The Open UniversitySkip to content

Live Blackboxes: Requirements for Tracking and Verifying Aircraft in Motion

Yu, Yijun; Yang, Mu and Nuseibeh, Bashar (2017). Live Blackboxes: Requirements for Tracking and Verifying Aircraft in Motion. In: SCiA 2017 : 4th Software Challenges in Aerospace Symposium, 9-13 Jan 2017, Grapevine, Texas.

Full text available as:
[img] PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (1MB)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


The Malaysian Airlines (MH370) aircraft went missing somewhere over the Indian Ocean two years ago. After intensive search since then, international team still has not been able to locate any first-hand evidence from the missing plane's flight data recorders (also known as 'blackboxes'). To mitigate similar problems, a proposal has been made to analyse live streamed flight data using cloud computing; however, satellite communication is constrained by bandwidth and scalability challenges. In this paper, we propose five requirements for addressing these challenges. These requirements frame a class of monitoring problems that share some similar accuracy concerns around safety and security. We evaluate these requirements to assess the readiness of the proposed technology - which we call "live blackboxes'' -- by using actual global scale data and performing an analysis of different live streaming intervals. Preprocessing with a locality-sensitive hashing function, it results in reduction of the required bandwidth by 4.75 times. Therefore, to track and verify all civilian aircraft in motion, the scalability requirement could be satisfied by satellite communications. While the paper focuses on a particular problem in air traffic management, we speculate similar requirements for the continuous monitoring of critical systems.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Adaptive Security And Privacy (XC-11-004-BN)291652ERC (European Research Council)
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Computing and Communications
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Health and Wellbeing PRA (Priority Research Area)
International Development & Inclusive Innovation
Item ID: 47163
Depositing User: Yijun Yu
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2016 13:31
Last Modified: 01 May 2019 17:23
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU