New Black Boxes with one big Upgrade

Thursday, April 3, 2014
By George Hatcher

The thirty-day ping life that black boxes are known for is about to be history, thanks to Radiant Power Corp, and Air France 477. After AF447, U.S. and European agencies decided to raise their expectations of black boxes. In 2011, they mandated a requirement that acoustic emergency transmitters be powered for at least 90 days. But with the rapid-fire application (standard for aviation procedures) that standard goes into effect next year. Associations like the FAA and the NTSB, and the BEA in France are cognizant of the size of airlines fleets, and the prohibitive cost of upgrades; so it is common for safety standards to take a long time to go into effect.

If they had raised the bar sooner and faster, MH370 might have had a bigger “ping” window, but the black box batteries are quickly coming to the end of their span.

Recommendations included the standard of expecting a new, lower-frequency emergency locator on every airliner, in addition to the 90 day battery-life.

The video Below has a representative of Radiant Power Corp showing a current beacon.

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