Friday, March 28, 2014

Why are "Black Boxes" still so archaic?

The recent case of the missing flight MH370 has once again remind us how is it possible for a plane to "disappear" in a time where we can check all our friends whereabouts by simply looking at our smartphones? And one of the culprits is that many black boxes are still using "ancient technology".

Back in those days, being able to listen to the last two hours of cockpit recordings seemed enough. But in a scenario like MH370's here the plane seems to have flown for several hours, it would most likely not be enough to give us the complete picture of what happened. So, why don't we use more advanced digital black boxes?

It seems that the issue is mostly bureaucratic, and we hope this incident helps push things forward. Using digital black boxes, we should be able to record all the data for the entire duration of the flight, and not only voice recording but also video recording from cameras on the cockpit and other parts of the plane. Instead of bukly boxes that will sink to the bottom of the ocean, these newer black boxes could be much lighter, with ejection systems and able to float - making it a lot easier for search and rescue teams to find it.

Some even go as far as saying that all the recorded data should be streamed in real time to base stations, making it even easier and faster to understand what was happening. Once you realize some companies already provide internet access for the passengers, it's kind of awkward to admit that the latest info you could get from a flight was a tweet or facebook entry with someone saying "we're crashing!"... instead of the data investigators would need.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Amazon Store