The University of Akron’s (UA) Dr. Jin Wei Kocsis, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and NASA will deploy blockchain technology to enhance space communications and Navigations.
According to the release, Dr Jin Wei Kocsis wants to create a spacecraft that has the ability to “think” for itself, as it hurtles through space, in order to perform manoeuvres to avoid collisions with space junk. Her project, the “Resilient Networking and Computing Paradigm” received a grant of $330,000 which uses blockchain technology underlying “smart contracts” (self-executing contracts, allowing for unmediated transactions) from the digital currency world to create spacecraft that “think” on their own – allowing them, for example, to automatically detect and dodge floating debris.
In her Statement, Dr Jin Wei Kocsis has said, “In this project, the Ethereum blockchain technology will be exploited to develop a decentralised, secure, and cognitive networking and computing infrastructure for deep space exploration,” adding “the blockchain consensus protocols will be further explored to improve the resilience of the infrastructure.”
If Dr Jin Wei Kocsis' early-stage research is proven to be feasible, this would be especially useful in deep-space environments, where spacecraft communicating take several hours for transmissions and responses due to the distances that the signals need to cover. Instead, her work would enable the spacecraft to work autonomously to perform the necessary tasks using blockchain technology.