BLOCKSATCOM - OPPORTUNITIES AND ARCHITECTURES FOR THE APPLICATION OF DISTRIBUTED LEDGER TECHNOLOGY IN SATCOM SYSTEMS

Status
Ongoing
Status date
2021-11-22
Activity Code
1B.130
Objectives

This project is aimed at:     

  • Identify potential use cases and applications for Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) that can be implemented in future SatCom systems (implemented in space) and provide with a justification for the need of making use of space-based infrastructure.
  • Identify features of the SatCom market that could benefit from the use of DLT applications.
  • Assess the feasibility, performance, and benefits of satellite-based DLT systems.
  • Define the system architecture most suited for the implementation of the identified DLT use cases, taking into account the regulatory environment and governance for such systems.
  • Inform the community about the capabilities and feasibility of the DLT use cases in SatCom systems, and define technology developments necessary to make them a reality.
Challenges

The key challenges of this project are the following:

  • To identify and analyze meaningful use cases with potential benefits of using DLT for SatCom systems.
  • To identify and analyze meaningful use cases with potential benefits of using Satcom systems for DLT.
  • To organize a Stakeholder workshop and attract relevant players in the SatCom as well as DLT / blockchain industries. 
  • To define a reference architecture for a satellite mission exploiting DLT.
  • To provide a systematic overview of the identified technological and regulatory gaps towards implementing and operating the DLT/blockchain-based systems identified.
Benefits

The study shall identify the benefits of use of DLT / blockchain applications in the SatCom market and how DLT that can be used to improve specific SatCom related operations, although the main focus of this study shall be to identify the DLT use cases that can be implemented in future satellite systems and attempt to define the system architecture most suited for their implementation.

Features

The objective is proposing a series of the most promising DLT uses cases to be enhanced by space assets. To this end, both the DLT / blockchain and SatCom stakeholders need to be involved.

And finally, the architecture of such ‘DLT / blockchain meets space’ initiative is to be designed together with a clear roadmap (technical, programmatic, regulatory and ethic aspect).

System Architecture

The system architecture is intended to cover, at least, the subset of DLT uses cases identified. In addition, the framework proposed is designed as an agnostic framework where other uses cases can be deployed with a previous integration development.

Architecture definition for selected DLT systems tackles the architectural aspects of such intersection between the DLT / blockchain and the SatCom worlds.

Plan

The second phase focuses on the analysis of how DLT could be assisted by satellites and satellite communications, thus taking DLT elements into space, although it also includes how the use of DLT can help to SatCom systems.

The third phase covers the definition of the most suitable system architecture for the implementation of the largest possible subset of identified DLT use cases.

The fourth phase defines the development and operating costs, timelines and architecture roadmap of the satellite-based DLT system identified in the third phase.
In the final phase of the project a systematic overview of the identified technological and regulatory gaps is provided to implement and operate the identified Blockchain-based systems.

As a result of all these phases, a communication is made to the international community, the main results of the study, including the capabilities and feasibility of DLT use cases in SatCom systems, as a result of the previous phases.

Current status

Currently, tasks 1 and 2 are started:

  • Task 1: expanding the information delivered in the offer phase about “Analysis of the potential benefits of using Blockchain technologies for SatCom”.
  • Task 2: preparing the workshop for stakeholders and “Evaluation and selection of DLT use-cases to be enhanced by SatCom systems”.

At the same time, work is being done to identify and analyze the potential benefits of using Satcom systems for blockchain technology.

Prime Contractor
Subcontractors