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Codebreaker

Fewer planes to smash into each other thanks to math

John Moe Jul 6, 2011

Good ol’ math. MIT researchers have come up with an algorithm to reduce the number of mid air collisions. It’s part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen overhaul (apparently the FAA feels a need to come up with catchy names that use camel case) which is requiring all planes to be outfitted with GPS equipment by 2020.

The crash reduction program works like this, according to CNET:

The system uses GPS data to track hypothetical puck-shaped zones around smaller aircraft to keep them a safe distance apart. Thousands of small aircraft were involved in near-misses over the past decade and there were 112 midair collisions, according to MIT.

The researchers plan to present their findings at an upcoming conference and then try some live testing. Who wants to sign up for a free airplane ride?!

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