×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

iPods to be Used as Flight Data Recorders

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the cockpit-white-boxes dept.

Media (Apple) 200

udamahan writes "Flight Global reports small aircraft manufacturer LoPresti is introducing a system that uses an iPod as a flight data recorder. The company states that they chose the iPod for its size, low power requirements, and the 'thousands of developers passionate about writing applications for the iPod.' The article notes that data recorders are typically used for maintenance, flight/safety analysis, or, assuming proper protection, crash investigation."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Shocking... (5, Funny)

arlo5724 (172574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204338)

Hmmm, not so sure if I like the sounds of this. I broke an iPod by dropping it about 4 feet, I can only imagine how one will fare after plummeting 30,000...

Re:Shocking... (4, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204352)

It's not how far it falls, it's how much shock it takes at the end. Doesn't take much high-density foam to trim the impact shock to something the drive can tolerate. Surviving a fire, on the other hand...

-jcr

Re:Shocking... (5, Funny)

Konster (252488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204442)

Just throw it out of the plane before it crashes, no need to worry about fire then.

Re:Shocking... (4, Funny)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204478)

I think most pre-"air accident victims" are too busy doing the "life flashing before their eyes" thing to remember to save the data for the FAA's post crash analysis. Most programmers have problems doing backups after a 3 day coding marathon when all they're thinking of is beer and sleep.

Re:Shocking... (0, Offtopic)

Falco Danderfluff (1023843) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204594)

C++ is a great language, until...
you use Objective-C :-)

-- Falco

Re:Shocking... (-1, Troll)

josemayor1 (1070508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205140)

i am looking manual of C+. Someone can help me? http://www.dovoyeur.com/ [dovoyeur.com]

Eh, captain.. (1)

andr0meda (167375) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205118)


  Eh, captain, I'm seeing passports flying again, are you ABSOLUTELY sure we're not about to crash into a tower?

I had an iPod. It costed 400 euro's and it lasted about 1 year, and it is probably the first and last Apple thing I ever bought (apart from that AppleII that is sitting in the storage room).

Re:Eh, captain.. (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205378)

So, from your statistical sample of ONE you have used your amazing powers of deduction and logic, and came to the conclusion that Apple sucks? Well, FWIW, I bought an iPod Mini close to two years ago, and it's still going strong.

Re:Shocking... (4, Funny)

PHPfanboy (841183) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205194)

Just press f12 to Eject

Re:Shocking... (4, Interesting)

spagetti_code (773137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205112)

My flash drive says its good for 2000Gs ! I've been wondering how to test that. iPod's flash is probably something similar. It doesn't matter if the circuitry survives, just the flash.

Re:Shocking... (2, Funny)

drsquare (530038) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205338)

It may survive the pressure, but will it survive the rest of the plane smashing through it?

Re:Shocking... (3, Interesting)

Joelfabulous (1045392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205522)

Also, see the Otterbox...

They say the case they sell is crushproof, waterproof, airtight and they make iPod enclosures.

www.otterbox.com

I might buy one eventually because I like listening to music when I swim, and I've heard good things about them. Does anyone know if the iPod stops working at something like 35000 feet or so, and would the container somehow negate this effect? I'm pretty clueless about this stuff, but I assume that case would help somewhat...

Re:Shocking... (2, Funny)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204440)

And since most "black box" flight recorders are actually bright orange, it makes one wonder what colour they'll choose.

Re:Shocking... (4, Funny)

imdx80 (842737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204464)

and now the new shuffles make sense

I can see it coming: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18204566)

Four FAA-investigators, putting on an earnest face, leaning over an orange Ipod Shuffle
connected to highly professional audio Monitors:

(Ipod-Voice from Loudspeaker) "Hello, dear audience..."
(Ipod-Voice from Loudspeaker) "...this time I will replay the in-flight data for...."

intense shuffling, investigators are putting in a frown

(Ipod-Voice from Loudspeaker) "...cabin air moisture!"

(FAA agent 1) "No, not again!"
(FAA agent 2) "Who`s going for lunch? I`m sooo bored!"

Re:I can see it coming: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18204628)

I like the effort you put... but it's not funny. Asshole.

Re:Shocking... (1)

flanktwo (1041494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204584)

What? They don't make bright orange iPods?

