Frankly, I'm confused. Did I miss where a thread subject had to be vetted by senior A-netters before it was permitted to be posted and commented on? It's perplexing. Don't like a thread? Don't read it. What purpose is gained by doing a drive-by insult to people who find this thread intellectually stimulating? I'm starting to think there is something more to this "never question how airlines do what they do" hostility.
Moving along. If I read the article correctly, the Canadian airline uses an abnormal flight envelope threshold to initiate an immediate, priority data dump. It does not use it to continuously stream data.
|Quoting RetiredWeasel (Reply 15):|
"...A small number of subscribers maybe, but 5000 aircraft all flying at the same time and streaming data every 4 or 5 minutes, highly doubtful. But you are entitled to believe them..."
This is a bit of a straw man argument in that if used as described above, there could be 50,000 aircraft flying in a given area and only enough bandwidth and memory storage for a single aircraft in crisis would be needed.
But if it can be turned off, what good is it? Don't let it be. Install it in a self contained fire-proof box, and make it use batteries, same as FDR & CVRS.
Addressing the scarcity of satellites, land-based receivers could be co-located at airports across the country. In large ocean expanses ships traverse these waters daily, and could be part of a future network, perhaps also utilizing weather, tsunami and science buoys sprinkled throughout all major seas and oceans. The first step in problem solving is not saying "this problem is un-solvable." Apollo 13 comes to mind.
Lastly, if a new technology isn't required by the FAA, it needn't die there. Use a clear market incentive, like "Install AFIRS and governments will assume the bulk of SAR and recovery costs. Don't want to install it, your Airline will go out of business after one accident." No board of directors alive would take that bankruptcy risk, nevermind an airline insurance company.
Just my thoughts.