Two US tech companies are building a blockchain-based communications solution for NASA that could be used for the space agency’s drone fleet.
Orbit Logic and Center for Experimental Software Development. Fraunhofer in the USA received a grant of $ 124,800 from NASA for the development of the project “Reconstruction and mapping of space communications using Blockchain Ledgering” (SCRAMBL).
The system described by the companies will use blockchain to transfer data between networked satellites, increasing their communication efficiency, coordination and “shared awareness”. According to the project description, “light and adapted” algorithms will help eliminate communication failures – if one node fails, the rest will quickly and dynamically adapt to the situation.
This flexibility can be especially useful for NASA’s growing drone fleet. Quadrocopters must remain maneuverable in difficult, fuzzy environments when operational situational awareness remains paramount, the companies note. The project description says that blockchain will help solve this problem.
In January last year, it became known that NASA is studying the use of blockchain to protect aircraft data, and in 2018 the agency launched a research project in which it was planned to use Ethereum’s smart contract technology to automate the maneuvering of spacecraft when evading space debris.
This is not the first time blockchain has been considered to improve drone communication and control. In April, the US Department of Transportation said blockchain could solve the data exchange and trust issues in the transport of medical supplies by drones. In addition, last summer, Walmart patented a drone communication system on the blockchain.