At Appareo we get a lot of questions about ED-155. These questions are sometimes in reference to our recoverable data modules and other times in reference to our airborne image recording systems.
ED-155 is the minimum operational performance specification for a lightweight flight data recording system. The specification was created in response to industry pressure to provide lighter flight recorders as smaller aircraft were increasingly receiving pressure to carry flight recorders. ED-155 was also created to encourage modernization of flight data recording technologies, moving away from standards that support old recording media like magnetic tape.
In this article we will talk about:
Standards for Deployable Recorders; and
Requirements that cater to different kinds of recording systems, including:
Cockpit Audio Recording Systems (CARS) – a cockpit voice recorder, with ambient audio data acquisition
Aircraft Data Recording Systems (ADRS) – a flight data recorder
Airborne Image Recording Systems (AIRS) – a cockpit camera
Data-Link Recording Systems (DLRS) – a cockpit voice recorder but for digital data rather than cockpit voice
The general standards that address all recorder types include requirements for basic operation, safety, retention of recorded information, and survivability. The survivability standard covers requirements for impact/shock, crush, and flame survivability that are in excess of tests encountered in standards like RTCA DO-160. There is also a requirement that the survivable memory component of the flight recorder be bright orange and labeled with the words “FLIGHT RECORDER” in black letters.