The Search For The Black Box

by Jonathan on June 10, 2009

The race to find the black box flight recorders is on. This small device, which records flight data and voices from the flight deck crew is the only thing that can truly tell us how and why Air France flight 447 went down on the early morning of June 1.

A French nuclear submarine , the Emeraude, arrived off Brazil on Wednesday, June 10, to begin its hunt for the black box. The Emeraude will begin its first patrol zone this morning, searching an area that’s 20 nautical miles by 20 (37 kilometers by 37). The submarine is expected to cover that much ground in a day, according to military spokesman Captain Christophe Prazuck.

The submarine will change the zone that where it searches for the flight data recorders every day.
It won’t be easy to locate the black box. Even though it is designed to emit signals to aid in locating it, the submarine will have to come close to the box in order to pick up the signal.

To aid in the recovery, the United States has sent two super sensitive listening equipment that may be able to detect the emitted signal at a depth of up to 3.7 miles. These devices are called pinger locators and will be searching for the black box from aboard two French boats.

Once the black box has been located it will be the job of 3 robot mini submarines to recover it from the deep waters.

I really believe that we have the technology to recover the flight data recorders, and I really hope that we do.

There is approximately 20 days left before it stops emitting its location signal.



France 24

  • http://Website Mao Ronghai

    I believe that even if the black box is found and picked up one day, we can hardly get any useful information from it, because the information is most probably damaged owing to high pressure.
    Nevertheless, we should try our best, no matter how difficult it will be, how expensive it is, and how lesser chance we have. We should be responsible to the dead, and their loved ones. Good luck to the survey teams.

  • http://Website Maximilian

    Sorry, clarification needed.
    1 nautical mi. = 1.852 km, so 20 nautical miles would be 37 km.
    16 km are just 8+ miles.

    How much does the sub cover in one day?

  • AF447

    Thanks for pointing out the error. I made a mistake. You’re right, it is 37 km. According to the article on France24, it stated that it would cover an area that’s 37km x 37km. It looks likes the article on France24 has been updated and those numbers aren’t there anymore.

  • http://Website pearl magic

    More bodies and debris will be found as the intense current moves fiercely but the Brazilian gov’t is targeting the wrong area. The AF 447 sank 888 deep on a mountainous terrain topsy-turvy at 2:30 AM in the mid grid of South Atlantic Ocean by the Argentina territories; the pilots failed to make a U-turn for they lost control of the cabin because of computer glitz and complete electrical failure in the cockpit. posted 2 days ago over the internet.

  • http://Whysatellitesdidn'tfindmissingplane K.Bircan
  • http://Website Phillip Baker

    Flight 447.
    I would like to suggest to the people in charge of finding the flight recorders to DROP a new, working flight recorder on the area of the suspected crash and track it to see if they can continue to pick it up after it lands on the ocean floor. This will also give them an idea of how possibly ocean currents moved the original recorder from the crash.
    Just a suggestion that could perhaps help in the investigation.
    Thank you .
    PB.

  • Wenko

    Can anybody tell me why black boxes can’t be designed to float – for example by fitting it with an autmatically inflating ‘lifevest’. In our technically advanced age something like that would surely be possible?

  • AF447

    A lot of people are asking the same question. Even if the box was designed to float when submerged, how would it to float to the surface when it’s built into the plane? The plane isn’t designed to float, the black back is in the plane, plane can’t float, black box can’t float. The locator singles is the best thing, so far.

  • Mike in Santa Fe

    Has anyone suggested that black boxes be designed and built to continuously transmit recorded information via satellite to servers at airlines’ headquarters/communication centers? If that was done, then retrieving black boxes after a crash would not be needed.

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