Boeing 737 Max: How the US Federal Aviation Administration monitors every device

Boeing 737 Max: How the US Federal Aviation Administration monitors every device

Wherever one of these aircraft flies – Federal Aviation Administration inspectors will not miss it. Each 737 MAX sends massive data packets twice a second. The Federal Aviation Administration receives information about speed and location, but also the state of technical systems and unusual accidents, in near real time. Every day, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supervisors receive test reports automatically on conditions for each MAX in the world.

This is possible because, like all modern aircraft, the machines are equipped with an ADS-B transmitter, which usually transmits a number of parameters to the ground stations. Some of this data is also displayed by tracking apps like Flightradar24. The ADS-B should be the basis for future air traffic control, which will no longer be dependent on radar.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has now signed a contract with the US company Aireon, which uses a network of 66 “Iridium Next” satellites. With their help, Aireon can collect ADS-B data from aircraft everywhere; Even when this was previously impossible due to the lack of earth stations, for example over oceans, poles or major deserts. If the 737 Max gets a problem somewhere, FAA experts in New Jersey may be the first to know.

How important this system was already shown in March 2019: It was only data that Aireon was able to provide about the crash of the Ethiopian 737 Max plane that convinced the initially reluctant FAA to turn off the device. Aireon costs money – but perhaps it could increase the safety over the clouds for all modern aircraft. One question that has yet to be answered: Who should pay for it?

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Stay healthy!

Your Marco Evers

(Feedback and suggestions?)


My recommendations for reading this week:

  • What is the benefit of rapid tests from the supermarket? In Germany, the first three rapid corona tests have been approved for ordinary people. My colleague Julia describes his cup how it’s being scanned – and what users should consider.

  • 21.6 million people in Germany belong to the high-risk corona group: According to the Robert Koch Institute, a quarter of people in Germany belong to the high-risk group.

  • The German forest is dyingForestry performance in Germany is worse than ever. A new case report shows that only a fifth of trees have a healthy crown, my colleague Philip Cullenbroich describes.

  • “Many medical professionals do not even understand basic statistics.”: AstraZeneca’s vaccine refusal is widespread, even among doctors – the data talks about the vaccine. Education researcher Gigerenzer has warned for years that many medical professionals understand very little about numbers.


1. The boom in videoconferencing during the Corona crisis is now also engaging in science. Psychologists, clinicians and educators, for example, explore a phenomenon

A) “Zoom Fata Morgana”

B) “Zoom Euphoria”

C) Zoom dysmorphia

2. The new age of DNA sequences is now over a million years old, from which the genome comes

A) Early human fossils from Africa

B) Mammoths from Siberia

C) Sousse hatch from Eiffel

3. The oldest ancient rock plate in Australia dates back more than 17,000 years and has been dated with the help of

A) Wasp stars

B) Kangaroo droppings

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C) Legendary Map (“Song Line”)

* You can find the answers at the bottom of the newsletter.

Photo of the week

Like planetary fireworks In the past few days, fountains hundreds of meters high of glowing lava and ash erupted from the crater of Mount Etna in Sicily, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Chronicles of the days mentioned it 2,500 years ago. Small hazelnut-sized chunks (lapilli) rain down on the provincial capital, Catania, over and over again. There is currently no acute danger, but geologists are using a gauge grid to monitor the southeast flank, which has been sliding toward the sea for a while.


700 million A neutrino traveled from another galaxy through space for years until it was discovered by an Icecube neutrino detector at the South Pole on October 1, 2019. Celestial researchers in Nature Astronomy reported that the frightening particle likely came from a star in the northern sky torn apart by a black hole. The origin of the neutrino can be determined precisely because in time an unusual change in brightness was recorded by a second observatory in California.

Recommendations from science

* Quizantworten
1c) “Zoom Dysmorelve” is the term used to describe dissatisfaction with an individual’s appearance, which is reinforced by confrontation with one’s face during video conferencing. “Plastic surgeons all over the world are currently reporting a surge in demand,” rzteblatt warns, so-called “boom boom”.
2a) Paleontologists working with Swede Luv Dalen broke the record for sequencing using DNA from mammoths over a million years old, and we talked to him about how this research could also help protect endangered animal species, more on this topic in The current issue of SPIEGEL.
3 a) The dating was successful because some Mud wasp nests Below, some above panels. Wasp nests themselves can be dated using the radiocarbon method.

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