A US Navy command is exploring the potential of blockchain technology in tracking aircraft parts.
The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) – which provides material support for aircraft and airborne weapons systems for the navy – announced in a press release Friday is studying whether the blockchain can trace the parts through their life cycle in more efficient and economical than current methods.
"Knowing the origin and history of parts of aircraft that are critical to flight is a process that consumes resources that drives the cost of making military aircraft work," explains NAVAIR.
With the existing systems, after delivery, the parts are tracked using a paper process and manually recorded on a database. However, the naval command initiated a search that hopes to turn the Naval Aviation Enterprise processes into an authorized blockchain.
For the effort, a team from the Southwest Fleet Readiness Center at NAVAIR worked with Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) to use its SIMBA chain – a blockchain-as-a-service platform developed in collaboration with DARPA.
With the agreement, the marina is specifically looking at the protocols of the SIMBA chain that can "quickly and securely recall large data sets".
Ultimately, partners hope to develop a conceptual framework for a chain supply chain system that guarantees visibility and security.
The proof-of-concept will be an authorized chain with a consent mechanism that says NAVAIR requires less computing power than proof-of-work systems, as used by protocols like bitcoins.
According to the version, these are problems to be overcome. A distributed distribution chain increases vulnerability to external attacks, so cyber security is a vital area of interest.
"By bringing the experts together at the beginning of the development of possible architectures, the navy command says," the authorities will better understand the risk and reward of a distributed distributed system.
The research team believes that the increased visibility and traceability of a blockchain system will help NAVAIR support the Naval Air mission with greater emphasis on safety and reduced costs, he adds.
As previously reported by CoinDesk, last June the US navy's innovation arm worked to test the potential of the blockchain to bring greater security to its 3D printing systems.
The process, led by naval innovation The advisory council, was said to use the blockchain to form a layer of data sharing between the various 3D printing sites of the navy.
United States Image of the Navy aircraft carrier via Shutterstock