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Qatar Airways testing on-ground black box technology

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posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 05:14 PM
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Now why hasn't anyone thought of this before? It's an excellent idea and feasible too.

Qatar Airways Testing...

Qatar Airways is testing technology to simultaneously record flight data on the ground to enable crash investigations even when a black box cannot be recovered or has been interfered with



Al Baker said recent incidents, including the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which still has not been found since March, and the AirAsia plane that crashed into the Java Sea late December had heightened safety concerns in the aviation industry.


If something like this existed a year ago, we would know where MH370 is. Even better, this would make analysis of the cause of a disappearance available and not just simply to track a flight. I'm going to see if I can find out who the tech company is that's behind this. I wonder who the keepers of the data would be. If it's the airlines, then it could be tampered with to hide fault.



edit on 8-1-2015 by LogicalGraphitti because: Fix link




posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 05:36 PM
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until the system that transmits the data fails...

Adding this and keeping the existing black box system seems like a good idea. Looks like someone is finally going to do what has been suggested the last few years.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 06:32 PM
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a reply to: LogicalGraphitti

I don't think that no one's ever thought of it before, but that airlines don't want it because it sounds unnecessarily expensive and redundant when there's already a good chance of retrieving the black boxes from a crash. Most airlines don't want to or don't have the cash to burn for something like that.


edit on 8-1-2015 by justwanttofly because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 07:17 PM
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The problem is data transfer capacity and price.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 07:41 PM
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a reply to: LogicalGraphitti

Good idea.
Another good idea would to be make them floatable. Sooner or later they would pop up if under water. Could also have a beacon in them that activates once reaching sea level.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 07:58 PM
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a reply to: LogicalGraphitti

In September of 2014, in just the US, there were over 9 million revenue flights. A single DFDR records something like 150 parameters. Now multiply that by the number of flights in the world, and the bandwidth requirements and cost are staggering.
edit on 1/8/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 08:06 PM
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a reply to: LogicalGraphitti

I am wondering why cameras are not installed on aircraft. Both inside the cabin and cockpit as well as monitoring cameras on the exterior. Im not talking about big brother surveillance. Just your basic setup to record.

The video would be recorded with the blackbox and only accessible in the event of an emergency.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 08:51 PM
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a reply to: ZeussusZ

The problem with floatable ones is that you run into a whole host of issues. The boxes are imbedded in the tail of the airplane for a reason, and making it to where they eject would be very complicated, expensive, and maintenance intensive compared to how they are now. Airlines don't want to pay that much money if there's an extremely small chance they'll need these special boxes and aircraft modifications to make them work. Then there's the issue of finding the boxes as they drift through the ocean. What if they get eaten? Or run over by an oil tanker?

Too much complexity with a low pay off.


edit on 8-1-2015 by justwanttofly because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 09:07 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Bandwidth requirements are one of the most highly underrated things around.

A few years after the start of OEF there was enough bandwidth in all of Afghanistan to fly like 2 Predators and a Global Hawk. Even that was at the expense of ground assets that were forced to give up their bandwidth so the UAVs could do their thing.

A worldwide system where every airliner sends their FDR and CVR data to headquarters via satellite data link would be a horrific bandwidth nightmare. Not to mention cripplingly expensive.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 10:58 PM
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a reply to: justwanttofly

Just thinking about the bandwidth for US owned aircraft makes my brain whimper. I try not to think about what it would take worldwide. I've seen some insane numbers just for the sensors of some of the new UAVs, and that's actually LESS data than a DFDR records.



posted on Jan, 9 2015 @ 05:21 AM
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Too much data...that will be the corporate cop out. No need to try to figure out a solution.

The moon is a long distance from Earth. No use trying to go there.

