AerotechRocket Science

New Satellite Network will Not let Any Commercial Plane Disappear in to Thin Air


In March 2014, a Malaysian flight 370, carrying 239 passengers disappeared over the Indian Ocean. After several attempts to locate the aircraft, the search team had to give up. The shocking disappearance sent a strong message to the authorities to come up with newer ways to locate passenger flights. 

As reported by CBS News, a new network of satellites will now not let any commercial plane get off the radar. These satellites will be able to track the planes real-time, practically anywhere on the planet. The commercial planes traditionally are tracked by radars which fall insufficient when it comes to tracking them in the ocean.  

As of last Friday, 10 new satellites of the size of a mini cooper were launched in the space, carried in SpaceX falcon 9 rocket. This $ 3 Bn effort will replace the 66 old satellites in the space, activate phone communication and activate space-based broadband. 

According to the report, “Seventy percent of the world’s airspace has no surveillance. Aircraft fly over the oceans and report back their positions to air traffic control every 10 to 15 minutes at best and in between those periods, no one knows where they are,” said Aireon CEO Don Thoma.

Approximately 43000 flights take-off in a day in the US alone. And by 2020, it is mandatory for all the commercial flights in the US and Europe to have the new transponders that will communicate with these new satellites.

The new technology is expected to allow Air Traffic Controllers to allow more flights over the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Though the new network cannot control the fate of the flight but promises to track the location within a few seconds.

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