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Chinese aircraft manufacturer uses big data to build safer planes (2)

(Xinhua)    09:40, March 27, 2016

It will be difficult to analyze a plane crash, locate the crash site and conduct a rescue in a timely manner if the plane's "black box" goes missing.

Take flight MH370 for instance. Malaysian officials said recently the two pieces of debris found in Mozambique were consistent with parts on a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, and hence almost certainly were from the missing flight MH370. Yet the missing black box still makes the accident that happened two years ago one of the most perplexing crashes in the history of modern civil aviation.

In December 2015, the European Union announced new requirements for closer tracking of an aircraft in the sky and improved traceability of the black box aboard.

In this aspect, the Chinese aircraft manufacturer is capitalizing on a latecomer advantage.

COMAC is carrying out research and development of a comprehensive emergency recording and tracking system called "Harbinger," which it started two years ago as a complement to the black box system.

The "Harbinger" will be ejected from the tail of a plane when it is about to crash, takes away the flight data in the black box and records the last few minutes of the crash. It can transmit data to a satellite shortly after the ejection while keeping a backup of the data.

Equipped with a soft-landing system, "Harbinger" can protect itself from landing on the sea or land. It will send signals for people to locate it after its landing.

The project has applied for patent in both the United States and several other countries and testing pieces have been manufactured.

The company is also partnering with FTS Technologies Inc., a California-based Internet connectivity turnkey solution provider, to develop new functions in rapid wireless data transmission.

Besides, experts at the company are studying "smart life health management" of aircraft to enhance an aircraft's "self-awareness" of its life.

Different from traditional fatigue tests, this study aims to calculate the service life of the large-scale complex system of an airplane through a special algorithm so that safety data of the system can be obtained before takeoff.

COMAC America Corporation is also building an online aviation consulting platform to connect global engineering resources. The platform is set to launch in the second half of this year.

"This platform is expected to transform the traditional model of research, development and technical services," Ye said.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Kong Defang,Bianji)

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