God Forbid If you witness an airplane crash, then you need to retrieve the black box that is an indestructible orange device that records all the relevant flight data and conversations in the cockpit. Incidentally, the so-called black box has never actually been black. The color is predetermined: bright orange. Older black boxes used magnetic tape, a technology that was first introduced in the 1960s.

Flight recorder

A black box flight recorder is a highly secured storage unit, identical to a hard drive or a memory card. The black box documents all applicable flight data, in addition to communications in the cockpit. earlier this data has been documented on two separate devices. The “black box” is made up of two separate pieces of equipment: the flight data recorder (FDR) and a cockpit voice recorder (CVR). They are compulsory on any commercial flight or corporate jet and are usually kept in the tail of an aircraft, where they are more likely to survive a crash.

description of data recorder

How robust these Black Boxes are

Here’s a closer look at the materials that provide a barrier for the memory boards, starting at the innermost barrier and working our way outward:

  • Aluminum housing: There’s a thin layer of aluminum around the stack of memory cards.
  • High-temperature insulation: This dry-silica material is 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) thick and provides high-temperature thermal protection. This is what keeps the memory boards safe during post-accident fires.
  • Stainless-steel shell: — The high-temperature insulation material is contained within a stainless-steel cast shell that is about 0.25 inches (0.64 centimeters) thick. Titanium can be used to create this outer armor as well.

A black box is able to withstand many accident scenarios without sustaining damage. Before being put into the plane, they are tested to see if they can bear an impact with a concrete wall at 750 kilometers per hour (about 466 miles/hour), a static load of 2.25 tons for at least five minutes, a maximum temperature 1,100 degrees Celsius (2,012 Fahrenheit) for one hour and water pressure found in depths of up to 6,000 meters (about 19,700 feet). The crucial data preserved in the black boxes survive for two years or longer, even if they are submerged in the corrosive salt water of the Indian Ocean.

In order to be easier to find at sea, the devices send out a signal on contact with saltwater that can be picked up within a radius of about two kilometers (1.2 miles).

It is extremely rare for a black box to be destroyed, “Black boxes have traditionally outperformed their design.” It would take a concentrated fire beyond its design strength, or an impact so high that it would be beyond what it could withstand. For more exciting stuff please subscribe to our Facebook Page

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The Recordings Available

The voice recorder logs all sounds in the cockpit. In addition to discussions between the pilots, it also records automatic computer announcements, radio traffic, discussions with the crew, and announcements to the passengers. The sounds of switches and engine are also recorded by the device. Private conversations between the pilots are also stored on the black box.

Discussions can only be evaluated in order to clarify accidents or malfunctions. Technically, it’s even possible for pilots to stop or delete a recording. In practice, however, pilots don’t make use of that feature. But when it comes to the flight recorder, the second component of the black box, pilots are not able to directly access stored files. Among many others, this includes information on the following:

  • Time
  • Pressure altitude
  • Airspeed
  • Vertical acceleration
  • Magnetic heading
  • Control-column position
  • Rudder-pedal position
  • Control-wheel position
  • Horizontal stabilizer
  • Fuel flow

Who interprets this BlackBox data

Experts investigate the cause of an accident or serious incident and reduce the potential sources for error. However, investigators do not fully reconstruct a flight. There are only a few specialized agencies worldwide capable of evaluating a black box, and not every agency is able to examine the various models (Western and Russian devices). But with some models, the experts in must turn to foreign labs for help with the data.

In the future, video devices will be enabled to record certain displays in the cockpit, and that the transmission power of the locator signal through water will be improved. For more exciting stuff please subscribe to our Facebook Page

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