Unbreakable: Testing the SpaceChain Node
On October 25, 2018, a CZ-4B Y34 rocket carried the second SpaceChain node into orbit.
Space is not an easy place to be. The cosmic background temperature of space is -270℃ (-455°F) with a fluctuation of hundreds of degrees. Equipment is also bombarded with radiation in the form of solar radiation, trapped radiation, and Galactic Cosmic Rays. And, as if that wasn’t enough, the violent vibration and gravitational forces of launching rockets would simply shake regular equipment to pieces.
The second-generation SpaceChain node features powerful space hardware and software to support more applications and perform additional functions. The node is also embedded with our smart operating system, SpaceChain OS, and can communicate with a ground station. Plus, it performs blockchain-related functions on the Qtum blockchain such as running smart contracts and multi-signature transactions.
SpaceChain has spent a great deal of time physically testing its components to qualify that the node was robust enough to endure the harsh environment of space. The node was vigorously tested for force, pressure, and temperature among other things.
The Environmental Assessment included testing the node in temperatures from -30℃ to 60℃. During the test, the node was remotely operated to send data to as well as power on and off the load. This test assessed if the node could withstand massive temperature swings.
During the Force Screening Test, the node endured three axis vibrations, including the sinusoidal vibration and random vibration. This test assessed if the node components would be shaken apart by vibration.
When conducting the Thermal Vacuum Test, the node was exposed to extreme temperatures at a test low pressure, assessing if the node could withstand large temperature swings while enduring changes in pressure.
We are proud to say that he node passed all of these tests with ease. You can download the full physical testing report here.
“We made two launches in our first year of operations. We are proud of the team and what we have achieved,” said SpaceChain co-founder and CEO Zee Zheng, seen here with co-founder and CTO Jeff Garzik.
SpaceChain combines space and blockchain technologies to build the world’s first open-source blockchain-based satellite network. The network is available to anyone, anywhere in the world, all the while remaining secure and immutable through proven blockchain cryptography. In doing so, SpaceChain’s vision is to establish the underlying framework so that everyone can participate in space exploration and to advance global collaboration in space.