Feeds

Airliner black-box 'real time data streaming' tech developed

Unnamed airline to start tests 'within weeks'

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A Canadian firm has announced imminent flight tests of aviation data-streaming technology which would transmit information normally recorded in an aircraft's "black box" accident recorders "in real time". In cases such as that of the recent disappearance of Air France flight 447 above the Atlantic, there would be no need to recover the black boxes in order to find out what happened.

The firm in question is AeroMechanical Services Ltd of Calgary, presenting upgrades to its existing FLYHT™ Automated Flight Information Reporting System (AFIRS) 220 "smart box".

According to AeroMechanical, the AFIRS 220 can already be set up to transmit regular "short burst" data updates to ground-based web servers, maintaining a record of both GPS satnav and flight data recorder information for a given aircraft. In the event of an incident, the box can now use "Emergency Mode data streaming" to update the ground server rapidly.

The system uses Iridium satcomms, which has the advantage of uninterrupted global coverage and no requirement for an oriented dish antenna. Iridium is distinctly limited in bandwidth, but the company says it has developed proprietary compression tech which can overcome this.

Patented technology compresses flight data to fully utilize available bandwidth, allowing it to send substantially more information than an aircraft with a standard satellite communications system. The emergency mode data streaming enhancement to the AFIRS 220 system is the subject of a new patent application.

The equipment can also carry a voice channel, functioning in effect as a satellite phone for the air crew, and has a manual alert button for use in hijackings or "other non-system related emergency".

The firm says that AFIRS 220 has already been adopted by 30 different aircraft operators on 6 continents, all of whom will be able to adopt the new real-time black box streaming tech. The new emergency-mode kit is to commence in-service trials with an unnamed customer "within the next few weeks". ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.