Whitepaper

Abstract

BlockSense is a databank that will provide autonomous data encoding from SMART sensing technologies on the SENSE blockchain. Aimed to enhance services within the construction industry, engineering solutions powered by blockchain technology will provide an innovative approach to current structural health monitoring solutions. Data redundancy through decentralization will be achieved by interaction between IoT technology and the blockchain ledger.

Our Focus

BlockSense is primarily aimed at Civil building industries but can easily be adapted for use within any project using sensor systems. BlockSense aims to develop its services to provide live data analysis for a range of systems including:

  • Bridge monitoring infrastructure
  • Building monitoring systems
  • Energy monitoring (solar and other)
  • Earthquake monitoring
  • Foundation design monitoring
  • Security sensor systems
  • Academic research systems

As the BlockSense platform develops, additional tools and functions will be integrated to provide powerful analysis and customizability for specific project demands.

Smart Sensors – IOT

Automated data logging in real time is a modern day necessity. It allows active processing of data to be viewed by an engineer, creating a well-informed perspective for users. The act of sensing, communicating through connectivity, storing data and accessing it formulates a concept known as SMART sensing. Connectivity of these embedded devices are known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The construction industry is forever evolving and the use of these smart systems (both external and in-situ) are becoming vital in creating structural

Decentralized Data

Decentralization is the distribution of functions, value or in this case, data. BlockSense makes use of the blockchain protocol to encode data onto its network. The benefits of decentralized data include:

Efficient data processing: Each connected node contributes to processing of data

Data integrity: As transactions are sent and confirmed by peers, data is stored within the distributed database. Even if a system on the network fails, your data is immutable.

Security: Maintained by all connected peers by making use of the proof of stake method

Structural Health Monitoring

Structural health monitoring (SHM) is a system designed to monitor building structures during their life of service and operation. Monitoring the structures allows for early degradation detection which gives time for advanced planning and solution methods to be implemented in an effective manner before severe damage manifestation.

SHM Benefits:

  • Economic motivation by catering for stable maintenance costs
  • Minimal implementation and maintenance down time
  • Critical damage prevention through early warning systems and risk management
  • Live data analysis immediately to evaluate against design assumptions

The structural health monitoring market (SHM) is relatively new and rapidly expanded by supporting new and existing infrastructures. The market is expected to steadily grow as innovative solutions appear and demand increases.

“The Structural health monitoring market is expected to be worth USD 1.89 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 24.7% between 2015 and 2020.”

Functionality

SENSE will support conventional sensor outputs, providing versatility for existing and future construction projects. Each sensor node will accommodate a range of data collection frequencies whilst supporting the BlockSense network infrastructure. Users will be able to establish decentralized databanks for their projects with minimal cost and setup time. The BlockSense platform will also provide live analytical tools to allow Engineers on the fly monitoring and interrogation of immutable data.

BlockSense will provide its databank and platform to allow IoT sensing devices to autonomously encode data on the SENSE blockchain. Low powered sensing solutions across a secure decentralized network will create a sustainable monitoring system that goes beyond current SHM limitations.

What is Blockchain Technology?

The blockchain is a trustless distributed database. Originating from the Bitcoin protocol, participating nodes share a database containing exact transaction history. The nature of the blockchain facilitates the ability to trace how much value has been transacted between its origin and receiving addresses any point in time. This is defined as a public ledger.

Encoding Data

Beyond its functions as a public ledger, the blockchain has capabilities to provide data storage. It is possible to make use of scripting systems for transactions, encoding data on the blockchain. The opcode OP_RETURN allows data to be encoded within an unspent transaction. This means it is possible to encode data within transactions by paying a transaction fee. The data is stored across the decentralized network permanently as an un-spendable transaction.

Proof of stake (PoS) is the method of block selection. It defines the rules of selecting the next valid block within the blockchain. BlockSense makes use of a randomized block selection protocol. The choice of PoS over proof of work (PoW) was made with sustainable development in mind.

As the construction industry moves forward with a low carbon emission initiative, BlockSense aims to integrate itself into the industry with minimal energy consumption and running costs.

BlockSense Functions

BlockSense will parse data files and identify the earliest entry row that has not been sent to the network. The script will then submit this string as part of a new transaction:

  • Destination address: Sensor system address provided by BlockSense.org
  • Transaction fee: Minimum fee to be accepted onto the network

As long as the node contains the minimum amount of SENSE, the data will be sent along with the transaction. This creates an un-spendable transaction with the data intact. This data is stored permanently on the network and is accessible on any terminal with a synchronized blockchain.

BlockSense will prune data files and systematically create new transactions with encoded data based on a rate defined by the user (currently around 7 per second, though batch sending is possible with higher fees).

BlockSense Configurations

After deployment from the website, users will be provided with a configuration file that will specify:

  • Sensor registration key: This is a key that must be used as the first transaction a sensor commits. The key is used in the OP_return field and registers the sensor to the BlockSense service. Registration key use is limited to the number of sensors defined during project creation.
  • Unique I.D configurations: Script defining organizations, locations and sensor systems for the project. (Data hierarchy)
  • Transaction rate: Specification of how many transactions the script should perform a second / minute / hour etc.
  • Serviceability balance sheet: An estimate of SENSE balance to allow encoding functions (divided into respective sensor systems)

BlockSense Platform Overview

After successful registration and configuration, the BlockSense platform will begin to build project statistics. The portal will allow users to interrogate their project databank in a number ways using analytical tools on the website.

Overview

The overview page will allow users to observe all current (and past) projects. Basic details will include:

  • Project List
  • Building quantity
  • System quantity
  • Sensor quantity
  • Latest transaction
  • Project age (date created)

Analysis

BlockSense will provide a number of analytical tools which will aid engineers in interpreting their data. Planned functions include:

  • Data selection tools: Define timescales, systems, buildings and many more to draw data from
  • Export tools:Data exportation will be available for use within popular engineering software
  • Advanced graphing tools: Users will be able to create graphs with the ability to superimpose readings, change time frames, analytical indicators and many more
  • Publication tools: Users will be able to make use of the BlockSense publication feature if they wish to show building performance models
  • Live monitoring: Live data streams will be available for viewing including table and graphic views.
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