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NASA explores blockchain for inter-satellite communications


Earlier this week, NASA funded a blockchain project under its Small Business Technology Transfer Scheme. The project called SCRAMBL (Space Communication Reconstruction and Mapping with Blockchain Ledgering) is for inter-satellite communication. The award of $124,817 was made to Orbit Logic, which will work in conjunction with the Fraunhofer USA Center for Experimental Software Engineering.

Where a satellite is part of a group or constellation of satellites, the blockchain will store shared data. The objective is for one satellite node to be able to determine the best way to route a message to another node.

Last year ConsenSys launched a blockchain based app for crowdsourcing satellite location data, TruSat.

This is the third blockchain award made by NASA. The other two projects involved a similar amount and were made in 2019. Tietronix wants to use blockchain to securely share models for Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE). The other was a more generic blockchain for use in space projects from Emergent Space Technologies

Two years ago, NASA published a paper that outlined a blockchain prototype for transmitting air traffic location data. The aim was to enable privacy for the data.