"It looks like the signals we picked up recently have been much weaker than the original signals we picked up ... we're either a long away from it or in my view more likely the batteries are starting to fade."
"By triangulating this data we will be able to come up with a much smaller search area under water," Mr Houston said.
"Time spent on the surface, we're covering six times more area than we would be able to do when we get under water. With the batteries due to fail shortly, we need to get as much positional data as we can."
Houston: The other thing about the bottom there, I'm informed, by experts, that there's a lot of silt down there. That could complicate the search because the silt on the bottom of the ocean can be very thick, and things disappear into it and it makes a visual search underwater very difficult.
Leavy: The other point I would make ... the silt cover on the bottom as well as potentially hiding the debris. Now that we have an analysis that shows there is silt down there, that's quite an absorbing material so we are at risk of a lot of the sound energy being absorbed by the silt rather than if for instance it was a rock sea bed, a lot of that would be reflected back up to the surface or towards the surface. So the fact that there's silt there has also hindered, to a certain extent, the sound path propagation.
Leavy: It's quite possible that there is currents down there which could have disturbed the debris and also as it was falling from the surface it would have dispersed over a fairly large area as well ... we don't have accurate sampling of the currents in that particular area. The indication we have that silt is on the seabed is taken from some core samples that were taken some years ago and 130 miles away from our current position by an oceanographic ship that are in a database that we can access. But that gives an indication of how little understanding we have of the detailed topography of the seabed. But the concept of having water movements and flows down there is one we need to take into account.
... I would also highlight to you the satellite handshake calculation number seven. That was the handshake which was a partial ping, where the experts in Kuala Lumpur assess that the aircraft might have—plane engines might have flamed out, and it's probably significant in terms of the end of powered flight.
Each mission conducted by the Bluefin-21 will take a minimum of 24 hours to complete. It will take the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle two hours to get down to the bottom of the ocean. It will then be on task for 16 hours. It will then take two hours to return to the surface and four hours to download and analyse the data collected. The first mission will see Bluefin-21 cover an area of approximately five kilometres by eight kilometres, an area of 40 square kilometres.
In another development, I can report Ocean Shield detected an oil slick yesterday evening in her current search area ... it will be a number of days before it can be landed ashore and conclusively tested.
The air and surface search for floating material will be completed in the next two to three days in the area where the aircraft most likely entered the water.
The chances of any floating material being recovered have greatly diminished and it will be appropriate to consult with Australia's partners to decide the way ahead later this week.
From the Q & A:
... we have got one vehicle and we go mission for mission for mission, we will adapt the search area depending on what we find on the bottom of the ocean. So over time, each time the vehicle goes down, it will have a defined search area ... what we do is we start from the best datum and we work outwards from there.
And it's really up to the people on the spot to determine where the best area is to go next ... We start where we think the best location is, that's the datum for the start of the search and we go outwards from there.
This represents the best lead we have in relation to missing flight MH370 and where the current underwater search efforts are being pursued to their completion so we can either confirm or discount the area as the final resting place of MH370.
An Adelaide-based exploration company believes it may have located the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, 5000km away from where authorities have been looking.
The company, GeoResonance, says its research has identified elements on the ocean floor consistent with material from a plane.Supporting evidence shows some kind of blobby scan (maybe 5x5 pixels blown way up) overlaid with a picture of an airplane. Looks more like the virgin Mary to me. Meanwhile, slashdot is generally skeptical, but if you need another dose of conspiracy theory about the MH370 disappearance, feel free to drop in to that thread.
It is time for others to follow or get out of the way. The Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 investigation has been floundering for too long. Republicans should urge the president to inform the world that the United States is assuming the lead role in the investigation, search, recovery and final report... At the end of it all, we should send Malaysia the bill. If they don’t pay, we can impose trade sanctions until we are made whole.
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