Re:Shocking... (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204912)

They'll choose deep blue, since white is opposite of black and deep blue is opposite of orange.


But please don't flame me with colour theory :p

Worse still (5, Funny)

MountainMan101 (714389) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204458)

After an accident there will be many people who need to investigate the flight data. How problematic is it going to be that they will only be able to put the data on five computers?

Re:Worse still (1)

clonmult (586283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205292)

Better on an iPod than a zune though.

Could you imagine trying to squirt the data over to another one for further tests, only to get to a "Feck, I needed to do another run over the data to verify, blasted DRM will only allow 3 passes."

But of course, the DRM adds value ....

Re:Shocking... (4, Funny)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204504)

If you can get your single-engine piston aircraft to 30,000 feet, you're doing well. If you ran into problems, you'd have time to phone in the flight data recorder information before you hit the ground...

Re:Shocking... (2, Funny)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204524)

"Can you hear me now? Goo-*Crash*"

Sorry, airline accident victims...

Re:Shocking... (3, Funny)

TEMMiNK (699173) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205188)

It's not it breaking we have to worry about, its having to install iTunes on the aircraft's computer systems to use the damn thing!

Re:Shocking... (1, Interesting)

webbod (1032868) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205234)

I killed an iPod by knocking it off a desk onto a wooden floor - planes work a lot higher than desks and the ground is a lot harder. Crazy idea - what kind of a moron would want to 'open source' avionics ?

Hmm (2, Interesting)

RFaulder (1016762) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204340)

I would assume that they would be using flash-based iPods rather than HDD models, as I doubt a 1.8" drive could withstand an airplane crash.

Re:Hmm (0)

moro_666 (414422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204428)

Next Post!

But if it would, i'd love to see those pilots going numa-numa :)

I wonder if it's actually forbidden to dance numa-numa if the plane is going down anyway ... ?

Wow. (2, Insightful)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204344)


      "Black Boxes" are made to survive all kinds of unbelievable crashes, impacts, fires, explosions, etc.. Instead, these brainiacs are going to use something that breaks if it drops out of your pocket. Way to go, guys.

steve

Re:Wow. (4, Funny)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204360)

Drops out of your pocket? The damned things break if you drop it IN your pocket!

It won't break (3, Insightful)

QueePWNzor (1044224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204378)

They'll probably secure it properly to avoid something like that. Its size will make that easily possible. Remember inertia? It can't just fly out of where it's held. If the plane crashes, it'll be still where it was attached - just under a bit of rubble.

Re:It won't break (2, Funny)

2meen (728316) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204494)

But what if that part of the plane ends up on the other side of the island?

Re:It won't break (1)

clark0r (925569) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204552)

don't these things also act as 'beacons' so that they can be found after a crash?

Re:It won't break (3, Funny)

dosquatch (924618) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205404)

Absolutely! Similarly, the iPods will be programmed to loop "We Built This City" endlessly, virtually guaranteeing that somebody will show up to scream "Turn that crap off!"

Re:It won't break (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204674)

They're probably going to want to change the battery every month, given that a year is apparently too much to hope for.

Re:It won't break (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204910)

The problem is the hard disk platters used, you would think they'd be sensitive to a thump even with lots of padding etc.

Then again perhaps they're using solid state memory, but then data recovery is harder (data can be retrieved off tape that has been submerged and damaged etc, this would be much harder with on-chip memory).

Then again.. perhaps these aren't meant to be used in black boxes, and are just for recording data for maintenance etc.

Re:Wow. (1, Troll)

Kattspya (994189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204550)

You must be old here. That's the only possible reason for you to not read even the summary.

The article notes that data recorders are typically used for maintenance, flight/safety analysis,or, assuming proper protection, crash investigation."

Re:Wow. (1)

ET_Fleshy (829048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204576)

You forgot to mention spying on the pilots and using it (indirectly of course) to get them into trouble.

Re:Wow. (1)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204740)

You must be new here. That's the only possible reason to jump to silly conclusions.

    Show me how to protect an iPod in the same way that a black box is protected. Since the internals of an iPod are not made to anywhere near the heat, shock, chemical, or other requirements of a "black box", then by the time you've provided "proper protection", you will have taken up so much of your cabin space (and perhaps used so much weight) that you could have just used a real "black box" to begin with.

