Two air freight operators are set to show off a new internet of things system that can be used to monitor pharmaceutical and other sensitive cargo inflight and in real time.

The system is made by connected aircraft vendor SITAONAIR, and is to be demonstrated using planes owned by Britain’s CargoLogicAir and Russia’s AirBridgeCargo Airlines.

It works by collecting data in real-time from the cargo, which is fed to an onboard gateway and then sent to a data management system on the ground where the monitoring takes place.

The system “enables actions or decisions to be made inflight to help optimise performance” of the cargo, the vendor said in a statement.

AirBridgeCargo Airlines general director Sergey Lazarev said the system would be used to ensure it could “provide the best transportation conditions inflight for customers’ invaluable cargo.”

About two thirds of commercial airline companies expect to invest in internet of things initiatives in the years ahead, SITAONAIR said.