ConsenSys Space starts satellite-tracking campaign

TruSat satellite tracker
ConsenSys Space says TruSat will let amateur observers contribute to satellite tracking via an app. (TruSat / ConsenSys Space Illustration)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A year after taking over the assets of a Redmond, Wash.-based asteroid mining company known as Planetary ResourcesConsenSys Space has unveiled its first project: an app-based system that makes use of amateur observers and Ethereum blockchain technology to keep track of satellites.

The open-source TruSat app was released tonight in conjunction with the International Astronautical Congress here in Washington, and is aimed at addressing what’s expected to be a satellite traffic jam in low Earth orbit.

TruSat is an initiative led by ConsenSys Space in partnership with the Secure World Foundation, the Society of Women in Space Exploration and Moriba Jah, a space scientist and aerospace engineer at the University of Texas at Austin.

It’s aimed at analyzing the naked-eye satellite observations that are made by volunteers and submitted via the app, to come up with more accurate information about the orbits of thousands of satellites. Blockchain technology, which is best known as a software-based foundation for cryptocurrencies, would be used in this case to provide transparency about the source of orbital data.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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