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FiReSpARX: FinTech/RegTech in Space for Trustful Autonomous Robotic Interaction


Title: FiReSpARX: FinTech/RegTech in Space for Trustful Autonomous Robotic Interaction
Founding Source: FNR-CORE
Principal investigator: Prof. Gilbert Fridgen
Co-principal investigator: Prof. Miguel Olivares-Mendez
Duration: From July 1, 2021 to May 31, 2024




With the recent growth in space business, we can expect a number of companies to join space agencies not only in space transport but also in space resource exploration and exploitation. Resource exploration means gathering information in very limited time: Every minute and every single square meter analysed on the surface of a celestial body might represent an important part of the full cost of the mission and the estimated revenues. At the same time, there are good reasons that missions will involve multiple robots operating simultaneously in the same area, possibly owned by different companies. As in space unexpected can happen frequently, planning ahead cooperation between these robots is not always possible. Instead, robots will need to make autonomous decisions on cooperation, thereby following the economic rationale of their owner company. E.g., robots could rely on other robot’s telecommunication infrastructure when transferring large amounts of data.

Companies could even install robots that do nothing but provide infrastructure such as telecommunications to earth. Robots need to be able to decide autonomously and dynamically, when to use such a service and what price to pay. In the FiReSpARX project we would like to explore the potential of Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) to enable governance and trust between robots in space. Through Intelligent Agent Technologies (IAT) we would like to enable robots to represent the economic rationale of their owner, bargain conditions of a deal, and trustfully document the result. In comparison to existing multi-robot systems, we will need to build a new multi-robot system architecture capable of integrating DLT. Put together, we could create a research prototype featuring smart, secure, and trustful interaction within multi-robot systems.

Our LunaLab, a lunar analogue facility, provides for an almost unique environment to test and validate our prototype. From the FiReSpARX project we expect academic impact in terms of contributions to knowledge especially on space robotics and on distributed ledger technologies. In terms of long-term economic impact, our project outcomes will be analysed into detail for potential extensions to increase our technology readiness level, funded e.g. through the European Space Agency (ESA) or industry. If successful, our system could lower market barriers in the space sector and thus transform the whole industry.



FiReSpARX’ objective is to use distributed ledger technologies as well as intelligent agent technologies to develop space robots that follow a given governance (RegTech) and make autonomous economic decisions (FinTech) to jointly create collaborative MRS. This form of dynamic collaboration between space robots could lower market barriers in the space sector and thus transform the whole industry. This topic hence perfectly fits Luxembourg’s national research priorities “Autonomous and intelligent systems and robotics for earth and space“ as well as “Fintech/RegTech and transformative applications of distributed ledger technologies“. An overview of the project's objective are listed below.

  1. Explore the potential of DLT for governance and trust in space roboticS.
  2. Enable autonomous economic decision-making of robots through IAT and DLT
  3. Design and implement a MRS architecture capable to integrate DLT
  4. Create smart, secure, and trustful interaction within MRS
  5. Integrate soft- and hardware into a research prototype
  6. Test and validate the prototype in a LAF