Re: [OPE] questions re transition

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Tue Jun 02 2009 - 10:41:42 EDT

> To take a case from the news: have any of you been wondering about the loss
> of the Air France flight from Rio to Paris? THe reporting explains that
> the plane was in an area of the Atlantic beyond radar coverage. OK. But,
> why wasn't there a continuous GPS beacon which relayed the position of the
> plane? This would have been relatively inexpensive and the technology is
> already widely applied in marine transportation and has global coverage.
> Had they had that technology then airline authorities should have at least
> known - immediately - _exactly_ when and where the plane went down.
 There is a real problem with contacting airliners over the ocean. The
radios that are used for air traffic control do not propagate round the
curve of the earth. They are actually out of radio contact when in the
middle of the ocean.

The only link that would be available as far as I know is the inmarsat
system, which is not generally fitted to aircraft, though I was involved
with a project inmarsat had in the 90s to encourage airlines to fit
inmarsat recievers as a way of relaying live news feeds to passengers.
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Received on Tue Jun 2 10:46:10 2009

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