The system can provide voice and data communications, compile data collection and transmission as well as on-demand streaming of "black box" data in real time.
"AFIRS' event-driven transmission logic is programmed so that in an abnormal or emergency situation, AFIRS can start sending all the data that it has," said Richard Hayden, an engineer by training and a member of the FLYHT Aerospace's board of directors.
Read More A contender for the world's most unreliable flight
Commercial airliners currently use something called the Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System to periodically relay bits of information about an aircraft's status. But in the case of flight Malaysian Airlines' MH370, the transponder seems to have stopped transmitting, yielding little information.
Authorities have largely been relying on radar and satellite data in the search. Malaysia's prime minister said March 24 the flight ended in the Indian Ocean, crediting British satellite company, Inmarsat, and the U.K.'s Air Accidents Investigation Branch for analysis that narrowed down the plane's possible crash point.
That analysis used new examination of eight satellite "pings" sent by the aircraft when it vanished from radar screens on March 8 giving the approximate direction of travel.
AFIRS is enabled largely by a 66-satellite iridium low-earth orbit constellation and the Internet, according to Hayden. During normal operations, the system transmits small amounts of data but in an emergency it can operate on a streaming mode to transmit data in real time. It can also pull data via ground personnel who might do so in unusual circumstances without the knowledge of whoever is in control of the airplane.
Read More Delta's 'innovation class' promises an interesting seatmate
The idea of streaming flight data in real time, however, isn't new. More than a decade ago, computer scientist Krishna Kavi of the University of North Texas proposed a method of streaming data to cloud storage with technology he calls the "glass box."
"Airlines said then, and continue to say, that glass boxes are too expensive," said Kavi.
Years later, cost continues to impede most airlines from outfitting planes with real time flight streaming technology.
Ohio State's Pruchnicki said updating an entire fleet of planes with newer flight data streaming technology could indeed cost airlines a lot of money.
"I think when you have a 400-airplane fleet (like) the bigger airlines," he said, "that becomes a very real number."
AFIRS costs about $100,000 for the equipment and installation, Hayden said. For many airlines, that amount is minuscule compared to the cost of a new jetliner or the search mission underway to find flight MH370.
But there are other ways to reduce costs.
"The correct vision, which FLYHT has implemented in a certified product, is that the on-board system is smart enough to know what data to send, and when, rather than using brute force to send all the data all the time," Hayden said.
Some experts say minimizing the type of data that is transmitted in real time would make the process more cost efficient.
Read More Police bust LAX baggage-theft ring
Some experts say it is unnecessary to stream all available flight data in real time and that minimizing the type of data that is transmitted is much more cost efficient.
Pruchnicki said transmitting air speed, location, GPS and power settings is sufficient for now.
The aviation industry may be ready to adopt technology to prevent another tragedy of this magnitude. Though relatively small in scale, dozens of airlines have already implemented AFIRS technology into their planes.