By Salvatore Babones May 17, 2018
Blockchain database technologies will power tomorrow’s internet of things – and that could include the Navy’s onboard weapons systems.
Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in 2017 made “blockchain” a household word. However, Bitcoin is only one use case for the application of the basic database architecture called blockchain. A much more important application just over the horizon is the internet of things: the idea that many pieces of everyday technology will be made “smart” by interconnecting them with each other and sensors over the internet, allowing them to communicate and act in real time. For instance, a road would be able to alert a smart car about ice or snow on the ground and the car would be able to slow down in response. When the internet of things is added to the security of blockchain, more powerful technology can be built, and this could include military hardware such as the United States Navy’s next generation of surface combat ships.
How could such database technology run a battleship, and what would that look like?
A typical U.S. surface combatant ship, like the Arleigh Burke class destroyer, combines powerful radar systems with a host of different weapons systems. These weapons include ninety or more missile launch cells (each one capable of launching one of a dozen different missile types), two independent Phalanx close-defense systems, six torpedo launchers, a five-inch gun and several machine guns.
The challenge is to make all these combat systems work together without damaging the ship itself. America’s opponents have often fielded bigger, badder weapons than the United States, but the secret to naval success is systems integration. As the British proved at the Battle of Jutland in 1916, superior fire control trumps superior firepower.
For the U.S. Navy, systems integration still means the aging but effective Aegis Combat System. Now in its fifth decade of operation, Aegis is a centralized command and control system that links sensors and weapons together similar to how a boxer’s brain links his eyes and fists. But that very centralization is also a weakness; knock out the brain and you knock out the boxer.
More at: Smart ‘Battleships’ Are Right Around the Corner – The National Interest
By David Floyd April 27, 2018
IBM is seeking to patent a method for ensuring that a network of connected devices can securely execute blockchain-based smart contracts.
As the tech giant explains in a patent application published Thursday, “one example method of operation may include determining a proof-of-work via a device and using a predefined set of nonce values when determining the proof-of-work, storing the proof-of-work on a blockchain, and broadcasting the proof-of-work as a broadcast message.”
The problem of how to connect Internet of Things (IoT) devices using blockchain has drawn the attention of a number of developers, startups and companies in recent years – indeed, that was the central concept behind IBM’s “ADEPT” proof-of-concept, created in partnership with Samsung and unveiled in early 2015.
An IoT-focused blockchain network couldn’t engage in the kind of competitive “mining” that powers the bitcoin network, largely because a smart toaster or lightbulb can’t harness the power of a warehouse full of specialized computers. At the same time, a large-scale blockchain mine could conceivably have an easier time of attacking a network of IoT devices and, thus, potentially compromise it.
More at: IBM Reimagines Proof-of-Work for Blockchain IoT – CoinDesk
By Julia Travers January 18, 2018
NASA has awarded University of Akron (UA) Assistant Professor Jin Wei Kocsis a three-year $333,000 Early Career Faculty grant as part of its Space Technology Research Grants (STRG) program. Dr. Kocsis will utilize the grant to develop AI and blockchain-based technology that will help satellites safely travel farther away while making decisions independently.
Space Travel and Fuzzy Logic
Satellites currently rely on wireless communication with Earth to send and receive vital mission data. As they venture further into space, these transmissions take more and more time to travel. If a satellite encounters space debris that must be avoided or needs to collect information from a nearby meteorite quickly, it is often incapable of doing so in time. Kocis says that,
“I hope to develop technology that can recognize environmental threats and avoid them, as well as complete a number of tasks automatically. I am honored that NASA recognized my work, and I am excited to continue challenging technology’s ability to think and do on its own.”
More at: NASA Bets on Blockchain and AI for Satellite Intelligence Study – BTCMANAGER
By Marianne Lehnis January 2, 2018
In coming years the marine and transport re/insurance sector stands to be rapidly transformed by blockchain and IoT technology, both in terms of the risks they underwrite and how they do so, creating new opportunities for re/insurers.
“IoT could also give insurers access to new data, such as station-keeping data for floating offshore platforms or data on ‘hogging and sagging’ of super tankers, which would enable insurers to monitor fatigue of vessels,” according to the Lloyd’s Market Association Viewpoint publication.
Although blockchain and IoT technologies are currently in the pilot stage within the marine and logistics sector, Lloyd’s stated that these lines of business are expected to be among the biggest adopters of IoT.
New initiatives to incorporate the technologies include a blockchain supply chain system, piloted by IBM and Maersk – it’s being used by Maersk to process 10 million containers this year.
More at: Marine and transport re/insurance to be transformed by blockchain and IoT: LMA – Reinsurance News
By Jessica Twentyman November 1, 2017
When goods in transit can “talk” to supply chain managers, it is easier to figure out where they are, what state they are in and their likely time of arrival at a destination. The same applies to the vehicles or robots that transport them, which is why new levels of internet of things (IoT) connectivity are encouraging supply chain companies to invest to get products to the right place, faster and in good condition.
More at: Smart links in the supply chain show they can deliver – Financial Times
By Richard Kastelein October 10, 2017
Streamr, the decentralized peer-to-peer data sharing protocol, today announced that it has joined the Trusted IoT Alliance, an open source software consortium which aims to create a secure, scalable, interoperable, and trusted IoT ecosystem. Founded by industry leaders such as Bosch, BNY Mellon, Cisco, Gemalto, and U.S. Bank, the consortium seeks to standardize an open source Blockchain protocol to support IoT technology in major industries worldwide.
Streamr CEO and Co-founder Henri Pihkala said:
“The exponential growth of IoT and the ubiquity of connected devices brings unparalleled value to data, fully transforming the service sector, the supply chain and in turn the modern economy. Yet the rapid nature of that technological evolution has come at the cost of our security and freedom, a cost that has not gone unnoticed by industry leaders.”
More at: Streamr, the Decentralized Real-Time Data Economy, Joins the Trusted IoT Alliance – Blockchain News
SAP is to work with a number of well-known companies in its blockchain co-innovation initiative and plans to make the digital ledger system an integrated part of Internet of Things (IoT), manufacturing and digital supply chain solutions.
Companies including Capgemini, Deloitte, GrainCorp, HCL Technologies, HERE Technologies, Moog Inc., Natura Cosméticos S.A., NetApp and PeerNova are collaborating with SAP to validate use cases and business models for blockchain usage for product and asset lifecycle management solutions from SAP.
“In the digital economy, an iterative, fast-paced approach in close collaboration with our customers and partners is imperative,” said Dr. Juergen Mueller, Chief Innovation Officer, SAP.
More at: SAP announces partners for IoT blockchain initiative – Supply Chain Digital