Emergent Space Technologies (Emergent) proposes to develop ROBOT, the Rules Oriented Blockchain Operations Transactor. ROBOT extends Blockchain technology to the space domain, enabling essential autonomy for distributed spacecraft resource scheduling and tasking. In the ground segment of federated systems, where NASA does not control all resources, ROBOT enables system users to securely and transparently task the system in an intuitive way. ROBOT also ensures the rapid deconfliction of competing requirements, rapid re-tasking of surplus resources, and the transparency and integrity of established scheduling commitments, helping to maintain the confidence of a diverse user base, while ensuring resiliency against tampering at the user level of access. Notably, through its ruleset, ROBOT enables the establishment of incentives which reduce waste in system utilization. The proposed system also utilizes blockchain technology to enable secure, autonomous, distributed tasking in the space segment.
The implementation of ROBOT dramatically reduces problems typical of many existing blockchain solutions, such as slow transaction rate, excessively large file sizes, and concurrency limitations. Our research partner, UTSA, facilitates the achievement of these technical goals in the Systems Engineering periods of the project by deploying their globally recognized experts in cybersecurity and Blockchain technology, creating a lean, custom, permissioned system designed from the ground up for efficiency in an embedded environment. The ROBOT design prototype, resulting from Phase-I demonstrates the successful mitigation of typical blockchain limitations, while the Phase-II final prototype demonstrates these limitations have been fully overcome in the final implementation that will progress to operational deployment in systems with clusters or constellation type space segments and distributed federated ground segments.
The development and delivery of ROBOT is specifically designed to provide NASA and its partner organizations the capability to rapidly create secure blockchain applications that support distributed systems with minimal cost and effort. This system will allow NASA to focus its valuable and limited developmental resources on higher priority elements of future projects, such as unique data analytics and instrument development that are the core reason for developing and deploying a new system.
ROBOT provides any organization the capability to rapidly create secure blockchain applications that support distributed systems with reduced cost, effort and error. This system will allow any organization to focus its valuable developmental resources on their own onboard device management and mission-unique applications rather than re-creating complex protocols with each new project.