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Cloud Computing as a XXI Century Form of Tracking Aircraft

16 Sep 14 - 9:12AM  | Aerospace

aircraft tracking Jonathan Lee RecruitmentFollowing the tragic disappearance of Malaysian Airlines MH370, aircraft tracking has become of real public interest. A number of concerns have been raised about the efficiency of the tracking systems provided in civilian aircraft with both passengers and relatives wanting reassurance that they know where an aircraft is from its take off, during its flight, through to its safe landing.

To date, the aviation industry has tracked aircraft through satellite communications systems like Inmarsat, GPS and through complex secondary radars. After the tragedy of the Malaysian flight, Inmarsat have now announced they will offer a ‘black box in the cloud’ service.

A typical black box records between 4GB and 128GB of data per flight. With about 8,000 commercial flights a day, the volume of collective information would appear to be massive especially when the speed of satellite’s data transfer is only 80Kbs (typically the download speed of a good PC). The proposed Cloud systems would allow aircraft to stream the data into gigantic, web-wide database which could be accessed by all relevant authorities in real-time.

This Cloud based system would allow the transmission and storage of all the information in “Real Time”, rather than being downloaded when the aircraft is back on the ground. The key information recorded would include location, speed and reporting on on-board mechanical operations and systems.  This data is vital to ensure that the most up-to-date information is readily available for analysis to support mechanical servicing, aircraft operation or, in the worst case, an emergency situation.  Most importantly, it removes the reliance on the physical Blackbox for data analysis.  Specialists have agreed that the solution offers a real benefit in comparison to traditional systems.

As we are currently experiencing in office based computer networking systems Cloud Technology is potentially considered the future. The need for improving the current systems and the associated security surrounding the data are the key technology drivers for further development and where Jonathan Lee Recruitment is seeing a significant uplift in requirements for people with skills in these technology areas. To move this into aircraft technology would seem just a matter of time, but there are still many hurdles to overcome first.

Jonathan Lee Recruitment has a number of jobs available within the aerospace and defence industry. To find out more about these opportunities, please visit Aerospace Engineering Jobs or Defence Engineering Jobs apply today!

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