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The European Space Agency (ESA) unveiled an experiment it hopes will overcome the problems that prevent encrypted communications between the Earth and orbiting spacecraft.
The Cryptographic ICE Cube, launched into orbit in April as part of the NG-11 mission, has been installed on the ISS' Columbus laboratory and is currently being controlled from the ground by researchers in the Netherlands.
ESA - Experiment - Data - CERN - Full
ESA says the experiment has recently begun to return data that will be analyzed and shared with CERN. Full testing will begin later in August and is scheduled to run for at least a year.
The aim of the mission, says ESA software product assurance engineer Emmanuel Lesser, is to overcome the hurdles that solar radiation presents for encrypted communications. Specifically, the way encryption keys can be scrambled when radiation hits the memory chips doing the communicating while on orbital spacecraft.
Orbit - Problem - Space - Radiation - Effects
"In orbit the problem has been that space radiation effects can compromise the key within computer memory causing ‘bit-flips’," he explained .
"This disrupts the communication, as the key on ground and the one in space no longer match. Up...
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