14 carleton.ca/engineering-design While minor debris from the aircraft was eventually recovered over 14 months later in the southern Indian Ocean, the search for the plane’s fuselage and flight recorder was officially called off in January 2017. An October 2017 report released by the Australian government has since concluded that Flight 370 will likely never be found, sinking all hopes that the true cause of its disappearance may one day be determined. Other influential disasters include that of Air France Flight 447, which crashed over the Atlantic Ocean en route to Paris in June of 2009, killing all 228 passengers and crew aboard. While major portions of the wreckage were pulled from the sea within five days of the incident, the aircraft’s flight recorders were not recovered from the ocean floor until nearly two years later, significantly hindering the crash’s investigation. In considering both tragedies, Young-Davies believes search efforts could have been expedited and investigations ultimately proven successful had an ADFR been installed on the aircrafts before takeoff. “From an industry perspective, no aircraft should ever go missing and every incident should be investigated to the point where its root cause has been identified,” he says. “There is no question that having an ADFR on board would have made a substantial difference in these scenarios and many others in which commercial aviation has suffered.” Beginning in 2019, the all-new system will debut on Airbus’ A350 XWB jet airliner, marking the first use of deployable recorder technology for civil transport flight operations. The unit will subsequently be installed on future Airbus aircraft, with the potential of also being retrofitted to the company’s existing fleet. While development of the recorder’s GSE application originally began with Airbus alone in mind, Ranasinghe and Guy found themselves having to alter course as the system began attracting the attention of multiple airline manufacturers. “Since the GSE was originally conceived, additional clients have jumped on board, meaning we now need to provide an application which can support multiple customers and operate seamlessly across a variety of aircraft,” Young- Davies explains. “As a result, our co-op team has had to adapt the architectural setup of the program, designing an omnibus of sorts which can be adjusted to meet the requirements of different airliners.” Following the lead of Young-Davies, the student duo has also been able to enhance the versatility of the GSE, opening the door to applications beyond crash investigation. By equipping the unit with context-sensitive online help documentation, Ranasinghe and Guy have enabled the system’s diagnostic software to be used for other critical tasks, such as real-time monitoring and post- flight observations. “If a pilot reports an in-flight issue after having successfully landed, the GSE can now be plugged directly into the aircraft, displaying a history of its most recent flight,” Young-Davies explains. “Being able to quickly diagnose operational issues using this technique has the potential to be a game-changer for the industry, as it reduces ground time and subsequent lost revenue that commercial airliners experience while maintenance teams try to identify what’s in need of repair.” Guy also hopes the software add-ons he and Ranasinghe have developed may one day help to prevent future aviation disasters. “By using the GSE to perform routine maintenance, crews may be able to discover a faulty piece of equipment or damaged system while a plane is still safely on the ground,” he says. “This would result in the aircraft being grounded before a tragedy strikes.” With international airline manufacturers currently waiting in the wings to get their hands on the technology, and plans already underway to extend the application’s support to include helicopters, the team’s GSE software will likely soon be deployed to airports and maintenance hangers worldwide. While elements of the system have yet By using the GSE to perform routine maintenance, crews may be able to discover a faulty piece of equipment or damaged system while a plane is still safely on the ground