Canada's Star Navigation Systems Group Ltd. has created TerraStar, a real-time in-flight safety monitoring system that could make the post-crash search for cockpit voice and flight data recorders -- as well as some crashes -- obsolete. TerraStar tracks, and can continuously encrypt and transmit to ground-based monitoring systems, up to 18,000-plus aircraft parameters per minute. The system filters "out of spec" indications as "alert notifications," which are prioritized in remote aircraft monitoring data feeds that can be accessed in real time, online. In practice, that means that operators on the ground could know about problems with an aircraft before the plane's pilots, or (in the case of distracted or incapacitated pilots) air traffic controllers observe any symptoms. The company believes that capability could not only vastly improve scheduling and maintenance, but also provide operators with the necessary data to break some accident chains before the crash. And, in the case of Air France 447 and the recent Air India crash, it could have provided more information to investigators, immediately, says the company.
The safety pilot has his hands off the controls during an Xwing demonstration flight. Image Credits: Xwing Xwing has scored another win two months after it completed its first gate-to-gate autonomous demonstration flight of a commercial cargo aircraft. The company said Thursday it has raised $40 million at a post-money valuation of $400 million. The company is setting its sights on expansion — not only tripling its engineering team, but eventually running regular fully unmanned commercial cargo flights. Xwing has been developing a technology stack to convert aircraft, including a widely used Cessna Grand Caravan 208B, to function autonomously. But it’s had to solve a few problems first: “the perception problem, the planning problem and the control problem,” Xwing founder Marc Piette explained to TechCrunch. The company has come up with a whole suite of solutions to solve for these problems, including integrating lidar, radar and cameras on the plane; retrofitting the servomotors that
France moved one step closer this weekend to banning short-haul flights in an attempt to fight the climate crisis . A bill prohibiting regional flights that could be replaced with an existing train journey of less than two and a half hours passed the country's National Assembly late on Saturday, as Reuters reported . "We know that aviation is a contributor of carbon dioxide and that because of climate change we must reduce emissions," Industry Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher told Europe 1 radio, according to Reuters. The measure now has to pass the French Senate, then return to the lower house for a final vote. It would end regional flights between Paris's Orly airport and cities like Nantes and Bordeaux, The Guardian explained . It would not, however, impact connecting flights through Paris's Charles de Gaulle/Roissy airport. The bill is part of a legislative package which aims to reduce France's emissions by 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2030, Reuters report