Re:Wow. (1)

Kattspya (994189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205174)

Currently, EUROCAE specifies that a recorder must be able to withstand an acceleration of 3400 g (33 km/s) for 6.5 milliseconds.
If the same specifications apply to a HDD based FDR I wouldn't assume you could use any hard drive based medium as crash safe flight data recorder. That was my point.

Re:Wow. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18204660)

"Black Boxes" are made to survive all kinds of unbelievable crashes, impacts, fires, explosions, etc..

Why don't they make the plane out of the same material as the black boxes? Problem solved. You can now use the iPod for your music and videos.

Should use these... (2, Informative)

Bazman (4849) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204942)


The Monolith [lordpercy.com] mp3 player. Described as 'bomb-proof'. It can also be run over by a car.

Re:Should use these... (1)

plumby (179557) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205418)

The Gadget Show in the UK tested one of these against an iPod with a rugged case (can't remember which one) last week. Tests included encasing them in cement and using a pneumatic drill to get them out, and using a car crusher on them.

The iPod won.

And having some fun during autopiloting (1)

QueePWNzor (1044224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204362)

The article notes that data recorders are typically used for maintenance, flight/safety analysis, or, assuming proper protection, crash investigation

Re:And having some fun during autopiloting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18204480)

And now those will play music too!

Re:And having some fun during autopiloting (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204520)

The crash investigators need to know what kind of music the pilot likes you know.
If the pilot dies then the iPod will be crucial in getting this information.

In other news... (5, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204376)

A commercial airliner has crashed killing all 182 passengers on board as well as 8 flight crew. Investigators have recovered 191 flight recorders.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18204618)

... and they where all broken.

Flash Disk ? (1)

mattydont (849321) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204386)

They really should use those Corsair Flash Voyager Disks, those things take heaps of abuse from me and still work (eg, thrown at co-workers), and 16GB aint something to schoff at either

OMG NAME! (1, Funny)

Konster (252488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204408)

The name of the product...

Airpod.

Re:OMG NAME! (4, Funny)

deathcow (455995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204476)

I prefer "iDead"

No (1)

MicrosoftRepresentit (1002310) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204658)

Even better is iHundredsOfCasualties

Re:OMG NAME! (1)

Mushdot (943219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204986)

Flypod!

Re:OMG NAME! (1)

monotony (999416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204770)

surely, what we are looking for here is the iCrash ;)

Personal Flight Recorder (4, Insightful)

tymbow (725036) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204412)

I don't think they mean to replace the "blackbox" as most people understand it. It is accurately described in TFA as a Personal Flight Recorder. As a (recreational) pilot I can imagine a number of situations where it would be useful to be able to record basic flight data such as altitidue, speed, ground track etc. to look at after a flight.

Re:Personal Flight Recorder (1)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204768)

I thought about that as well - a friend of mine is a glider fanatic, and uses an iPaq hooked to a GPS to record in-flight data. When he gets back, he has some really nifty software to overlay the flight path on various maps, and do all sorts of calculations for him.

But, the article says that it will serve as a "digital data recorder, nicknamed 'black boxes' by the general media." That gives me the impression that they really do want this to be the plane's main black box.

Now that I think about it, though, there is one upside to this: If this brings the cost down by an order of magnitude (or more), then a lot of smaller, personal planes which don't have a "black box" right now may be able to afford one. Probably not of the same quality that you'd find on a 747, but still, some of them may survive a crash. :-)

Re:Personal Flight Recorder (3, Insightful)

rvw (755107) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205190)

I don't think they mean to replace the "blackbox" as most people understand it. It is accurately described in TFA as a Personal Flight Recorder. As a (recreational) pilot I can imagine a number of situations where it would be useful to be able to record basic flight data such as altitidue, speed, ground track etc. to look at after a flight.
Another thing is that most small airplanes with propeller engines crash at much lower speeds, leaving the plane a lot more intact than the crashes we see on the news. The ipod would therefor have a much bigger chance of surviving a crash.

A whole new meaning... (5, Funny)

iliketrash (624051) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204418)

This brings a whole new meaning to a "disk crash."

Re:A whole new meaning... (1)

shadowknot (853491) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204548)

Heh, that's the joke Steve Wozniak (Apple co-founder) makes after crashing his plane in Pirates of Silicon Valley.

