The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in conjunction with the University of Akron (UA) has initiated a research to implement Ethereum-based blockchain technology for the purposes of space communication and navigation.
The NASA made this announcement in a blog post which says, ‘Imagine an unmanned spacecraft operating in deep space, millions and millions of miles from Earth, but having to rely on scientists “back home” to monitor floating debris and then send instructions across all that distance to take evasive action. Given the time involved to successfully accomplish those tasks, as well as the risk of message disruption, it would be far better for the spacecraft to “think” for itself and make those maneuvers without human intervention to avoid a damaging collision.’
The research is conducted by Jin Wei Kocsis, Assistant Professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Akron (UA). Wei Kocsis, the recipient of a three-year, $330,000 Early Career Faculty grant from NASA, is leading an effort here to develop a “Resilient Networking and Computing Paradigm” (RNCP).
“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,” Wei Kocsis said.
“The blockchain consensus protocols will be further explored to improve the resilience of the infrastructure.”
“I hope to develop technology that can recognize environmental threats and avoid them, as well as complete a number of tasks automatically,” she adds. “I am honored that NASA recognized my work, and I am excited to continue challenging technology’s ability to think and do on its own.”
This project will not only allow spacecraft to complete more tasks and collect more data but also will give scientists – no longer so occupied in anticipating and responding to environmental threats – more time to analyze that information.