Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Mysterious Black Box

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Air India Express Aircraft IX-892 from Dubai coming to Mangalore crashes on landing. At least 158 die. A massive tragedy.

But here, let's focus a bit on something else. The investigations of the Plane crash are 'on', even as this post is being written and there are uneven theories of the crash all over television. So far,no one knows the truth. Soon, they will be hunting for the "Black Box" to unravel the real mystery behind the crash.

So lets' focus a bit on the mysterious "Black Box" in this post.

Almost no one knows what a black box looks like. To us, it's more like the Block box. So here is some information on it that enhances and ups our knowledge on it a bit.

This is what a Black Box in a plane looks like.

The Black Box Internal

The Black Box:
1) In aviation terms, a black box is an Audio Recording Device placed in the cockpit of an airplane.

2) There are two "Black Boxes" on modern day aircraft. One is the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) used to record cockpit, intercom and pilot to controller communications. The other is the Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) used to record aircraft flight control inputs, flight parameters (speed, altitude, etc.) and system performance. The primary use for both is in accident investigations.

3) It is Orange in color. This is so it's easily identifiable.

4) This recording device costs roughly the same as a compact car would.

The black box can solve the mysteries of the plane crash. But it's also a fact that sometimes they can't find it.

So here are some basic questions relating to the box. Questions that a normal person like me with average sense would wonder about and ask...

* Why can't they make this thing wireless and connect it in such a way so they can download the data as it happens, at the Servers at base or anywhere else besides the plane itself?

* Why can't they have these boxes in smaller sizes thereby reducing the space of occupancy and the weight? After all, we do have flash drives and thumb drives of huge capacities, don't we?

* Why not attach a GPS device to it so it can be found on the computer beeper without going for a physical search for it...since it's highly important to have it on priority?

* Why can't they, for the lord of it, attach with it with a CCTV cam too so they can get the images as well? Don't they say "an image is worth a hell lotta words?"

Makes sense?? What are your thoughts? Can you add some more questions to these?

U and I, in.. WE do the Air Travel and with this fresh case of a crash, it's evident that Air Travel is not 100% safe yet. Brrrrrr. And I don't see it happening in the near future either till the time questions such as above are answered.

This post is dedicated to the lost passengers of the Air India Express aircraft IX-892. God bless their souls.

12 Spoke their mind: yep, makes a difference !!

V Rakesh said...

On the onset, a very sad tragedy that has happened!

Your questions are valid Andy Boi, lets just hope that the designer folks do something abt it!

Anand said...

Hi Rakesh, How u been? and where?
Yea well, the questions made sense to me. I don think the ministries wud wanna answer 'em anyways.

ankita mehta said...

Food for thought for the designers of this "Black Box". I agree completely that there should be a cctv attached with it. Very informative post! I had some idea about this box but not to such extent. Thanks.

Meanwhile,really SAD about the plane crash. May the departed souls RIP.

ankita mehta said...

Black box is a device used in aeroplanes to keep record of its performance parameter. It acts as a store house for all the information on the flight; we have thoughtfully adopted the same technology to monitor any Vehicle.

Black box is the owner's eye on his vehicle. It monitors and relays information of the vehicle. It also records all the data and transfers it to your computer or mobile wherever and whenever you require, at the touch of a button.

Earlier it was virtually impossible for an owner to keep an eye on his fleet. No matter whatever the systems of checks and counter checks, it was not enough to stop unscrupulous drivers. Now with a Black Box in place, the owner can monitor each and every move of his vehicle. It acts as a deterrent to the drivers and also gives valuable insight on how an owner can reduce cost and improve efficiency.

Black Box customers can experience dramatic operational improvements following installation, including an increase in productivity, improved customer satisfaction reports and vehicular safety. Additionally they see significant decreases in fuel costs and maintenance costs.

The unit installed in the vehicle will give the following information using GPS / GPRS Technology.

Location: Live location of the vehicle any time – any where in the country.
Speed: Live speed of the vehicle with speed alerts.
Distance: Distance traveled by the vehicle.
Stoppages: Stoppages en-route and its duration
Air-Conditioning: ON/OFF status of the air-conditioner & many more features.
Ignition Status: ON/OFF status of ignition.
Geofencing: Alert you whenever vehicle goes outside the prescribed area.
Auto Immoblize: Auto immoblize on geofence violation.
Fuel sensor: Keep check on the wastage and consumption of Fuel
Beep alert: Alerts for driver whenever he goes beyond the speed limit.
SMS Feature: SMS alerts can be generated for all features on owners mobile
Immobilizer: Remotely immobilize the engine of your vehicle in case of theft, hijack or for any other reason. In case of a running vehicle, it is slowly brought to a halt for a safe and secure recovery
Voice Two way communication: Vehicle owners can talk to the driver using the 'two-way voice communication' facility eliminating the requirement of a mobile phone with the driver.
Power Status: Power On/Off indication
GPS Status: It indicates whether the device is receiving data from the GPS satellites or not.
Real-time Tracking: Watch your vehicle moving in real-time on the map, the route being followed, the distance covered and at what speed. Data updating at intervals ranging from 12~40 seconds and upwards up to any period.
GSM Status: Receives GMS signal from the network.
Over Speeding Report — Report date, time, location, speed each time the maximum speed limit was exceeded.
Over Stoppage Report: Report date, time, location, speed each time the Vehicle stops
Battery Backup: 12-14 Hour battery back up.
Root play back: Vehicle movement of past period is available both for viewing on map as in live display and reports. Standard backup is 3 months and extended backup is available on payment basis.
Distance Calculator: Distance can be calculated in Km/s between the two places by just clicking on the map without sending your vehicle on that route.
Alert:Reminders can be set of particular vehicle like insurance, servicing, renewal of driving license, warranty etc.
Anti Theft Mode: in case of vehicle movement sms alert would be generated.

Anand said...

Ankita, grt Info. :) U can make a career in reporting journalism.

Anand said...

Hi Selfi, I agree...only as per statistics. My heart says otherwise.
Btw, I remember the same dialog from the flick "Superman" too. :)

Anonymous said...

First of all where the hell have you been? I was about to send a search party to dig you out of your hiding place.

Is this Black Box indestructible? If so why in the name of God can't they make the whole plane out of the same material? errr... I know my GK is kinda weird.

It's so sad to hear about the tragedy

Anand said...

Avdi, If only the pertinent plane ppl follow it up and do somethin' about it. :)
How u doin? Long time.:)

Anand said...

Hi Sexy baby aka Cracked - I was cracked cuz I thot I had lost u. Now who wud hv thot u were lookin for me too?
Tell u wot, u keep one of these damn Black boxes and Ill keep one meself. Lets beep ourselves in 'lost' cases. Wotsay? :)

The GK is fine. It's the person u know. :) :P

Where u been n wot u been upto?

1000 bucks for your thoughts?



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