Chi­nese air­craft man­u­fac­turer uses big data to build safer planes

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

With a global fo­cus on how to re­duce safety risks caused by anoma­lous hu­man be­hav­ior and how to fully re­cover data cru­cial for an­a­lyz­ing an air crash, a Chi­nese air­craft man­u­fac­turer is us­ing big data and cloud tech­nol­ogy to build safer air­planes.

"The time for rev­o­lu­tion in avi­a­tion safety has come," Wei Ye, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor and pres­i­dent of the Com­mer­cial Air­craft Cor­po­ra­tion of China (COMAC) Amer­ica Cor­po­ra­tion told Xin­hua on Fri­day.

The Bureau of En­quiry and Anal­y­sis for Civil Avi­a­tion Safety of France (BEA) re­cently con­firmed that the crash of a plane of Ger­man bud­get air­line Ger­man­wings a year ago was caused de­lib­er­ately by its co-pi­lot, who had been suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion.

The Air­bus 320 crashed in south­ern France on March 24, 2015, while en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, killing 150 peo­ple on board.

To min­i­mize such risks caused by hu­man fac­tors, COMAC Amer­ica Cor­po­ra­tion is study­ing the con­cept of "un­manned flight with hu­man su­per­vi­sion" us­ing a big data-based com­puter, which op­er­ates in an en­tirely closed en­vi­ron­ment with­out in­flu­ence from out­side. "With­out the in­flu­ence of pi­lots' 'emo­tions' and mis­han­dling, a com­puter-pi­loted plane is safer than a manned one," Ye said.

In a com­puter-pi­loted

plane, a hard-drive with big data, which in­clude flight routes, weather in­for­ma­tion, emer­gency pro­cess­ing pro­grams, and flight data of 200 pi­lots ac­cu­mu­lated in 20 years, might be­come the "pi­lot" in the fu­ture; hu­man pi­lots will only need to in­sert the hard-drive into the cock­pit and mon­i­tor the flight in a sep­a­rate com­part­ment.

This con­cept could be­come a fu­ture trend in civil avi­a­tion and might be tested on un­manned cargo flights first, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

Mean­while, the com­pany is con­duct­ing re­search and devel­op­ment on im­prov­ing the abil­ity to trace a fly­ing plane. 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.

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