Black Box: A Complete Guide

Black Box: A Complete Guide

Black Box

#GS-03 Science and Technology

For Prelims

Black Box

  • Officially called the Flight Data Recorder, the Black Box is an instrument which records all the activities in an aeroplane during its flight.
  • An aeroplane generally contains two black boxes which are kept at the front and backside of the aeroplane.
  • These record the information about a flight and help in reconstructing the events in case of an aircraft crash.

Components of Black Box

  • The cockpit voice recorder (CVR), as its name suggests records radio transmissions and conversations between the pilots, engine noises and other sounds in the cockpit.
  • The flight data recorder (FDR) records more than 80 types of information including altitude, airspeed, flight heading, vertical acceleration, pitch, roll, autopilot status, and others.

Structure of Black Box

  • Black Box is made of Titanium which is then enclosed in a Titanium box.
  • This allows it to withstand any shock if it falls in the sea or falls from the height.
  • Though called Black boxes, they are a blazing, high-visibility orange in colour, so that crews looking for them at a crash site have a higher chance of finding them.
  • It has the ability to work for 30 days without any electricity and can withstand temperatures up to 11000°C.
  • To locate it in the aftermath of a plane crash at sea, each recorder is fitted with an Underwater Locator Beacon (ULB) which can be sensed from as deep as 14,000 feet.

The purpose of Black Boxes

  • They do not have the ability to prevent an aircraft crash nor can they help to protect the passengers in the event of a crash.
  • However, they become extremely important should the plane crash since they help crash investigators determine what happened just before the crash.
  • The aim of such an investigation is not to establish legal liability, but to identify the causes of a mishap in order to help prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

The creation of Black box

  • An Australian scientist named David Warren was the first person to build a FDR/CVR prototype in 1958.

Source “Nepal plane crash: black box recovered from accident site

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