Mitigating Flight Data Recorder Modification Issues using Modular FDAUsDownload PDF
The Need for Data Collection and Conditioning
Flight Data Recorders (FDR) are necessary for any aircraft to provide valuable information to accident investigators following an incident. FDRs have, for the commercial world, usually been developed in accordance to ARINC 747 which describes a 1/2 ATR chassis form factor with a standard ARINC 717 FDR interface. ARINC 747 defines recorder characteristics that should be followed so that installers and users can interchange from one recorder to another. However, for lighter aircraft, including rotorcraft, smaller and lighter solutions are desirable. Adjustments are required not only so they meet an aircraft’s interface requirements or current regulations but possibly to accommodate additional data for other applications. Such modifications may be costly or require additional flight data acquisition units (FDAU) to fulfil requirements due to the high cost of changing out critical safety equipment.
Figure 1: Not everyone needs the same recorder – outsourcing data collection and conditioning to an FDAU opens up new possibilities
A common approach is to use an intermediary unit to gather the required data and send it to the recorder in a compatible data stream. Such a unit is commonly called an FDAU and it acts as a translator between the aircraft data sources and the FDR. The regulations specify what parameters must be gathered (such as altitude, airspeed and so forth) but it does not specify the source i.e. the avionics bus, sensor type, etc. This means that no one design of FDAU can meet the aircraft requirements without some level of modification itself, although as the FDAU does not need to survive a crash event, it has far less stringent standards to adhere to and thus, in general, costs less to modify.
This white paper discusses different strategies for gathering data for flight data recorders and the implications these have on deployment time, system flexibility and suitability for deployment across a fleet of diverse aircraft. Download the Mitigating Flight Data Recorder Modification Issues using Modular FDAUs White paper to learn more about:
- Flight Data Recorders
- Flight Data Acquisition Units
- Modular Data Acquisition Systems
- Rapid Prototyping