Flight data streaming

“FDR (flight data recorder) and CVR (cockpit voice recorder) collection from crash site” “Black box collection of crashing equipment” “Recovering from an aircraft sunk in the sea” … A sentence that you often see when there is a airplane crash accident.

These are not equipped for general private aircraft, but are devices that are required to be equipped for passenger aircraft, commonly known as black box. The content of the data is hidden or sealed, but the data after collection is only revealed by reading by specialists, and in the sense that the information is controlled, it is a “black box”.

By the way, the color is red to orange.

See the NTSB website for more details.

By NTSB – http://www.ntsb.gov/aviation/CVR_FDR.htm, パブリック・ドメイン, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15108019

It seems that, for Ethiopian Airline 737MAX which crashed, this is being recovered.

In some cases, it is not easy finding and collect. Recently, as in the case of the Malaysian Airlines MH370 accident that occurred in 2014, no aircraft debris has been found. In this case, it is unclear whether the aircraft had a defect, an human error caused, or a terrorism.

But you are relying too much on this small “orange box”. We have been getting used to it this way for decades, and we wont think about anything more than this …. No! It is weird, is not it?

Modern day service, we have in-flight internet connection. Satellite phones have been around since ancient times.

As we are on the ground, we can see the flight name and speed of the airplane flying in the air and live by putting the app on the smartphone. (I will put the link below. I am sure you already know this, though…)

In such a “connected” era we are living, addition to “digging” the red box out of the crash site, there are finally good people testing acquisition of flight data live streaming on ground. Boeing tested such equipment with EcoDemonstrator using FedEx 777F.

The trial activities used data streaming solution in concert with two different SATCOM systems: Iridium Short Burst Data Service and Inmarsat SwiftBroadband to stream in real time all the data normally captured by the flight data recorder and digitized audio from one cockpit area microphone. Data was captured in Cloud server and recreated in 3D animation allowing operators on the ground to view a Virtual Cockpit Display of the pilots’ Primary Flight Display (PFD), crucial engine gauges, and flight controls in near real time.

The 737MAX grounding were not conducted after analysis of the flight data of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, but simply “because a similar accident happened again within a few months.”

I feel much safer if these grounding are based on quicker analysis of the flight data. And it can be (maybe) much faster decision properly made thru live streaming of flight data on the ground. (yes, that is fine by physically digging out black box and send to France, I am not against that. That data can be read as back-up.)

Look forward to the future of “flight data streaming”.

Boeing’s EcoDemonstrator Video: Boeing

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