Excerpted from the Times of London (behind paywall):
Trials of new technology that tracks historical data on radio signals bumping off aircraft fuselages have been so successful that its pioneers hope it can be used to chart MH370’s last minutes with greater accuracy, and provide investigators with a much narrower undersea area to search.
The tests, by the British aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey, made use of a little-known online database set up in 2009, known as the Weak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR), which records every interaction between aircraft in the sky and signals sent by ground-based radio transmitters.
The engineer, who is part of a team of experts still trying to locate MH370, used the method to track the flight path of a New Zealand air force Orion aircraft that photographed debris floating on the surface of the ocean soon after MH370 disappeared. The debris, which was never recovered, included a large panel resembling a Boeing 777 wing component which many experts now suspect was part of MH370.
The mammoth task of trawling through the database to find the tracks left by MH370 — a job to be performed by specially designed software — will take two months. The clues as to what happened to MH370 may have been in the airwaves all along.