NASA Could Use Blockchain Technology To Ensure Aircraft Security

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is analyzing possible use cases of blockchain technology. The intention is to ensure aircraft privacy and security related to its data. The information was released in a paper on Monday by Ronald Reisman, an aero-computer engineer at NASA Ames Research Center.

The paper suggests that blockchain technology and smart contracts could help mitigate security issues related to the aircraft. The United States will have to use a new surveillance system since January 1, 2020, that is known as Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B). This will be publicly broadcasting the identity, position and other relevant information of the aircraft.

Apparently, this new ADS-B system does not include provisions for maintaining aircraft-privacy options. At the same time, it doe snot address the potential for spoofing, denial of service and other risk factors.

Clearly, military aircraft traffic data would receive special treatment. Military aircraft data is considered by the Department of Defense as ‘Information that, if disclosed, would reveal vulnerabilities in the DoD critical infrastructure.’ Obviously, this can be exploited and generate several problems.

The research presents a prototype known as Aviation Blockchain Infrastructure (ABI), which is based on Hyperledger Fabric and smart contracts. With it, it is possible to control data and share it with specific entities as desired. It works in a private and public way.

It might be possible to share aircraft type, origin, and destination with a public channel and information such as altitude, airspeed and heading with a private one.

About this, Reisman commented:

“We propose to use a ‘lightly permissioned’ blockchain framework to enable the ADS-B systems to meet or exceed the same levels of privacy and security currently provided by radar-based systems in the NASA [National Airspace System].”

In the past, the NASA granted $330,000 to a professor at the University of Akron to use the Ethereum blockchain to detect floating debris.

Blockchain technology is being used in many industries. For example, companies in the retail sector are currently using it to track goods and food since they were produced until they reach the supermarket.

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