ambitious plans here but having been involved in deepsea searches for missing aircraft know this is still a very small needle in a very large haystack
June 27, 2014 By MarEx
Australia, Malaysia and China have announced the search area in the southern Indian Ocean, which represents the highest priority for future search efforts for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
An expert satellite working group has reviewed all existing information in order to define a search zone of up to 60,000 square kilometers along the arc in the southern Indian Ocean.
Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the latest search area refinement had involved the efforts and expertise of specialists from around the world.
“Specialists have analyzed satellite communications information—information which was never initially intended to have the capability to track an aircraft—and performed extremely complex calculations,” Truss said.
“The new priority area is still focused on the seventh arc, where the aircraft last communicated with satellite. We are now shifting our attention to an area further south along the arc based on these calculations. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will today release a report outlining the basis on which this search area has been defined.”
Truss said the search for MH370 continues with a bathymetric survey in the search area, to be followed by a comprehensive search of the sea floor.
“The bathymetric survey has already commenced, with the Chinese survey ship Zhu Kezhen and the Australian-contracted vessel Fugro Equator conducting operations in the areas provided by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau,” Truss said.
It will take around three months to complete the bathymetric survey. It is expected that the underwater search will begin in August and take up to 12 months to complete.
Malaysia and Australia are developing a Memorandum of Understanding to determine the areas of cooperation in the search and recovery activities, including financial arrangements.
Malaysia will shortly be announcing the details of the contracted assets that may be deployed as Malaysian Government Furnished Equipment for use in both the bathymetric survey and the search of the sea floor. Survey equipment that has been identified so far includes towed side scan sonar, a multi-beam echo sounder and a sub bottom profiler.
Australia, Malaysia and China reaffirm their commitment to continue to search for MH370 and to keep families informed of developments.
to have any chance at all of finding the plane, they will need a couple dozen ships search continuously with very low frequency, high power multibeam sonars but even then, if the plane is not intact or lies in a patch of very rough bottom topography, the echoes will be adsorbed and nothing will ever be identified.
it is all based on how much uncertainty exists here. All this is search area is based on calculations of the satellite pings received from the plane but it is still all guesswork. When looking for Amelia Earhart in 2006 we knew the plane was within radio range of Howland Island which itself gave a certain about of known to the search box yet is remained over 3000 square kilometers in 6000m depth and after three attempts over ten years nothing was ever discovered and the person backing the effort pulled the plug knowing his odds were extremely long but costs to continue equally high. This search is in the 60000 square km size in similar depths so is twenty times the difficulty. How on earth do they think they can spot that plane in a year of looking unless they plan to be very damned lucky?
I can say one thing and that is the search process is very long, draining and frustrating. It is hard to sustain on a ship’s bridge for an extended period.