Emirates Crash Showed “Future of Black Boxes” – Data Sent Within 9 Minutes

Did you know that Emirates had all available data just nine minutes after their 777 crash landing two weeks ago? The plane was equipped with a small device that uses mobile networks to send information from the flight data recorder

Nine minutes after the aircraft came to rest, all data was in the hand of the airline,” said Raul Segredo, president of Avionica, the company that provides the equipment to Emirates.

This is of course different than ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System), a digital datalink for transmission of short messages between aircraft and ground stations via airband radio or satellite. These small bits of data are transmitted via satellite when flying over oceans, deserts, or uninhabited areas. The detailed data however remains on the plane until landing when it is downloaded via cellular networks.

“The next logical step is to marry data with satellite communication equipment so we can transmit when the plane is in flight,” Segredo said. Avionica works with the satellite company Iridium for this kind of service.

Check out the interesting full article from Forbes on the future of black boxes.

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