Arinc said it was awarded U.S. Patent 7149612 for improved methods of accessing operational data from electronic systems on board aircraft, including selective monitoring, display of parameters in near real-time, data collection and storage, and transmission of data to the ground.
Arinc said it sees the concept having an “immediate application to modern commercial aircraft, many of which are equipped with Quick Access Recorders (QARs) that store voluminous amounts of data on board.”
The method involves an electronic transmission of data from the QASRs and other avionic devices, rather than the current practice of physically retrieving data for periodic analysis.
The patent includes the use of portable data handling devices such as electronic flight bags (EFBs) to store data on board, conduct real-time event analysis and make it available immediately to air crews or provide it to ground maintenance personnel. The method, which was primarily invented by Rolf Stefani, senior director of the Arinc Technology Innovation Center, was developed to monitor QARs and record selected data analysis, either to be transmitted air to ground via Arinc GLOBALink ACARSSM service, or manually downloaded after flight. Data could also be physically carried off the plane on an EFB for analysis. “There are upwards of 3,000 aircraft using QARs today, and they have no easy way to extract critical data in real time,” Stefani said.
Currently, QAR data is often collected weekly or biweekly. “Imagine data that shows a plane was subjected to severe turbulent conditions, or landed with excessive force on a past flight,” Stefani said. “It would be much more useful to see this data in real time and take the appropriate corrective action immediately rather than wait several weeks for data to be offloaded and subsequently analyzed.” For related news