Monopolistic Behaviors In Unmanned Airspace
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With the increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for both commercial and private use comes the inevitability that over-saturated airspaces will exist. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has developed an Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system to act as an autonomous air traffic controller. We examine the UTM system and show that it is possible for a single company to abuse, control, or monopolize an airspace. We do this through a novel architecture, allowing us to examine varying interaction behaviors between different companies' UAVs and how they affect one another.The architecture (1) allows us to explore how the UTM system can be exploited, and (2) provides evidence that an autonomous systems like UTM are at risk of manipulated by a human aspect. We validate our architecture by considering two equally-sized teams and find that their choices to cooperate or not cooperate create vastly different system-wide behaviors. Our results show that a single company can prohibit the smooth operation of the airspace --- preventing others from using the airspace, and resulting in a monopoly.