My understanding is that there IS realtime telemetry for engine parameters. Multiple redundant location data, on the otherhand, mustn't be high on priorities as there 'should' be many locations monitoring the planes' progress. Can't be hard to add in a few more bits for GPS co-ordinates..
I actually don't think the statement about safety is true...air travel remains one of the safest way to travel...theer are 40,000 people dying in car accidents in North America alone...and another 30,000 annually in hospitals due to wrong diagnosis or medication
Was watching the news yesterday they said its been 5 days and no information could be found about the missing plane, now Indian Government is also going to help in search. Its really so tough time for the families of people on board the flight. Airtravel is no longer safer these days.
The GPS satellites are transmitters. A GPS unit, if it is able to receive signals from 3 GPS satellites, calculates the position of the unit from the information contained in the received signals. So to track an aircraft by GPS, a GPS receiver unit on the aircraft would track the aircraft, and then the position would need to be relayed automatically to a remote site, perhaps by a satellite internet connection.
This is what sticks with me. It seems that we should have all kinds of rea-time data flowing out of these flights, a simple beacon at the very least. We should know EXACTLY where that transmission stopped.
The flight control centeres are still using the ages old Radar technology for keeping track of the air-borne planes. But when a plane crashes or has to have a forced landing on an unknown surface, this Radar contact is lost and if the other communication systems on board have failed then it becomes a herculian task to locate the illfated plane.
Can a satellite tracking based technology ,like GPS, be employed so that the location of the plane can be pin-pointed whether it is air-borne, laned or has crashed.
I feel really bad for the families that have to go through this. The safety record for airlines is pretty good, but it's alway a tragedy when an accident does occur.
I often wonder though, in this day and age, why they don't find a way to upload the contents of the "Black Box" to a server on the Internet like "Drop Box" for example, in real time, continuously, while the plane is in the air. Then when the plane lands safely, the data could be erased to save storage space.
It doesn't appear to me to be too difficult and it would be a good project for an engineer. Then, when an accident like this does happen, they would have the Black Box data immediately.
Perhaps engineers should champion for this since the public may not realize how easy that would be to implement on planes that already offer Internet access.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
Brought to you by