Everything you need to know about airplane black boxes
Everything you need to know about airplane black boxes. When an aircraft experiences an accident, the most important thing to get the most accurate understanding of the cause of the accident is its black box. You may have heard the term blackbox before, but have you ever wondered what it actually is and how it works? If you have that curiosity, then today’s post is to satisfy it as much as possible.
What is airplane black boxes and how does it work?
An aircraft black box is a device that consists of several parts and stores flight data recordings and cockpit voice recordings. The flight data recorder part is abbreviated FDR, and the cockpit voice recorder is CVR. The Flight Data Recorder section stores various technical information of the aircraft.
These data include the speed of the plane, wind speed, how high the plane is flying, fuel flow, wheel movement etc. Up to 700 such parameters can be stored in the black box of large aircraft. On the other hand, the cockpit voice recorder section records all the audio/conversations in the cockpit.
This allows the pilot and other crew members to hear conversations and discussions, from which it is possible to get an idea of last-minute problems. The black box is located at the rear of the aircraft.
It’s not actually black, not even a box
Although the name is ‘black box’, the black box of the aircraft is actually orange in color. This arrangement is because the orange color is relatively easy to see. On the other hand, the black box doesn’t really look like a box or a box at all. The most visible structure of the blackbox is a cylinder, which is attached to a platform.
The battery is housed in a box-shaped structure next to the cylinder. And the memory unit is in the cylinder. Aeronautical and aeronautical experts do not call it a black box but an ‘Electronic Flight Data Recorder’.
Recording time of airplane black boxes
A black box flight data recorder usually stores the last 17 to 25 hours of flight data (technical/mechanical information of the aircraft). The cockpit voice recorder records the last 2 hours of conversations between the pilot and his cabin crew. This recording time can be up to 30 minutes on magnetic storage if not a solid state memory drive.
It is incredibly strong
Blackbox is extremely robustly built. Its structure is made of lithium or stainless steel. If the black box is thrown against a concrete wall at 750 km/h, it will survive. It can remain intact for at least 5 minutes with a weight of 2.25 tons at rest.
The black box can withstand temperatures of up to 1100 degrees Celsius for an hour without any damage. A black box can survive underwater pressure at a depth of 6,000 meters. Another important feature is its water-sensor. When the blackbox’s special sensor comes into contact with water (ocean/river), it sends a signal every second, from which rescue teams can locate the device and retrieve it.
But it can send this signal as long as the blackbox’s battery lasts. Typically, a black box can transmit signals for a maximum of 30 days. And this signal can come up to a maximum of 4 kilometers from under water.
After finding the black box of a crashed plane, the process of data recovery begins. Analyzing data from storage requires specialized software and tools. All in all it may take several weeks. It may even take months.
The future is airplane black boxes
To improve Black Box and its usability, work has been done to include audio as well as video recording in the future. Apart from this, along with recording, the idea of immediately sending it to a center on the ground has also come up.
As a result, you don’t have to wait for the black box to get the information. Although it is yet to see the face of practical reality. This may be possible with the help of artificial satellites. Apart from this, there is also an opinion about having multiple black boxes instead of one in the same aircraft.
Not only in the plane!
Not only aircraft, but also other vehicles such as cars may have black boxes called event data recorders. Hope this post was helpful to know some new information about black box.