Consensys Space rolls out blockchain-based satellite tracking

It has been a while since the last wave of blockchain-in-space applications, with Vector Space System since going through a reorganization and Helios Wire currently on the auction block. From the ashes of Planetary Resources comes Consensys Space, a company “building collaboration platforms to diversify, democratize, and decentralize space endeavors.”   The first application/program from CS is TruSat, an “open source space sustainability” effort which utilizes blockchain.

Space sustainability, or “Responsible Space” as OneWeb likes to call it, is all about making sure the skies overhead Earth remain clean and free of debris so satellites can operate without being disabled or destroyed. TruSat is an effort to build an independent assessment effort of satellite operations using “citizen powered” observations providing data.

Citizen observers making and reporting observations will use TruSat software to autonomously process satellites observations from multiple points (observers) around Earth into an orbit predication and confidence assessment of that prediction. The system will be built and maintained by an open source community, while the compiled data will be openly available without restriction to anyone who chooses to use it.

As a part of the open-source and transparency aspects, file and data integrity will be authenticated using Ethereum blockchain technology to ensure the algorithms in use at any time are approved by the TruSat community. Users today can work with the 0.1 version TruSat software released on October 21, 2019, but it’s an engineering prototype with a lot of rough edges and manual processes. The early software “only has a fraction of TruSat’s planned features and functionality.”

Consensys Space can trace its origins back to the ashes of Planetary Resources, a highly touted start-up company focused on asteroid mining. Former Planetary Resources executives Chris Lewicki and Brian Israel are the cofounders of Consensys Space.

Doug Mohney

Doug Mohney, a principal at Cidera Analytics, has been working and writing about IT and satellite industries for over 20 years. His real world experience including stints at two start-ups, a commercial internet service provider that went public in 1997 for $150 million and a satellite internet broadband company. Follow him on Twitter at DougonTech or contact him at dmohney139 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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