And then! (4, Funny)

Konster (252488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204422)

Flight International is doing a similar thing, but with the Zune, it crashes before the plane does!

Flash drives would be better.. (3, Interesting)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204432)

..as they are virtually indestructable.

Mine has been dropped, smashed, been through both washing machine and dryer. All with no noticable damage and no dataloss.

My HDD recorder, on the other hand, was destroyed by a small amount of coca cola :(

Re:Flash drives would be better.. (2, Interesting)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204528)

My Lifedrive with its tiny compact flash hard drive has had some pretty spectacular falls.

The most notable would be flying off a lecture room table and hitting the floor two meters below.
Still works perfectly.

Re:Flash drives would be better.. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18204794)

"flying off a lecture room table and hitting the floor two meters below"

do you go to giant school or something?

Re:Flash drives would be better.. (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205070)

Mine failed after an impact with one six year old girl while it was plugged into my computer. She ran past, knocked it, and the drive snapped in half.
Ok, probably the drive survived a bit, but the supporting hardware was shredded.

how on earth did you get coke on a HDD?

Re:Flash drives would be better.. (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205162)

The player was in my bag with a bottle of coke. Was in a rush to catch a plane (via a train) when I put the coke in the bag, and missed the fact that it wasn't tightly closed.

The process of running to the train station stimulated the coke to the level that it exited its bottle and got friendly with my H340.

Although only a small quantity of coke had escaped, it totalled the H340's hard drive :(

Hehe (1)

CptChipJew (301983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204436)

They're going to be really disappointed when they find out what happens when you leave an iPod drive spinning all day.

Bono Red? (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204454)

Will this be only available in Bono Red?

Re:Bono Red? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18204680)

No, it will also be available in Crash Yellow and Hijack Brown.

Re:Bono Red? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18205096)

sorry only available in bright orange, but for some reason we call it black.

FAA Regs (2, Funny)

scatters (864681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204466)

So, will they have to be turned off during the takeoff and landing phases of the flight per FAA AC 91.21. Seems like these are the most useful phases of the flight to record.
I can just image it: "At this time the cabin crew would like to remind the flight crew to turn off the flight recorder. We'll let you know when we reach cruising altitide and it is safe to turn the device back on".

Before anyone feels the need to inform me that Advisory Circulars are not the same as FAA regulations, I know already!

Re:FAA Regs (1)

AlphaOne (209575) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204586)

So, will they have to be turned off during the takeoff and landing phases of the flight per FAA AC 91.21. Seems like these are the most useful phases of the flight to record.

That only applies to IFR flight. Even so, if the operator can determine that the device poses no interference hazard, they can exempt it.

Re:FAA Regs (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204984)

Doesn't the cost of certifying some electrical equipment kind of negate the cost benefit of using an iPod in the first place?

Excellent Idea... (5, Informative)

T-Bucket (823202) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204468)

Sounds like an awesome idea. Chances are it's going to be used more to record normal flight data than for crash investigation. They're not aiming it at airliners. Most small single-engine piston airplanes are simple enough that the reason for the crash can be easily discerned from the wreckage. There aren't 300 redundant systems to go through. It's usually a case of "Hey, look, that piston is poking out through the engine block." or "Hmm, the 100 hour private pilot ran off the runway into a ditch trying to land in a 30kt crosswind". What it'll really be useful for is stuff like engine monitoring and whatnot. One of these reviewed by your mechanic at annual could make his job a LOT easier...

Re:Excellent Idea...??? (2, Insightful)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205134)

Can this information be used for aircraft maintenance? It seems using a non-certified device to record data that will be used to perform service would open a repair center to a lawsuit. How can you be assured that the data is correct? It seems the only application would be to record your flight profile for playback in flightsim.

Why not the Zune? (1)

kerouacsgp (516242) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204496)

I'm sure there's alot of cheap unsold Zunes lying around in BestBuy.

Re:Why not the Zune? (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204718)

What? and in the middle of the flight, do you want the Zune to become suddenly "unrecognized external drive" and the pilot hits "Format" by mistake?
Jokes apart, i think the nano flash-based stuff is what they would prefer. Not the hard-disk based for flights.
Certification itself would take 5 years, by which time almost all hard-disk iPods running today would be extinct.

