How the Internet of Things (IoT) is Improving Aviation
Simply put, the Internet of Things (IoT) is:
“The collective network of connected devices and the technology that facilitates communication between the devices and the cloud, as well as the devices themselves. The IoT integrates everyday “things” with the internet meaning everyday devices like toothbrushes, vacuums, cars, and machines can use sensors to collect data and respond intelligently to users.”
The IoT has had an impact on nearly every industry. Looking at aviation, IoT has already played a significant role in the digital transformation of the industry. Here is how it is already improving the aviation industry.
In the cabin
- Climate control – Sensors can be distributed within the cabin to optimise cabin comfort settings. This includes temperature, humidity, lighting, and sounds.
- COVID-19 – Cabin air quality has been a primary concern for the industry long before COVID-19. However, the pandemic has brought it further into the public discussion. IoT sensors can enhance aircraft air purification technology, monitoring it to ensure the necessary health precautions are operating successfully.
On the plane
- Safety diagnoses – Sensors allow diagnoses to be carried out in real time. This enables equipment to be monitored whilst in action. Any equipment faults can therefore be picked up on as quickly as possible, minimising repair times and maximising safety.
- Maintenance/repair – Through tracking the plane’s performance, it is easier to understand areas that require addressing thereby streamlining the maintenance process with targeted treatment.
- Optimise operations – By monitoring fuel levels and engine performance the chances of unexpected delays can be minimised. This enables airlines to use their time as efficiently as possible.
At the airport
- Baggage – Luggage can be tracked, and the data shared with airlines and passengers to establish where their luggage is at any time. This summer’s baggage crisis highlights the benefits of this specific use of the IoT.
- Navigating the airport – The technology can be used to help passengers navigate their journey from directions to the gate to flight updates notifications.
- Minimise ground time – Through processing live data regarding the location of planes, the most time efficient scheduling of air traffic can be identified and adopted.
For the journey
- Efficient routes – IoT can be used to discern the most efficient routes. When paired with optimising fuel consumption this can reduce airline costs significantly.
The opportunities that the IoT can offer the aviation industry are bountiful. As we see an increase in the uptake of its various applications, the industry can optimise existing systems whilst building an understanding of the which areas require need drastic change.
Article by Jess Brownlow