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双语:黑匣子采用的并非最新技术

2015-03-30    来源:投稿    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

飞机上都可以用Wi-Fi了,为什么黑匣子还不用呢?

尽管黑匣子如此重要,但它们采用的却并非最新技术。

A Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed Tuesday morning in the French Alps, with approximately 150 people on board. In a statement to the press, French President François Hollande articulated the worst fears of the friends and relatives of those on board.
24日,德国之翼航空公司一架载有150人的空客A320飞机在法国阿尔卑斯山区坠毁。在面向媒体的声明中,法国总统奥朗德谨慎地请机上人员的亲友做好最坏打算。

“The conditions of the accident, which have not yet been clarified, suggest that there might not be any survivors,” he said.
他说:“目前尚不清楚空难发生时的情况,但现状显示可能没有生还者。”

Now that one of the plane’s black box recorders has been found, authorities stand a better chance of determining what exactly went wrong. These devices document radio transmissions, pilot voices and such information as the plane’s altitude and speed. They are required on all large commercial aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration, and they are often critical to uncovering the cause of a crash.
现在遇难飞机的一个黑匣子已经找到,权威机构更有把握来确定到底哪里出了问题。黑匣子会记录下无线电通信、飞行员声音以及飞机的飞行高度和速度等信息。美国联邦航空管理局要求所有大型商用飞机上都必须配备黑匣子,对揭晓事故原因,黑匣子通常是关键所在。

Despite their importance, black boxes use technology that is hardly state-of-the-art. Older units store data on magnetic tape, and while newer units use digital technology, they still have to be found at the crash site, which is not an exact science by any means. For example, after Air France Flight 447 crashed in 2009, the flight data recorder wasn’t recovered until 2011.
但尽管它们如此重要,黑匣子采用的却并非最新技术。老式设备用磁带来存储数据,新一些的设备虽然采用了数字存储技术,但依然只有在事故现场找到才能调取数据,而搜寻黑匣子并非一门精密科学。例如,法国航空447号班机于2009年坠毁,但机上的飞行数据记录仪直到2011年才被找到。

A company that’s currently addressing the deficiencies in this system is Canada’s Flyht Aerospace Solutions. It offers an Automated Flight Information System, which costs approximately $100,000 to install, can live-stream the airplane’s performance data, and sends updates from the cockpit every five to 10 minutes. Most importantly, the system can recognize such irregularities as deviations in the flight path, and responds by streaming data every second.
一家加拿大公司Flyht Aerospace Solutions正在致力于解决这种系统缺陷。它推出了一种自动化飞行信息系统,安装成本约为10万美元,可实时传输飞机的性能数据,并每隔5-10分钟更新驾驶舱相关数据。最重要的是,该系统可识别航线偏离等异常状况,,一旦发生,它会立即传输每秒数据来报告。

Other airlines are pursuing similar upgrades. In January, Bloomberg reported Qatar Airways plans to equip its fleet with an automatic tracking system amid an industry-wide push to prevent incidents such as the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 last year in the Indian Ocean.
其他航空公司也在探索类似的技术升级。1月份,据彭博社报道,卡塔尔航空计划为其机组配备一种自动追踪系统,并希望在全行业起到一定的推动作用,以避免再度发生去年马航MH370航班那样的失联悲剧。

The technology is being tested now ahead of a fleet-wide rollout. It transmits data from a plane’s flight-data recorder to the airline operations center, Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker told Bloomberg.
卡塔尔航空首席执行官阿克巴尔•阿尔•贝克对彭博社表示,这项技术目前正在进行全面安装前的最后测试,它可将飞机飞行数据记录仪中的数据传输给航空公司的运行控制中心。

Not many other airlines plan to follow suit, and the reason for the pushback is simple and predictable: money, notes Mary Schiavo, former inspector general of the Department of Transportation.
然而,只有为数甚少的航空公司打算跟进。美国交通部前监察长玛丽•斯齐亚沃指出,航空公司拖延的原因显而易见:说白了就是钱的问题。

“[Airlines] simply will not add additional safety measures unless mandated by the federal government,” she told CNN.
她对CNN表示:“除非政府做出强制规定,否则[航空公司]不可能增加额外的安全措施。”

A more cost-effective improvement is also up for consideration: black boxes that can be ejected from the plane.
此外还有一种更具有成本效益的改进方法值得考虑:即可以弹出机外的黑匣子。

In January, Reuters reported that the International Civil Aviation Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, had proposed using them on commercial airliners, and they’re already standard equipment on some U.S. Navy jets. But at approximately $30,000 apiece, there’s still resistance to using them. After all, the widely-used, non-deployable recorders manufactured by Honeywell International cost about half that.
1月份,路透社报道称,联合国下属的国际民用航空组织建议全世界的商业航班采用这种弹出式黑匣子,而且这种设备在美国海军喷气机上已经是标准配置。但每套弹出式黑匣子的成本约为3万美元,因此它的推行依旧面临阻力。毕竟,目前广泛应用的霍尼韦尔国际公司生产的非弹出式黑匣子价格要便宜一半左右。

The Germanwings tragedy is still unfolding, and it’s possible that a considerable amount of time may pass before investigators can determine the probable cause of the crash. Until newer, better technology is adopted across the board in the airline industry, finding out what exactly went wrong in situations such as these is likely to remain a waiting game.
德国之翼航空公司的悲剧远未落幕,各方确定事故原因或许仍需相当长的时间。而除非整个航空业采用更新更好的技术,否则,在类似情况下要想查明问题所在,人们依然要等下去。(财富中文网)



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