The whitepaper directly results from Guardtime’s 2019 contract with ESA. It was one of the early proof-of-concepts which provided deeper insights into the impact of the blockchain technologies on digital engineering for space missions at ESA. The project demonstrated how blockchain technology can be used to independently verify the integrity and provenance of ESA Earth Observation (EO) data sets as the data is generated, moved across organizational boundaries, ingested into analytics platforms, after which analytics are run and reports generated. 

As a result, Guardtime and ESA successfully proved how Guardtime’s technology enables the full end to end chain of custody for EO data through its lifecycle, and solutions that can guarantee data integrity and immutability, while mitigating risks of accidental data corruption, processing errors and vulnerabilities such as security violation, data tampering or malicious interference in the databases. These functionalities are crucial in tapping the challenge of turning EO data consistently and systematically into valuable global information layers. 

The last decade has witnessed an unprecedented increase in EO data volumes, along with its variety and velocity which, without doubt, necessitate disruptive changes also in the ways users interact with data and produce information. Guardtime and ESA firmly believe that there’s a need for a secure reference for EO data archiving, distribution and tracking, as well as the record of processing steps. The traceability and immutability of these kinds of transactions are of increasing value and importance. This is especially important as EO and other space operations become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Guardtime - now the first EU-eIDAS accredited blockchain-based trust service provider in the world - is actively seeking further opportunities for the application of its technology in the space sector.

The whitepaper presents the overall EO product provenance concept and the role of KSI Technology for building a secure and traceable process integrity mechanism for EO data sets. Furthermore, the paper highlights the components which have been developed and implemented in response to the user and technical requirements.

Read the whitepaper here.