The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Bloomberg Newsreports today that the search for Air France Flight 447 black boxes has been called off as the leases for the robot submarines being used had run out.

The report also said that 200 square miles of seabed that is now considered the most likely resting place for the black boxes will, at least for the moment, remain unexplored.

As you may remember, earlier this month, the search was shifted some 40 miles away based on a re-analysis of previously made sonar recordings using newly developed Thales software.  However, after a week of searching 80 square miles in the new location, no wreckage of Flight 447 was found.

This marks the third failed attempt to find Flight 447's black boxes.

The Conversation (0)
Two men fix metal rods to a gold-foiled satellite component in a warehouse/clean room environment

Technicians at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems facilities in Redondo Beach, Calif., work on a mockup of the JWST spacecraft bus—home of the observatory’s power, flight, data, and communications systems.

NASA

For a deep dive into the engineering behind the James Webb Space Telescope, see our collection of posts here.

When the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) reveals its first images on 12 July, they will be the by-product of carefully crafted mirrors and scientific instruments. But all of its data-collecting prowess would be moot without the spacecraft’s communications subsystem.

The Webb’s comms aren’t flashy. Rather, the data and communication systems are designed to be incredibly, unquestionably dependable and reliable. And while some aspects of them are relatively new—it’s the first mission to use Ka-band frequencies for such high data rates so far from Earth, for example—above all else, JWST’s comms provide the foundation upon which JWST’s scientific endeavors sit.

Keep Reading ↓Show less
{"imageShortcodeIds":[]}