What developers? (4, Insightful)

Ptur (866963) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204506)

'thousands of developers passionate about writing applications for the iPod.'
What developers? At Apple? Or will PortalPlayer *finally* publish its datasheets so others can write code for it too?

Without certification (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204510)

can you hook this thing into the avionics?

Re:Without certification (3, Interesting)

AlphaOne (209575) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204572)

can you hook this thing into the avionics?

On experimental aircraft, yes. On certified aircraft, no.

I'm not sure what value would be gained, though... about the best that could be recorded is OBS position and CDI deflection, maybe turn rate and bank angle if the turn coordinator/artificial horizon can provide feedback.

If the aircraft has a GPS (big if), I guess you could record position and velocity data.

Re:Without certification (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204992)

For that stuff you could use something like a TomTom - there's already plenty of software for it that does this for ground based stuff, you just need to add altitude measurement... plus it runs Linux so there really *are* thousands of developers, and there's a serial port to get the externally measured data in easily. Seems a much better fit to the task than an ipod.

Re:Without certification (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205012)

The limited usefulness of this solution was the unstated crux of my question. AlphaOne points out that the package can't be hooked up to a certified aircraft. If you wanted to log instrumentation on an experimental aircraft or instrument a RPV or UAV, better, non-volatile, crash-resistant solutions exist or are already implemented in the avionics package.

Re:Without certification (1)

IainMH (176964) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205546)

If the aircraft has a GPS (big if), I guess you could record position and velocity data.


But what's the point if they can already tell that?

At t = t(impact):

Position = Where the crater is

Velocity = 0

See (3, Funny)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204526)

Harrison Ford had it right, the Ipod can be used for data storage. Hollywood hacker movies are right again. One of these days someones going to hack the Gibson.....as soon as they build the Gibson.

iPod Flight Recroder sponsored by Levis? (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204564)

.. now you can wire the iPod to your pants aswell as your Nikes.

iPod as a model airplane flight recorder (3, Informative)

heroine (1220) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204592)

Gumstix is a popular flight data recorder for models because it contains the highest computing power in the smallest space, but it's expensive. So could the cheapest $80 iPod be used as a Gumstix replacement? Can a $50 non-iPod mp3 player be used as an embedded computer or does it have to be iPod?

Re:iPod as a model airplane flight recorder (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205056)

It hasn't so much to do with the MP3-player aspect of the iPod as with the fact that it can be reprogrammed for other purposes. 99% of other MP3 players are hardware-based; you can't reprogram them.

Trouble (3, Interesting)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204602)

Without fail, my iPod used to die on me every time I flew. 20 minutes into the flight and BAM the drive goes into wacky mode. The unit locks, heats up, makes a sickening grinding noise as the battery quickly drains.

I finally fixed it by ripping the thing apart and re-seating the drive cable. But still...

What about all the failed harddrives? (2, Insightful)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204666)

As much as I love my current iPod, I'm well aware that I have had several hard drives fail on me, and I have seen countless "geniuses" hold the tiny bricks up to their ear waiting for a telltale "click...click...click." I hope these guys are using flash-based Nanos, because a number of their bigger siblings die from hanging out in a moving pants pocket. I'm not saying those tiny little hard drives a cursed, I'm simply saying that a 30gig iPod wouldn't be my first choice for something that was supposed to survive a plane crash without needing data recovery service.

Re:What about all the failed harddrives? (1)

addie macgruer (705252) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205050)

Just to go off topic a little...

When I first got the click o' death, I sent back my iPod (3G, 40gb), since it was still under warranty, o' course. And the second one, when it was CoD too. Thrid one, didn't start to get the click of death until a year had passed, so was no longer warrantied.

Seemed to get it worse when the battery was a bit low; it didn't seem to have the juice to spin up the disk, but you couldn't charge it, because the click... click... click... seemed to be using up the charge faster than the power lead could feed it.

Since I had nothing to lose, I popped the case open and unhooked the drive. Could then charge the battery up to full; got the 'unhappy mac' on the display. Rehooked up the drive, and off it went. Have only had the CoD since then when the battery's been allowed to run down; possibly buying a new battery would be a good plan, but that's my beer money.

