices through a wireless unseen network.
In simpler terms this can be understood as the device is being connected to the internet and has sensors that transmit data to the system where it can be monitored, it can be considered an IoT projection.
This connection and data-sharing ability makes the objects and processes run smarter, safer, and more intelligently as they can be regularly monitored and controlled. It is widely applied and is used in a lot of sectors pertaining to their specific usage and requirement.
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IoT in Aviation
The aviation industry can be seen as significant for various reasons. It smoothes travel and tourism, primarily international travel. It generates jobs and creates vast opportunities for economic growth across the nations.
The presence of IoT has changed the ways and methods of the industry as connected devices and sensor-based systems pave the way for regulation and management of various kinds.
This ranges from passengers to crew and not just this, baggage tracking and cabin climate control, and even emergency alerts are the significant milestones that are being used in the aviation industry as it goes on to adopt IoT techniques and devices.
Applications of IoT in Aviation Industry
Let’s have a look at various uses of IoT in the aviation industry:
1. Climate Control in Cabin
Temperature detection-based sensors can be equipped with airplanes to manage a smooth experience for the passengers. This can be done by automated temperature controlling systems strategically placed in the cabin all over so that based upon the location and weather forecasting, the temperature inside the cabin can be maintained.
Such sensors can collect real-time temperature for the plane enabling the cabin crew to take remedial measures of reducing or increasing the manual temperature to suit the requirement.
2. Aircraft Safety
Different parts of the plane having different and requirement-based sensors which can track airplane velocity, airplane angle, weather conditions, etc connected to a central system can help the devices communicate to each other as well as be monitored by the concerned authorities be it by the pilots or the ground control.
This allows efficient functioning which can be free of any defective systems and pre handle the maintenance systems and take the preventive steps for the aircraft and the people traveling in it.
This system can significantly work by transmitting the data and generating communication in the case of an anomaly in any of the parts of the plane.
Air traffic on the runway might seem absurd but it is a real thing. Although the planes are already tracked of their real-time location and maintained communication with but to take it a level ahead, the planes can be made to be tracked down via a system of the times of their arrival and departure to be able to see for the availability and pauses on the runways.
This can provide for tactics of speed monitoring, timing rescheduling to facilitate smooth movement, avoid collisions and maintain a smooth flow of aircraft in the line and this can also be combined with features of artificial intelligence to come out with effective conclusion based plans to organize the flight's dispersal based on their arrival and departure.
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4. Effective Maintenance
IoT can provide a good alternative to make the best out of the maintenance practices. IoT systems can track the existing conditions and on-air conditions of the arrived planes and also of their various parts.
This informational data can be transmitted to the concerned engineers way before so as to let them prioritize which maintenance function to perform first and on which aircraft. This will not just help in reducing the runway time of the planes but also help in ensuring that the proper maintenance takes place.
There is no absence of an expert engineer if required as well as no parts etc to maintain smoothly. This is somehow essential to maintain the safety of the plane and passengers in the air and IoT can provide real-time information about the parts and the kind of maintenance they need.
IoT in the aviation industry
5. Improvement in Passenger Experience
Airlines seek to provide a hassle-free and smooth experience to the passengers at all the stages of flying with them. In providing this suitable experience, the internet of things can come to the rescue.
All the airline companies have their own application and updating portal for the passengers to use. Using such devices the airline is maintaining a seamless flow of information exchange between the passengers and the cabin crew.
Such information can go on to reduce the chaos for the passengers and create a system for the airport movement of the passengers.
They can get details and plans about finding the right gate, getting alerts about departure time and any change in schedules, customizing the in-flight experience, personalized recommendations based on previous choices.
IoT and big data work collectively. It will not be wrong to say that IoT devices pave the way for the generation of big data which is used to generate certain conclusions and make decisions.
IoT devices can also record and track customer preferences while booking a seat from their online web-based portal or food choices while on the board.
This will be useful in generating even more data in the case of frequent fliers and can be really insightful in providing them a customized and personalized experience in some cases.
This will not just make it hassle-free for them but also convenient in a way that they get to do bookings with menial efforts and secure their preferences.
7. Luggage Management
This is now a prime function that IoT can change and is essential for the aviation industry. Luggage and baggage collection and loading can be a cumbersome and bothersome task for the passengers and in the case of any mishandling and inability of the collection can create the task for the crew.
IoT-enabled solutions like barcodes or chips can help in tracking of the luggage by the passengers when they are on their way to board the flight. Such devices and features enable the passengers to check the real-time location and the condition of their luggage from their smartphones.
This can also be of help by combining such tracking devices with artificial intelligence and detection cameras at various stages of loading and unloading to be able to point out the carrying of any prohibited stuff by insecure means.
8. Smart Airports
Just like smart cities, IoT can feature smart airports that come to reality. The main idea is to have automated and sensor-based systems that collect the information from the passengers and work on it and can guide the crowd at various checkpoints of the airport like passport verification, security checks, and even baggage submission.
This will make the entire process convenient and automated which will lead to fewer chances of congestion and troubles in management for both the airport authorities and the passengers who come to dread the procedural formalities which are hectic and time-consuming.
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Examples of IoT in Aviation
EasyJet has adopted wearable technology making use of IoT. This company has its crew and staff members use tech-enabled uniforms. Their suits are equipped with inbuilt microphones for direct communication between crew to passenger and crew to crew on various occasions.
They also use and compose the screens and LEDs which make them have a clear count of ongoing and pending flights and guidelines in emergency cases. They also use drones to monitor their fleet of airplanes.
Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 is attached to a wireless airplane network that provides real-time data from performance to required maintenance This enables the airlines to solve the issues based on huge collected data even before there is a real issue.
Delta has been the first airline to use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) baggage tracking technology to deal with the issues of baggage loss and mismanagement which is a real issue for this industry.
This helps the passengers to have real-time information of their bags via a push notification feature and creates transparency among the passengers regarding their bags using the internet of things.
Miami Airport, with the presence of over 500 beacons, is providing detailed information to the passengers at its various terminals. This not just provides them gate details bus as well as shopping and dinner details when they scan their boarding passes.
The Airbus Connected Experience seeks to keep the airplane cabin connected. They have seats, bathrooms, etc connected in a way to IoT helping the cabin crew to get real-time updates about seat positions, food availability, bathroom shortages, etc, enabling them to provide the best services to the passengers using data collected.
Aviation is a significant necessity for the people in this connected world. However, the consumerism which is growing seeks to have better and convenient ways when it comes to taking a service.
Technology and especially IoT always helps in making the function smooth for the cabin crew and passengers. From making smart airports the goal with accuracy and technology to giving the customers a personalized and safe experience, IoT has come a long way and is being considered significant for various kinds of real-time updates.