Answers to the mystery surrounding the Flight MH370 tragedy lie within the aircraft's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, together referred to as the "black box" ("Race on to find plane's black box"; last Thursday).
Currently, the black box functions in a "reactive" manner. Following an accident, it lies waiting to be discovered, while sending out tracking signals for up to 30 days.
With modern technological advances, is it possible for its function to be upgraded such that a "virtual" black box sends out a constant stream of data to a satellite at regular intervals while the plane is in flight?
In short, the virtual black box would be "proactive" rather than "reactive".
In the event of a disaster, there would be no concern over potential damage to the black box and consequent data loss; nor would there be a need to recover a physical item.
Such a virtual black box could also be programmed to send out a distress signal should the plane stray off-course. This will allow it to be closely monitored, so the authorities can respond at the first sign of trouble.
Lee Kek Chin