Black boxes and its significance

Prelims- Science & Technology, Mains-GS-3-Technology

Why were Black boxes introduced?

a) Black boxes date back to the early 1950s.

b) After plane crashes, investigators were unable to arrive at a conclusive cause for the accidents

c) It was deemed necessary to install the recorders on aircraft.

What is the function of Black boxes ?

a) Most aircraft are equipped with two black boxes — the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and the flight data recorder (FDR).

b) They record the information about a flight and help reconstruct the events leading to an aircraft accident.

c) CVR records radio transmissions and other sounds in the cockpit such as conversations between the pilots and engine noises

d) The flight data recorder records more than 80 different types of information such as altitude, airspeed, flight heading, vertical acceleration, pitch, roll, autopilot status etc.

How are Black boxes protected?

a) CVR recordings (especially in U.S) are treated with extreme sensitivity.

b) Because of this sensitivity, a high degree of security is provided for the CVR audio and its transcript.

 c) These recording devices are stored inside a unit made from strong substances such as steel or titanium and are insulated from factors such as extreme heat, cold or wetness.

d) To protect these black boxes, they are equipped towards the tail end of the aircraft – where the impact of a crash is the least.

e) To make black boxes discoverable under water, they are equipped with a beacon that sends out ultrasound signals for 30 days.

f) In certain cases – like the Malaysian Airlines MH370 flight – the recorders aren’t found.

Source: Indian Express