Status Report

NASA Technology Transfer Opportunity Byzantine Fault Tolerant Clock – A Self Stabilizing Synchronization Protocol

By SpaceRef Editor
June 20, 2012
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Jun 20, 2012

General Information

Solicitation Number: TTO1011
Posted Date: Jun 20, 2012
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jun 20, 2012
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Dec 31, 2012
Current Response Date: Dec 31, 2012
Classification Code: 99 — Miscellaneous
NAICS Code: 927110
Set-Aside Code:

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Langley Research Center, Mail Stop 12, Industry Assistance Office, Hampton, VA 23681-0001


NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA solicits interest from companies interested in obtaining license rights to commercialize, manufacture and market the following technology. License rights may be issued on an exclusive or nonexclusive basis and may include specific fields of use.


Synchronization and coordination algorithms are part of distributed computer systems. Clock synchronization algorithms are essential for managing the use of resources and controlling communication in a distributed system. Also, a fundamental criterion in the design of a robust distributed system is to provide the capability of tolerating and potentially recovering from failures that are not predictable in advance. Overcoming such failures is most suitably addressed by tolerating Byzantine faults. A Byzantine-fault model encompasses all unexpected failures, including transient ones, within the limitations of the maximum number of faults at a given time. NASA Langley Research Center has developed a protocol for clock synchronization in the presence of Byzantine faults after a transient event has dissipated. In the presence of arbitrary faulty node(s), the method is proven to self-stabilize the clock. The protocol has been shown to tolerate bursts of transient failures and deterministically unite with respect to synchronization period. The innovative protocol’s timing measures of variables are based on the node’s local clock, and thus, no central clock or externally generated pulse is needed. The protocol produces strong results because it does not rely on any assumptions regarding the initial state or internal status of the system. The minimum assumption enables the protocol to be employed for many practical as well as theoretical applications. NASA is seeking development partners and potential licensees for the patented protocol.

To express interest in this opportunity, please respond to Sean Sullivan, Research Triangle International (RTI), at: NASA Langley Research Center, Strategic Relationships Office (SRSO), 17 West Taylor St., Mail Stop 218, Building 1212, Room 110 Hampton, Virginia, E-mail:, or phone: 757-864-5055. Please indicate the date and title of the FBO notice and include your company and contact information.

RTI is responsible for aggregating and acknowledging all responses. These responses are provided to members of NASA Langley’s Innovative Partnerships Office within the SRO for the purpose of promoting public awareness of our technology products, and conducting preliminary market research to determine public interest in and potential for future licensing opportunities. If direct licensing interest results from this posting, SRO will follow the formal licensing process of posting in the Federal Register as required. No follow-on procurement is expected to result from responses to this Notice.

Point of Contact

Name: Sean Sullivan
Title: Technology Transfer Liaison
Phone: 757-864-5055
Fax: 757-864-8101

SpaceRef staff editor.