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airline black box Answered

am i missing something? why arent airline "black boxes" made to eject from the plane and float ?

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Downunder35m

4 years ago

The black also transmits a locator signal that is used to find a crashed plane.

Considering the design of a black box they will survive even if the plane is a total wreck.

Imagine you find a black box that was ejected floating on the ocean during a strom - what use would the box have if you are unable to locate the plane?

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Toga_DanDownunder35m

Reply 4 years ago

Floating black box has gps coordinates of last known location.

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Toga_Dan

4 years ago

sometimes it takes years to find em. sometimes a search is over 10,000 square miles.

Suggestion:several mini boxes with little more than gps and a transmitter. When motion stops(upon impact) they jettison, float, and start broadcastong gps coordinates at moment of impact. This narrows the area of search. Once the gps coordinates are recieved, the mini device is expendable, and the search is on for the big box with lots more data.

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KitemanToga_Dan

Reply 4 years ago

Nice idea, but unlikely to work - impact is likely to wreck an ejection system, and a signal that contains information takes more power than a beep, so will need larger batteries. Current black boxes are larger than a brief case, thanks to impact protection and batteries - your idea will need bigger batteries and floatation as well - you're probably looking at a device the size of a suitcase, plus the ejection system, so it will take up the space/weight of one, maybe two passengers.

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Toga_DanKiteman

Reply 4 years ago

http://www.rei.com/product/860468/spot-global-phone/?cm_mmc=cse_PLA-_-pla-_-8604680001&mr:trackingCode=A3CB8173-24C3-E211-9C7C-BC305BF82162&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=c&mr:adType=pla&mr:ad=53280439720&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&mr:filter=70655094760&msid=fjiQ9fUk_dc|pcrid|53280439720|

I'm not necessarily convinced about the size/weight issue.

I assume (perhaps in error) that the main reason for big batteries is because it is so hard to find stuff underwater, and audio pings have less range than radio. If the search is gonna take a month, you need a month of Battery. These days, the average phone probably has 100x more data storage than the average magnetic reel had in the days of the 1st black boxes. And one probably uses more data sending a single picture message. Set up a satelite phone to send out it's message once an hour on exactly the hour, how long would the battery last that way?

For that matter, set it up to only start transmitting when it recieves a signal, thus saving battery power.

As for "ejection", one could probably just put a tough little box in areas of the airframe most likely to tear apart. Make the device cheap, and small enough, and you could have 20 of em in various parts of the plane.

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Downunder35mToga_Dan

Reply 4 years ago

There have been several attempts to get similar systems going, including constant GPS tracker that transmit the data from time of problem till standstill.

So basically once a plane drops below 5000m it starts recording all vital data and if the plane does not recover it goes to a satellite.

1. Airlines and companies are reluctant to invest a lot of money into new systems that have no real benefit 99% of service life.

2. Rules and regulations are extremely tough.

You build a nice system that works fine in a car or boat but to get it registered as safe for commercial airplanes it is like re-inventing the wheel.

Online tracking systems have been tested and refused as the costs are too high.

Maybe the lates incident will make them think twice about such decisions.

An active tracker would have shown the last minutes of MH370 ...

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kelseymh

4 years ago

What Kiteman said. The black boxes (bright orange, of course) are securely bolted to the airframe, and have both audible and radio homing beacons which run for 30 days. That allows searchers to find them along with whatever part of the airframe is still attached to them.

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Kiteman

4 years ago

Because then they wouldn't be with the plane, they'd be tens, maybe hundreds of miles away, missing the last important moments of the flight, and unable to help rescuers find the plane (some models broadcast a homing signal).