A research project initiated and funded by NASA aims to use the smart contract technology of the Ethereum blockchain to automate aerospace equipment while avoiding collisions with space debris.
Project will bring great significance to deep space exploration. It will increase the efficiency and safety of space communications and navigation through the application of blockchain technology.
The research project named “Elastic Networks and Computing Models” will be led by Dr. Jin Wei Kocsis, Assistant Professor at the School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Akron.
NASA allocated 330,000 U.S. dollars for Kocsis to start a three-year study. She will develop a cognitive architecture where the spacecraft need not rely on scientists on Earth to provide important information.
Ethereum smart contracts will help the spacecraft to think for itself and detect and avoid hitting the space debris, which can greatly reduce the loss of equipment.
In this project, Ethereum blockchain technology will be used to develop a decentralized, secure cognitive network and computing architecture for space exploration. The blockchain consensus protocol will further increase the flexibility of this architecture.
Kocsis hopes that this decentralized architecture will enable the spacecraft to accomplish such tasks as the automated collection of data, so that scientists do not have to spend time calculating the flight paths of space probes to avoid damaging the environment, but focus on data analysis.
I hope that technology can identify factors that pose a threat to the environment and choose to avoid them while automating a series of tasks.
As for the research project, the Ethereum chain or the private chain still needs to wait for follow-up news.
Thomas Kacpura, communications program manager at NASA, said that the application of decentralized technology will help create “a new generation of space networks.” He revealed that this research project will create a safe decentralized processing model between NASA spatial network nodes, ie, a more sensitive and more flexible network, and it is also applicable to the current network.
Author: Marko Vidrih