Planes Without Pilots

Image result for centaur optionally piloted aircraft

The Centaur Optionally Piloted Aircraft can be operated unmanned or with pilots on board

Evidence that the co-pilot crashed a German wings plane into a French mountain has prompted a global debate about how to better screen crewmembers for mental illness and how to ensure that no one is left alone in the cockpit. This is not allowed in Germany at present.

But among many aviation experts, the discussion has taken a different turn. How many human pilots, some wonder, are really necessary aboard commercial planes?
Advances in sensor technology, computing and artificial intelligence are making human pilots less necessary than ever in the cockpit. Already, government agencies are experimenting with replacing the co-pilot, perhaps even both pilots on cargo planes, with robots or remote operators.
In 2014, airlines carried 838.4 million passengers on more than 8.5 million flights. Commercial aviation is already heavily automated. Modern aircraft are generally flown by a computer autopilot that tracks its position using motion sensors and dead reckoning, corrected as necessary by GPS. Software systems are also used to land commercial aircraft.

In a recent survey of airline pilots, those operating Boeing 777s reported that they spent just seven minutes manually piloting their planes in a typical flight. Pilots operating Airbus planes spent half that time.
And commercial planes are becoming smarter all the time. “An Airbus airliner knows enough not to fly into a mountain,” said David Mindell, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology aeronautics and astronautics professor. “It has a warning system that tells a pilot. But it doesn’t take over.”
Such a system could take over, if permitted. Already, the Pentagon has deployed automated piloting software in F-16 fighter jets. The Auto Collision Ground Avoidance System reportedly saved a plane and pilot in November during a combat mission against Islamic State forces.
The Pentagon has invested heavily in robot aircraft. As of 2013, there were more than 11,000 drones in the military arsenal. But drones are almost always remotely piloted, rather than autonomous. Indeed, more than 150 humans are involved in the average combat mission flown by a drone.
This summer, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon research organization, will take the next step in plane automation with the Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System, or Alias. Sometime this year, the agency will begin flight-testing a robot that can be quickly installed in the right seat of military aircraft to act as the co-pilot. The portable onboard robot will be able to speak, listen, manipulate flight controls and read instruments.
The machine, a bit like R2D2, will have many of the skills of a human pilot, including the ability to land the plane and to take off. It will assist the human pilot on routine flights and be able to take over the flight in emergency situations.
NASA is exploring a related possibility: moving the co-pilot out of the cockpit on commercial flights, and instead using a single remote operator to serve as co-pilot for multiple aircraft.
In this scenario, a ground controller might operate as a dispatcher managing a dozen or more flights simultaneously. It would be possible for the ground controller to “beam” into individual planes when needed and to land a plane remotely in the event that the pilot became incapacitated, or worse.


NYTimes:  

« Wi-Fi on Planes is Vulnerable to Inflight Hacking
The Internet Connected Car »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: 2024 and beyond: Top six cloud security trends

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: 2024 and beyond: Top six cloud security trends

Learn about the top cloud security trends in 2024 and beyond, along with solutions and controls you can implement as part of your security strategy.

ZenGRC

ZenGRC

ZenGRC - the first, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade information security solution for compliance and risk management - offers businesses efficient control tracking, testing, and enforcement.

Authentic8

Authentic8

Authentic8 transforms how organizations secure and control the use of the web with Silo, its patented cloud browser.

MIRACL

MIRACL

MIRACL provides the world’s only single step Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) which can replace passwords on 100% of mobiles, desktops or even Smart TVs.

LockLizard

LockLizard

Locklizard provides PDF DRM software that protects PDF documents from unauthorized access and misuse. Share and sell documents securely - prevent document leakage, sharing and piracy.

Cyberis

Cyberis

Cyberis are pioneers in customer-focussed information security. Since 2011, we’ve been helping businesses protect their brands, customers and reputation.

Stratogent

Stratogent

Stratogent does IT and Cybersecurity operations. We specialize in high-touch and high-change IT environments, especially in the biotech and pharma industry verticals.

Cryptomathic

Cryptomathic

Cryptomathic is an expert on commercial crypto - we develop, deliver and support the most secure and efficient off-the-shelf and customised solutions.

MD5

MD5

MD5 is a leading UK provider of Digital Forensic & eDiscovery services to large multi-national corporate businesses, Law Enforcement & Government Agencies, high profile legal firms.

Secarma

Secarma

Secarma provides penetration testing, security assessments, consultancy, and training services to ensure your digital infrastructure is secure from cybersecurity threats.

FRSecure

FRSecure

FRSecure is a full-service information security management company that protects sensitive, confidential business information from unauthorized access, disclosure, distribution and destruction.

HITRUST Alliance

HITRUST Alliance

HITRUST provides widely-adopted common risk and compliance management frameworks, related assessment and assurance methodologies.

GAVS Technologies

GAVS Technologies

GAVS is a global IT services provider with focus on AI-led Managed Services and Digital Transformation.

Experis

Experis

Experis provide IT resourcing, project solutions and managed services. We enable organizations to cultivate individuals and teams prepared for the digital age.

PCS Security (PCSS)

PCS Security (PCSS)

PCS Security provides secure, reliable and state-of-the-art security solutions to help our customers address their security concerns.

Rimstorm

Rimstorm

Rimstorm’s mission is to significantly improve the security of your data using award-winning, state-of-the-art technology combined with cyber managed security services.

Technivorus Technology

Technivorus Technology

Technivorus is a deep-tech firm delivering customized Cybersecurity, Digital Marketing, Web & App Development, and multifarious IT services for businesses across the globe.

Custard Technical Services

Custard Technical Services

Custard provide Network Security for all types of businesses across many industries, helping to keep them safe and secure.

Evolver

Evolver

Evolver delivers technology services and solutions that improve security, promote innovation, and maximize operational efficiency in support of government and commercial customers.

BuddoBot

BuddoBot

BuddoBot has been a pioneering force in cybersecurity and information technology since 2008.

Cyberleaf

Cyberleaf

Cyberleaf is simplified managed cybersecurity for MSPs, enabling top tier cyber protection for small and medium enterprise.