Innovative tester for underwater locator beacon used in flight/voyage recorder (black box)

Pranjoto, Hartono and Sutoyo, . (2016) Innovative tester for underwater locator beacon used in flight/voyage recorder (black box). Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering, 365. ISSN 1876-1100


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All commercial airplanes that carry more than 20 passengers and all sea merchant vessels with sizes above 3000 gross tonnage must be equipped with flight/ voyage data recorders or more popularly known as black box. All black boxes aboard those vessels must be equipped with a completely independent ultrasonic sonar finder device called Underwater Locator Beacon (ULB). In case the device is immersed in water due to an accident, this device will emit ultrasonic signal at 37.5 kHz of a certain pattern for thirty days. The chance of finding the vessel (an airplane or a ship) sinking in the ocean is almost solely depend on the working order of this device. The voyage/ flight data recorder performance must be tested every year per regulation of Air Transport Association/IATA (for airplanes) or International Maritime Organization/IMO (for sea vessels) under very stringent rules and regulations. For an airplane there are two data recorders, which are the flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit audio voice recorder (CAVR) and for a sea vessel there is Voyage Data Recorder (VDR). During the annual performance test, the system will go very rigorous test in recording the data from all aspects of parameters in the sea vessels or the airplane for up to six hours. Unfortunately the ULB will only be tested – usually – by the technician for the voltage of the battery and also the expiration date of the battery only. The important part from the ULB – transmission of ultrasonic signal and pattern of the signal – is not addressed during the annual test, although this is one the most important factor in finding the vessel if she sinks in the deep ocean. The work presented here is about testing the ULB for its performance using simple system by the use of a microprocessor. The tester will check the voltage of the battery inside the ULB, the expected length of usage of the battery, the generation of the ultrasonic signal at 37.5 kHz, and also about the pattern of the signal. The device designed and built will be small and easy to use with good visual and audio feedback to indicate the result of the UTB test. At the termination of this work, a working system to test a ULB on the voltage and also detection of the ultrasonic signal has been built which is small and intelligent. The usage of the system is very simple, just by inserting the ULB into the system and pressing the unit for five seconds, a thorough result of the ULB test is presented on an LCD screen together with a blinking color light emitting diode (LED) and audible sound via buzzer to prove that the ULB under test is in good working order.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Underwater locator beacon, ULB, ULB tester, voyage data recorder, flight data recorder, cockpit voice audio recorder
Subjects: Engineering
Engineering > Electrical Engineering
Divisions: Journal Publication
Depositing User: Ir Hartono Pranjoto,Ph.D., IPU
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2016 03:24
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2016 03:24

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