There was a time...



posted on Jan, 9 2015 @ 06:09 AM
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a reply to: roadgravel

And which airlines are you going to sacrifice to pay for this? Most of them operate on a razor thin profit as it is.



posted on Jan, 9 2015 @ 04:06 PM
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a reply to: roadgravel

The only airlines with enough money to even think about this are the ones who have relatively small fleets and who are owned by states that practically bathe in their own money (read: oil rich middle eastern governments).



posted on Jan, 9 2015 @ 05:31 PM
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Bandwidth is certainly an issue but a reason such as this could push technology like NASA's laser data link. Not sure how far from commercial reality that is but it could be the solution.



posted on Jan, 9 2015 @ 05:39 PM
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a reply to: LogicalGraphitti

From military service, not long. From commercial aircraft, years.



posted on Jan, 9 2015 @ 06:03 PM
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Don't worry Congress probably won't let it happen anyway. Who cares anyway when a plane disappears and families don't know what happened to their loved ones.

Here was another idea that has been shot down even though no high cost to the airlines.


The NTSB recommended in 1999 that operators be required to install two sets of CVDR systems, with the second CVDR set being "deployable or ejectable". The "deployable" recorder combines the cockpit voice/flight data recorders and an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) in a single unit. The "deployable" unit would depart the aircraft before impact, activated by sensors. The unit is designed to "eject" and "fly" away from the crash site, to survive the terminal velocity of fall, to float on water indefinitely, and would be equipped with satellite technology for immediate location of crash impact site.

The "deployable" CVDR technology has been used by the US Navy since 1993. The recommendations would involve a massive retrofit program. However, government funding would negate cost objections from manufacturers and airlines. Operators would get both sets of recorders for free: they would not have to pay for the one set they are currently required by law to carry. The cost of the second "deployable/ejectable CVDR" (or "Black Box") was estimated at $30 million for installation in 500 new aircraft (about $60,000 per new commercial plane).

In the United States, the proposed SAFE Act calls for implementing the NTSB 1999 recommendations. However so far the SAFE ACT legislation failed to pass Congress in 2003 (H.R. 2632), in 2005 (H.R. 3336) and in 2007 (H.R. 4336).



posted on Jan, 9 2015 @ 06:09 PM
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It's worth noting that a highly dumbed down version of this proposition exists now. Most airliner's onboard ACARS systems send small text messages to company databases that track things like block in/out time and unstabilized approaches. It also does position reports every so often during oceanic crossings if it is modern enough.

These small messages take up a tiny fraction of the bandwidth a full transmission of black box data would require. Almost all airlines are likely to be very content with this system as opposed to spending hoards of money for a new system that's largely unnecessary.



posted on Jan, 9 2015 @ 06:24 PM
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a reply to: roadgravel

There's a lot more to it than just installation cost. Weight plays a big role in what changes get made as well. A CVR is heavy, adding in an ejection mechanism adds a lot of complexity, and a lot of fail points in addition to at least a couple hundred pounds of weight.

We used to run an ejectable ELT on KC-135s, and all its variants. We had one plane go through four of them just sitting on the ramp, because one of the sensors used to eject it was bad. Every time we put a new one in, and reset it, it would go maybe 12 hours before ejecting. If that happens to an airline, that's a big chunk of change every time they have to replace one, plus structural inspections, depending on the size, and ejection method.
edit on 1/9/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2015 @ 06:32 PM
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The technology is out there and already in use. FLYTH is the company.

Then there's this that claims black box data streaming is already in use.


Technology that could have solved the mystery of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is currently used by only one airline in the world: First Air, which flies in the Canadian Arctic.

The system, made by Calgary tech company FLYHT Aerospace Solutions, has been around for about five years.

"First Air was the first to say, 'We want the whole deal because our crews and our passengers fly in a very difficult part of the world,'" says Matt Bradley, president of FLYHT Aerospace Solutions.

The system has two parts.

■The Automated Flight Information Reporting System, or AFIRS, is a blue box about the size of a briefcase that's located in the electrical system of an aircraft. The box monitors flight paths, fuel and engine levels.

■The FLYHTStream, which streams data from an aircraft to the ground in real time. The data streaming is automatically triggered when the AFIRS detects a predefined abnormal event, and can also be turned on by the flight crew or by ground personnel.



Maybe this isn't as complicated as it seems.



posted on Jan, 9 2015 @ 06:43 PM
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a reply to: LogicalGraphitti

This is different from the proposition in the OP. They were proposing actively monitoring everything that an FDR records during the flight in real time, not just for the small period of time when something goes wrong. And not just the flight path, fuel, and engine information- which is already monitored and reported intermittently by the ACARS.




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