Mandates for flight data recording technologies, including Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVR) and Flight Data Recorders (FDR), are being integrated across international air space to provide fast and secure data collection capabilities from an aircraft for flight investigations and fleet management. 

Amongst the latest to impose new regulations for CVR and FDR recorders is Mexico. The Civil Aviation Federal Agency is enforcing changes over the next year. From Dec. 31, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2022, aircraft are to be equipped with CVR and FDR systems – based on the number of aircraft within an operator’s fleet. These rules apply to fixed-wing aircraft with ten or more passengers and large helicopters flying into Mexican airspace under an international air operator certificate. 

While strict CVR and FDR regulations are blanketing the international air space, recording devices are also evolving to allow impressive data capturing capabilities for more operational applications. 

Two Solutions to the Mexican Mandate

In 2020, Flight Data Systems unveiled the latest TSO’d, DO-160G qualified and fully EUROCAE ED-112 compliant SENTRY (FDR/CVR/CVFDR) recorder, as the world’s smallest, lightest, and lowest power ED-112A compliant flight recorder ever manufactured. The SENTRY’s initial design was for a very small aircraft, and the unit was strictly configured around the principle of reduced Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP), at just 4.7 lb (2.1kg) with a power consumption of 4 W (less than half that of many competitor’s CVR or FDR devices). 

To design the SENTRY, Flight Data Systems worked with both civil and military operators to develop this robust, all-encompassing unit that delivers the best future-proof features to ensure the system’s quality, with extensive consideration for the size constraints often found in the retrofit market. Its final configuration was designed from various elements of existing recorders on the market, with special consideration to future needs. In the end, the system produced was an obsolescence-free, crash survivable package with the lowest SWaP for ED-112A compliant recorders.

For operators opting to keep their current CVRs or FDRs, Flight Data Systems Modular Acquisition Unit (MAU) allows multiple aircraft sensor feeds to be harmonized into one data feed. This system will support a wide range of signal input types, including, ARINC 429, analog inputs such as synchro, frequency / tachometer, and discretes. The MAU’s stackable footprint provides operators with the ability to install in a wide variety of aircraft, including fixed-wing, rotor-wing, and UAV.

The SENTRY and MAU provide customizable solutions for operators of all aircraft types and the option to conform to international regulations with an end-to-end solution that stores all flight information securely and reliably in a single form factor. To learn more about the SENTRY and to download its brochure, visit https://flightdata.aero/products/sentry-recorder/.

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