NASA Funds Two U.S. Firms to Develop a Blockchain-Based Communications Solution


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Distributed ledger technology (DLT) has near-infinite applications. It is towards this end that Orbit Logic and the Fraunhofer USA Center for Experimental Software Engineering are building a blockchain-based inter-satellite aerospace application for NASA after winning a $124,800 funding. 

In a proposal summary generated on June 29, the solution dubbed “Space Communication Reconstruction and Mapping with Blockchain Ledgering” or, simply, SCRAMBL, could be adopted by the agency’s quad-copter swarms.

SCRAMBL to use Blockchain to improve Drone Communication

Even though the solution is far from launching, eventually, it will use the blockchain “to store and distribute a ledger containing satellite constellation-relevant shared data to enable satellite onboard autonomy cooperative attendance of individual assets to system-level needs and objectives” as per the proposal summary.

SCRAMBL aims to help the constellation as a whole to improve and achieve higher system utility when coupled with NASA’s supported asset teaming strategies. Of paramount importance is the agency’s insistence on communication, and a robust, high performance, and nibble system that overly improves environment awareness.

To achieve this level of efficacy, the two U.S. firms will now research and find means of evaluation and recomposing the system networking graph enabling efficient routing of messages between NASA drones. 

At the same time, the final solution ought to be lightweight and tailored for maximum efficiency in execution considering how harsh the deployment environment is which nonetheless should relegate the importance of smooth communication.

NASA Alliance with Blockchain

NASA’s interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency continues to grow. Last year, in a job advertisement, NASA was looking for a Data Scientist with a wide range of skills but goes on to note that experience in blockchain and cryptocurrency was a plus. 

Tasks with conceptualizing and developing special innovative applications, the successful candidate would be part of the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Innovation Experience Center (IEC) in California.

Before that, they were looking for means of securing space flight data using blockchain. The paper by Ronald Reisman, an aero-computer engineer, outlines NASA’s plan plans of having to looker deeper look into the viability of the blockchain and how smart contracting can help overcome security and privacy issues.

In September 2019, BTCManager reported of SpaceChain’s acceptance into the ESAs kick start program.

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