Synthetic Sensors to Bolster 737 Max

Boeing is preparing to bolster the long-term safety of its troubled 737 Max with technology borrowed from space vehicles and urban drones that can provide data to help back up its sensors.

"The reason why myself and a bunch of others are looking at it is it does have the promise to enhance safety," said Demoz Gebre-Egziabher, an aerospace engineering professor at the University of Minnesota who is researching such systems.

At the same time, Gebre-Egziabher and others caution that the technology involves knotty challenges, and it's most likely not something Boeing can slap on the Max in a few months. "The algorithms are complicated and certifying them is a bear," Gebre-Egziabher said.

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