Using Ethereum Blockchain Technology to Build Smarter Spacecraft

The use cases for blockchain technology are waiting to be discovered. While some people would love to see the Ethereum price go to the moon, its underpinning technology may get there first, by the look of things. The Resilient Networking and Computing Paradigm project is using blockchain and smart contracts to create a new breed of spacecraft.

Ethereum Technology to the Moon

It is evident there are a lot of things one can achieve with blockchain technology and all of its features. Even though most of the focus lies in the financial sector, it seems things are slowly heading in a different direction. For the time being, there are some rather unique use cases for smart contracts under development, although it will take some time before such ventures come to fruition in the real world.

For the project involving the University of Akron’s Dr. Jin Wei Kocsis, Ethereum technology is the logical solution to a pressing problem. More specifically, there is a big problem when dealing with spacecraft which need to find their way home. Although relevant guidance procedures have improved quite a bit, avoiding space debris is still an ongoing challenge, for obvious reasons. Coming up with viable solutions in this regard will prove to be an interesting challenge.

This is where blockchain technology and smart contracts can make a big impact in the months and years to come. Dr. Kocsis is currently working on a solution incorporating this technology as part of her Resilient Networking and Computing Paradigm. It is also worth noting this project received $330,000 in an Early Career Faculty Grant from NASA, as the entity also sees merit in exploring these new opportunities.

Using smart contracts, the RNCP will help create spacecraft which can essentially think for themselves. This should lead to them being able to make decisions to successfully avoid debris and other obstacles a craft may encounter during its trip. Using Ethereum technology to develop a decentralized, secure, and cognitive network and computing infrastructure for deep space exploration is something few people ever expected to see in their lifetime.

It is evident that developing such an implementation will not happen overnight. Dr. Kocsis acknowledges her first priority is to develop technology capable of recognizing environmental threats in order to avoid them. While NASA recognizes these efforts, it will be interesting to see if such a concept is even viable in the long run. Making spacecraft smarter is always an opportunity worth exploring.

For the time being, it remains a bit unclear how the research will move forward. Working on a concept like this one will take a lot of time and effort, for obvious reasons. It is good to see some industry leaders thinking outside the box in this regard, as there are a lot of innovative technologies worth paying attention to. Whether or not Ethereum’s blockchain is the right solution for this project is an open question.