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Improve Black Boxes

  [vote for,

Commercial flights have black boxes recording key data, including sounds from the cockpit.

But all too often, the boxes themselves cannot be found (e.g. when the plane explodes or crashes into the sea) or the information recorded is insufficient to determine the cause of a crash or accident.

Obviously, we need some improvements.

(a) Continuously beam the information out of the plane to a satellite or receiver to be stored somewhere safe. You can program the blackbox to do this at the first sign of trouble, or upon activated by the pilot or simply right from the start.

(b) Have a second black-box record data from the passenger cabin, in case the trouble started there, e.g. a hijacking, decompression, or some other accident.

(c) Record video as well as audio data – video could be quite helpful in understanding the events leading to a crash.

baboo, Apr 11 2002

Satellite Transmitting Black Box http://www.halfbake...tting_20Black_20Box
One part of your idea has already been done here, [baboo]. That doesn't mean the other part is a bad idea, though. Recording more and richer data is a good idea, I think. [bristolz, Apr 11 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Also have a man with a pad writing down relevant things as a manual backup. You ready, babooo?
neelandan, Apr 11 2002

       Remote archiving of black-box data has been mooted already. Not sure of the details, but this one gets a pastry.
angel, Apr 11 2002

       Baked in the military realm. Most of the newer aircaft systems are continuously connected and relay most anything a ground station wants.
dag, Apr 11 2002

       How about black boxes with AI and differing levels of bravado? give each plane a spectrum of BBs. The chicken BBs will leave (jump) at the first sign of trouble, with the more brave ones hanging on a little longer each time. With black boxes scattered all over the place, you're bound to find one of them.
phoenix, Apr 11 2002

       Breathless TV news "teaser:" And tune in tonight for graphic footage released by the FAA today of the black box video from inside the cabin of doomed flight 606! Watch the agonizing last moments of three hundred terror-stricken passengers as they plummet to a gruesome and certain death in a fiery and flesh-rending impact!Film at 6 and 11. And 6:02, 6:12, 6:29, 11:02, 11:12, 11:29, and a one-hour special covering the crash in detail at 11:30. Or log in to our web site to download the video NOW!
beauxeault, Apr 11 2002

       was just about to add this again, in the light of the tragic events in Greece.
neilp, Aug 15 2005

       To conserve power, a black box should listen for pings from a search vessel, and only then transmit its own pings in response. The black box's pings could be repeated at one-second intervals for a few minutes after being triggered by the search vessel's ping (and then stop).
It would also help matters if black boxes came in pairs. One would hold the flight data. The other would float and have a GPS receiver to record its position as soon as activated and store it in flash RAM.
Of course, each plane really should transmit (at minimum) its GPS coordinates to a satellite (or maybe nearby aircraft) once every ten seconds or so.

Added: The second black box *would float* (important).
Alvin, Jan 28 2017

       Large amount of nerve gas in frangible bottle. Large numbers of dead animals/fish would tend to show where the crash happened. Issue anti-toxin to passengers before the flight if you're that bothered.
not_morrison_rm, Jan 28 2017


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