Flight Data Recorders. A Radical Solution

This entry was posted by Friday, 12 June, 2009
Read the rest of this entry »

Buttrescue


EngineeringDesign: AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 447

Frustrating.

The Flight Data Recorders of Flight 447 are in the ocean. When the batteries for its “pingers” run down, that it.

Gone.

I suggested, last time, that the data in those “Black Boxes” could have been broadcast or “streamed” to a receiving station (perhaps via satellite) for later use. My very knowledgeable nephew, Sean, questions the practicality of such a scheme. He doesn’t think “the bandwidth is there” But the Managing Director of the NSTSB seems to think something like that may be technically/scientifically possible.

If the “Black Box data” for the Air France flight could have been thus transmitted and stored, how would things be different now?

We would certainly know more. In fact, we might well have had enough information to begin reconstructing the accident without having to wait for recovery operations. Even more important, we might have captured the last known GPS coordinates of the airplane.

Had it come down in one piece, we would know where to go. Exactly where.

The Air France accident was probably unsurvivable. But, in some wrecks, knowing an exact location immediately could make a big difference.

I have not been able to get an “on the record” response from the Airline Pilots Association.

Not that I blame them. Science Ain’t So Bad isn’t NBC. But I continue to wonder if pilots are ready to allow in-flight data (and, maybe, voice communications) to escape the confines of the cockpit with all the implications for later scrutiny and second guessing.

What about airlines? How do they feel about a huge cache of discoverable records just waiting for the lawyers to find them on “discovery”?

Practical concerns vs safety. Technical achievement vs cost.

For now, the Black Boxes remain.

EarthquakeRescue: Sonic Beacon

See if you can recognize the very famous actor in this video which shows my team’s approach to the problems of earthquake survival.

Deafness & Hearing Loss: A REMARKABLE INFORMATION SOURCE

This week, I discovered a free, weekly newsletter which is focussed on hearing loss and deafness. Edited by Larry Sivertson, it is carefully crafted, with a great mix of science and practical information. It’s called HOH-LD News. If you’re interested, send an email. HOH-LD-News-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Diabetes: TYPE 1. A CURIOUS DISCOVERY OF SOME REAL IMPORTANCE

This may be a comfort for people with Type 1 diabetes (recently discussed here). Vitamin C. Doggone!

And I’m not neglecting Type 2.

Coming

Stroke: DETECTING STROKE BEFORE IT HAPPENS

I’ve been having discussions with Dr. Michael Bodo about some intriguing work he’s doing that has implications for brain health. Maybe early detection/prevention of stroke.

Coming.


Leave a Reply