Wouldn't let an iPod anywhere near a commercial flight recorder however. My iPod suicided last week updating the music database from iTunes; all the music's still on it but it can't see it anymore; am going to have to spend some time copying it off, then letting iTunes copy it back on. Would hate a similar write-error to lose all my records of where I'd been flying.

I can see the headlines now... (5, Funny)

Hanners1979 (959741) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204710)

"Despite recovering the flight data recorder from the wreckage, the caush of the crash is yet to be established. It has been confirmed however that the pilot was a big Pink Floyd fan"

You've gotta be kidding! (1, Flamebait)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204758)

This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard - wanting to use a hard disk-based iPod as an FDR?!? The stupid things are unreliable enough as consumer devices! I'm regularly having to "tap" mine on the desk to get the hard disk going again after it's paused itself in the middle of a song - how's it going to fare in a high-vibration aircraft environment, with regular pressure and temperature changes to boot!?

It's kinda sad.... (2, Insightful)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204870)

assuming proper protection, crash investigation.

There are alot of people saying that this is stupid because their iPod
breaks when it falls out of thier pocket. I would say RTFA but, if you can't
bother to read the whole posting on /. it's kinda pointless to expect any
kind of intelligent posting.
Go on, -1 troll me. See if I give a fsck, I still call BS when I see it.

It's not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18204880)

They only use an ipod cause they were looking for an excuse to get one and make their company pay it...
 
It's so obvious

In Soviet Russia ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18204908)

In Soviet Russia, iPod crashes YOU.

Is it some kind of a joke? (1, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18204914)

Even if they use flash-based iPod as opposed to hard drive-based one, it's still a very bad choice. You can have two flash cards with any interface recording flight data in parallel (pretending to be RAID1), in a continuous stream treating both cards as ring buffers, so each bit is overwritten once per cycle. Even with $15-20 modern flash cards you can get 1G before old data will be overwritten, and 100T (assuming that the cards are never changed) before 1/2 probability of an error. If we assume that black box records voice at 8Kbps and another 8Kbps records the flight data, that's more than 135 hours. If the voice is recorded at 64Kbps, you get 30 hours from a pair of cards. That's at most $40 of storage -- it can be expanded if necessary by adding more cards.

What is the point of adding some expensive, unreliable device that contains completely useless audio playback and input circuitry?

Trouble is... (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205060)

The flight data recorder would presumably have to be turned off during take-off and landing, and whenever the seat-belt signs are illuminated. Isn't that precisely when one most needs flight data recording?

DRM (0, Flamebait)

p0 (740290) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205072)

But how can you take it out of the iPod without breaking the law first?

iPod's don't like to get high... (3, Interesting)

adamscottphotos (681121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205256)

I live at approx 7000' in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, and very frequently spend time over 10,000'. I've noticed that nearly everbody in our town has a cranky or dead ipod. When a strong Sierra storm rolls through, the lowered air pressure gives us an effective altitude of nearly 9000'. I've noticed a strong coorelation between blizzards here and dead drives an iPods. I spoke with a friend in Leadville, CO (12,500') and he claims they flat don't work at his altitude. Also many reports can be found via google of people's iPods not loving the tops of ski areas (Breckenridge goes to like 13,800'). I know most planes are pressurized... but... Would be nice if stock drives were happy at 15,000' - there's no real way to locally increase the air pressure around the drive, and the thinner air brings the head closer to the platters.

I sense a new business opportunity... (1)

ClemensW (835172) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205298)

Protective Flight Recorder Cases for iPods: 1/4" titanium shell, 1" dry-silica temperature insulation, 2" shock absorbing foam padding. Add door, fire-retardant sealings and a data connector from ext to int. Optional: Locator beacon. Anyone wants to place an order?

Flash i hope (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205304)

If they are going to use the HD versions, then they might as well not bother.

I dont care what protective case you put it in, a 20000 feet drop is going to kill a mechincal hardddrive.

what about the car? (2, Interesting)

sjs132 (631745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18205354)

Ok, now a days, every car seems wired for iPod... Why not add that to the car features, a car crash data recorder (ok, shhh... We have it built in already... I know... I know...)

AND WHAT ABOUT MY FLYING CAR!!! I WANT MY FLYING CAR!!! With the iPod option!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?