Nasa Explores Blockchain to Secure Flight Data

Nasa Explores Blockchain to Secure Flight Data

Nasa is now exploring blockchain technology to solve, upgrade, and improve the security of aircraft flight data according to a research paper published by Ronald Reisman, aero-computer engineer at NASA Ames Research Center.

Reisman is a computer Engineer with extensive experience in the aerospace industry. He is a full-time Aero-Computer Engineer & Part-Time Developer at Empathtek Inc. He got his master of Sciences in Computer Science from the University of Miami.

According to the paper, Reisman proposes “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 NAS [National Airspace System].”

The initiative comes in line of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandate to implement a new surveillance system by January 1st 2020. However, “the FAA’s mandate for universal adoption of ADS-B is complicated by stakeholders’ concerns about that system’s lack of a robust security model.”

As a justification for the paper, Reisman highlights that “the FAA mandate for national adoption of Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) in 2020 does not include provisions for maintaining these same aircraft-privacy options, nor does it address the potential for spoofing, denial of service, and other well-documented risk factors.”

In this line, the paper presents a prototype that may be applied to reduce securities issues. “The design innovation is the use of an open source permissioned blockchain framework to enable aircraft privacy and anonymity while providing a secure and efficient method for communication with Air Traffic Services, Operations Support, or other authorised entities.”

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