U.S. Air Force Teams up with Constellation Network to Secure Interactions with Commercial Partners
The US Air Force (USAF) had signed a working contract with Constellation Network, a San Francisco-based technology and blockchain company, to secure a variety of data interactions in its defense operations.
Constellation has received a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract to develop a solution that focuses on the interoperability of data between the defense transportation system (DTS) and its commercial partners. It is thereby a scalable approach to processing big data while ensuring the interoperability of both legacy and future data types.
This collaboration aims to create a leap in the USAF’s current capabilities, focusing on securely exchanging mission data across different sources. As such, it includes a working relationship with Air Mobility Command (AMC), USTRANSCOM, AMC’s 618 Air Operations Center (AOC), as well as a representative partner of Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF).
The new contract follows the successful completion of an SBIR phase 1 award which Constellation Network originally won two years ago.
Constellation’s job is to build a program that meets systems and access requirements to manage downstream data flows with encryption. A second and complementary approach is to build a standard for data in transit and use by securing complex structures in a congested network environment with no single point of failure.
The U.S. Air Force has a multitude of data sources, and Constellation is tasked with deploying data assurance and auditable security for operational mission datasets, the statement further reads.
On top of that, there is a big need within the defense apparatus to achieve all these integrations without changes to existing IT infrastructure and on a cost-effective, enterprise scalable level.
“We’re thankful for the support we receive from our civilian partners and will continue to look to the future when it comes to improving our data security,” said Col Tharon Sperry, Deputy Director of Strategy for the 618th AOC.
“Being able to quickly and securely exchange information across the 618 AOC’s digital infrastructure is critical to our operational security. Equipping our airmen with the tools they need to coordinate mission details while protecting the integrity of our global operations, has long been a critical factor when providing 24/7 command and control to mobility forces,” he added.
Blockchain is making its way to the U.S. government
Constellation is the first to practically allow the federal government to access the blockchain network and secure bandwidth using its native currency, $DAG. The combined effort also involves stakeholders from several DoD agencies and a representative CRAF partner.
The USAF is already looking to automate much of its big data initiatives in a secure manner as the current lifecycle is very broken. To achieve this, Constellation Network has partnered with Kinnami – a resilient and secure storage platform that simplifies data sharing.
Through its Hypergraph Transfer Protocol (HGTP), Constellation will provide a more secure alternative to HTTP to pass data. For its part, Kinnami integrates data security, protection, and availability as a single technology, hence reducing potential data breaches, leaks, and corruption resulting from misconfigured solutions.
Adding Constellation Network’s blockchain solution to Kinnami’s platform provides a zero-trust approach that creates an end-to-end secure data management solution. Zero trust here means the system never grants implicit trust to any participant in the network-based solely on his physical location. Instead, it presents a new approach to monitoring all users and evaluates associated risks based on their activity.
Commenting on the news, Benjamin Diggles, Constellation’s Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder, said: “In the last few years, blockchain technology has become very attractive to enterprise organizations with its promise to deliver more efficiency and security for numerous use cases, including supply chain management. Due to slow and costly networks, the adoption of blockchain has been very lackluster. This contract opens the door to bigger, more critical uses of blockchain for data protection in global digital infrastructure, bringing forth the true promises of the core technology.”
The new collaboration comes as secure data management has become a pressing need for federal agencies amid concerns for serious security breaches. The move by the U.S. Air Force to work with blockchain businesses also shows a massive shift by the public sector to adopt new technologies.