NASA funded and is currently co-running a project that’s set to leverage the Ethereum blockchain’s smart technology. The giant company is considering automating spacecraft maneuvering while at the same time avoiding space debris.
NASA is researching developments that could involve deep space probes, and it’s placing a lot of resources in a research project that envisions the use of blockchain tech.
The goal is to enhance efficiency and safety of space communications and navigation.
The research project is called Resilient Networking and Computing Paradigm
The project is led by Dr. Jin Wei Kocsis, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Akron (UA).
“I hope to develop technology that can recognize environmental threats and avoid them, as well as complete some tasks automatically.”
Kocsis plans to develop a cognitive architecture in which spacecraft won’t have to rely on vital information from scientists back on Earth.
Instead, Ethereum-based smart contracts will support the spacecraft in order to “think on their own” to detect and evade floating space debris. Such debris can be highly damaging in case of a collision.
“In this project, the Ethereum blockchain technology will be exploited to develop a decentralized, secure, and cognitive networking and computing infrastructure for deep space exploration. The blockchain consensus protocols will be further explored to improve the resilience of the infrastructure,” Dr. Kocsis stated.
Decentralized architecture would help the spacecraft automate data
Kocsis hopes that the decentralized structure would be able to support automatic data gathering among others, this way freeing up scientists who are back on Earth so that they can analyze information rather than spending lots of time doing various calculations regarding anticipating environmental hazards.
“I hope to develop technology that can recognize environmental threats and avoid them, as well as complete some tasks automatically,” she added.
There are no further details on the kind of Ethereum blockchain that is being considered for this massive research project; it could be private or public – we have to wait and see what NASA decides.