Ask HN: Blockbain-based, global distribution system for space (big) data

Hi all,

I’m starting a large, multi-disciplinary project (as part of ISU SSP16 [1]) to develop an architecture for a global distribution system for big data from space. Currently, most remote-sensing data, astronomical data, etc. is stored in data silos around the world. A lot of the data remains unprocessed unfortunately.

With the wealth of data being downlinked from space every day, there’s a pressing need for a new, global system for acquisition, storage, processing and distribution. We’re aiming to develop a system that is replicated, resilient (i.e., no single points of failure) and verified.

One of the ideas we want to explore is using the blockchain to distribute data globally; an idea that others seem to be looking into [2]. It’s quite an attractive prospect to have a fully decentralized system that is independent of any centralized clearinghouse for data distribution. The main objections for space data seem to be related to privacy and national security. The data is also highly varied/unstructured.

Since my knowledge of blockchain technology is limited to a cursory overview, I was wondering if the HN community could help me get insight into the following questions:

1. What are potential technology limitations that would restrict use of the blockchain for management and distribution of big data?


2. Since I assume that the data can’t be stored directly in the blockchain, is there a way to store the data reliably elsewhere and utilize the blockchain for decentralized registration/lookup?

And finally, as part of our survey:

3. What would you use space data for?

Thanks in advance!




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