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UNSW

AERO3200 Veerappan Shanmugam 3351703

Black box
Flight Data Recorder
7th Sep 2011

AERO3200

Shanmugam

3351703

AERO3200

Shanmugam

3351703

Definition
A Flight Data Recorder according to Skybary is an aircraft equipment that records certain parameters specific of the aircrafts performance.

Purpose
The initial purpose of the FDR record and store data such as air speed, altitude and some other parameters that would have to survive an air crash. These data can later be recovered prior to the crash, which would be collated to investigate the reason for the crash so as to prevent future occurrences. However although the main reason of the FDR is still intact in todays aviation industry, there have been some modifications in their methodology and technology that are used due to stricter aviation laws. For example the workload of the FDR has been split up into several various components such as:

Cockpit Voice Recorder, CVR Flight Data Acquisition Unit, FDAU Quick Access Recorder, QAR Enhanced Airborne Flight Recorder, EAFR Flight Data Recorder, FDR

Figure 1

shows the various location of the FDR systems

In an aircraft Adapted from: http://science.howstuffworks.com/ transport/flight/modern/black-box2.htm

AERO3200

Shanmugam

3351703

History
Flight Data Recorders, FDR, is aircraft equipment that does not have one inventor. Franois Hussenot and Paul Beaudouin designed one of the earliest recordings of this instrument in 1939. These pair of French Engineers who made a their version of the flight data recorder using a rolling photographic film and small light ray deviated by a mirror to capture the image of the data. Due to fact that this model had a pitch-black interior, it was nicknamed Black box.

The next significant development in this technology occurred during World War II. A Finnish Engineer, Vejio Hietala, who devised the first modern FDR which was capable of collecting various aviation data that was crucial in fighter jets for that were undergoing test flight, maintenance and construction.

Then following major leap happen approximately a decade late by an Australian aeronautics engineer David Warren. Warrens model was not only able to record crucial flight data but also record cockpit conversations. This version of the FDR was made mandatory in all aircraft after the 1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision and the unexplained 1960 air crash in Queensland. However to ease the process of locating the FDR in case of a air crash the instrument was to be painted a fluorescent orange which causes the nickname Black Box to be ironic.

AERO3200

Shanmugam

3351703

Functional Specifications
A typical functional specification of a FDR system is