The main objective of the project is to demonstrate how blockchain technology can be used to independently verify the integrity and provenance of ESA Earth Observation data sets as the data is generated, moved across organizational boundaries, ingested into analytics platforms, after which analytics are run and reports generated. Blockchain technology enables the full end to end chain of custody for data through its lifecycle and guarantees  the integrity of process for applications that collect and make decisions based on actionable reports.

Martin Ruubel, President of Guardtime Estonia:

“Our initial goal is to demonstrate the viability of Guardtime's KSI blockchain technology for building a secure and traceable process integrity mechanism for ESA Earth Observation data sets. In the second stage, we aim to provide the fundamental digital integrity platform for ESA Earth Observation data products, providing immutable proof of integrity and provenance for all satellite data residing on the ESA platform.”
Matthew Johnson, Guardtime CTO added 
“This is a significant win for Guardtime and has immediate applications for our work in marine insurance. The integration of ESA Earth Observation data sets with guaranteed integrity and provenance can provide immutability and a single source of truth for use in the settling of claims, reducing administration costs, and opening up new business models. The same techniques apply equally to data generated by drones for use in the construction industry or really any industry or business application that is making decisions based on electronic data.”

ESA is investing into technologies that have already proven themselves in other sectors. Today, blockchain technology is considered one of the high priority areas for the agency for enabling trust in satellite data supply chains and providing new tools for cyber resilience.

Some of the use cases for blockchain backed satellite data provenance include:

  • Insurance Service Providers require Earth Observation satellite data for underwriting and processing claims, and must to be able to rely on the the data also in a case of a dispute.
  • Satellite Operators are required to provide warranties on product specifications and resulting data delivered to the end users.
  • In order too ensure service quality and indemnify themselves from potential liability claims, Data Platform Operators require visibility throughout the supply chain of the third-party data ingested into their platforms, including the immutable information on data provenance and processing points.

The 9-month project is funded by ESA Blockchain for Space activities under the Assessments work stream to prepare and de-risk technology developments.