• Michael Weeding

Moving the Black Box to the cloud

If you are Australian you are proud of the fact that some Aussie invented the Black Box back in 1956 that is now used on all commercial aircraft across the world, although very few would know him by name. His name was Dr David Warren, but is it time to rethink this invention?

The search for the missing Malaysian Boeing 777 airliner and the recovery of the Black Box so the investigators can discover just what has happened has prompted many to ask the question. “Why can’t the Black Box data be stored the cloud rather than on-board the aircraft?”

Why not, every industry is talking about data and the cloud is an important part of those conversations. Despite this it would be unlikely that a cloud black box would be an agenda item currently on the table for consideration within the aviation industry.

With over 93,000 flights being made every day the costs to establish cloud based storage and transmission of the data would cost billions of dollars. So with only 2 incidents in the last 5 years where this could become useful it is unlikely that the investments would be made.

Then again no one in Australia supported the Black Box until after a crash of an aircraft in Australia in 1960 and as a result a judge ordered that all Australian airliners had to carry a flight recorder. The world followed soon after.

So maybe in light of the recent events it could be time for a change, but it will probably take a court ruling to make it a reality.


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