We have pubished an interview on blockchain to track household garbage, but Blockchain Army intends to employ blockchain to track space debris. Digital Asset Live Editor-in-Chief talks with Erol User, Blockchain Army Chairman and Co-Founder.
Q1: Blockchain is now employed pretty much everywhere around the globe, but you take this ‘one huge step for mankind’ further by using blockchain in space. How exactly will it work?
A1: Space debris is a big challenge, and each of the space agencies has its own team to manage the space object. We, as BlockchainArmy will be gathering data from multiple space agencies and store the information on the blockchain network, thereby, making it accessible to all the agencies.
We will be an independent body that will be tracking all the space debris globally. Once the data is stored on the blockchain network, all the changes in the trajectory of a specific object can be checked via a timestamp manner. The entire previous history of this object over the years can be tracked. We will be making use of artificial intelligence to predict any change in the path of the object over time and issue advisory to space organizations before the launch of the satellite.
Q2: The solution that you suggest involves not only blockchain but AI and IoT. What will be their roles here?
A2: Our solution will use blockchain and smart contracts to manage the information on the debris. Artificial intelligence will be used to make predictions about the path of the debris. We will be making use of radars and telescopes to monitor the data and install sensors to communicate any change in positioning over the cloud.
Q3: What would be an optimal way to implement such a project?
A3: The optimal way is to start a discussion with the space agencies and gather the data over the last 15–20 years about each of the objects in space. Once you have the data, build the prediction model about the path of the object, and use IoT and space radar and telescope to constantly monitor the object in space and create an early warning alarm system.
Q4: How much do you think it may cost? Where are you going to search for funding?
A4: As of January 2019, there are over 128 million small pieces of space debris, and only 500,000 of these objects are tracked. So, in order to track all the objects in space and to build a 3D projectile path model for each of these objects, starting with the ones in larger sizes, it would require a significant amount of funding up to few millions. We are pitching our solution to space agencies, government agencies, inter-governmental space committees, and a few big investment houses to fund our project.
Q5: What are the main challenges to overcome in order to implement your idea?
A5: The main challenges are data, and finding the right resources to be able to work on such a challenging project, we would need to hire the brightest minds available. We will also need to train students in universities to inspire them to work on space projects and then provide them with the right training. Then you require significant funding to work on the project and sustain the project as this will not only help one government but entire humanity for years to come.
Q6: What is the current state of the project?
A6: Currently, we are at a POC stage where we are talking to agencies, getting access to data, and with whatever data is available, we are building a minimal version of the project.
Q7: You have recently stated 2020 will see the adoption of federated blockchains. Do you suggest to employ a federated blockchain for this project, and why?
A7: Yes, absolutely. You will see federated blockchain adoption happening over the years to come. Still, we would prefer to be as an independent agency to build and run the project as we want to be neutral agency working with all the government, avoiding the political landscape.