(duplicate) Airbus studies new air-to-ground links for 'black boxes'

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Airbus today announced it will study technology aimed at extending data transmissions for commercial airliners, among other new technologies to reinforce flight data recovery efforts.

The surprise announcement comes nearly one month after the crash of Air France Flight 447, an Airbus A330 that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean between Brazil and Africa for reasons still unknown.

"Gathering information from accidents is vitally important to further improve the safety of flying," says Tom Edners, president and CEO of Airbus, in a statement.

"We will now study different options for biable commercial solutions, including those where our experience with real-time data transmission from our own test aircraft could support the further development of such solutions," Enders adds.

Currently, information from digital flight data recorders (DFDR) and cockpit voice recorders (CVR) can be retrieved only using ground-based tools, Airbus says. But air-to-ground links onboard airliners, such as the aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (ACARS), lack the bandwidth needed to transmit all of the DFDR and CVR data.

Patrik Gavin, head of Airbus engineering, and Charles Champion, head of customer services, will conduct the study, which will also include industrial partners, research institutions and regulators.