SatCom Aviation Telemetry

Today’s weird idea came to me while watching one of those Discovery channel ‘when things go wrong’ type programs.  This particular program was about an aircraft with a fuel leak.

The captain misread the warnings, the plane ran out of fuel at 33,000 mid Atlantic and disaster was only narrowly avoided with a very long glide to safety.

So the idea is that as well as the black boxes, the plane sends all telemetry channels via satellite to a central computer which does two things.  Firstly it archives the logs just like the real BB does.  bingo, you no longer have to find the BB after an accident.

Secondly, and more importantly, a dedicated computer could analyse the telemetry streams in real time and look for anomalies, sort of like an AI system.  If anything awry is noted, then an expert could be alerted in real time to look at the issue.  Of course, for this to be useful the system would have to be bi-directional.

All this could easily be acheved with a 10kbit stream, even including the cockpit voice recorder assuming the data is packetised and compressed.

Just another crazy idea.