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Flight MH370 Speculation

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So the black lines are created because when a ship pulls the sonar or lidar device it can't see directly below it. Right? If thats the case how could these lines be so precisely straight and not veer off. Boats are traveling through ocean tides and waves, not too mention the submerseable is also being jolted around below the oceans surface as its being towed

No, the "black lines" show where the ship CAN see directly below it. When you zoom in it looks like this:
Google_Earth_20140410_110458_20140410_110514.jpg


The lines are several miles wide. So a bit jolting around is not going to do anything. They probably keep the ship in a straight line with GPS.
 
No, the "black lines" show where the ship CAN see directly below it. When you zoom in it looks like this:
Google_Earth_20140410_110458_20140410_110514.jpg


The lines are several miles wide. So a bit jolting around is not going to do anything. They probably keep the ship in a straight line with GPS.
Just out of curiosity, at what scale is this. I know you said the swath is a few miles wide, so directly below them the resolution would be on what magnitude, and from the swath out what resolution is that? Or do they simply infer what might be there?
 
No, the "black lines" show where the ship CAN see directly below it. When you zoom in it looks like this:
Google_Earth_20140410_110458_20140410_110514.jpg


The lines are several miles wide. So a bit jolting around is not going to do anything. They probably keep the ship in a straight line with GPS.
Looking at this should also answer questions as to why they just don't search for the plane using lidar, ladar, or sonar. It took google years to put this together and since the devices are only really accurate directly below them within a swath of a few miles, they would actually need to comb the entire area in parallel lines a few miles apart. It would take decades to do this
 
Just out of curiosity, at what scale is this. I know you said the swath is a few miles wide, so directly below them the resolution would be on what magnitude, and from the swath out what resolution is that? Or do they simply infer what might be there?

Looks like around 250 feet per pixel. It's going to vary though, based on the tech used, and Google might have re-sampled it. But even on this "high resolution" scan, a plane would not show up.
Google_Earth_20140410_112811_20140410_112814.jpg
 
By dropping a sensor well beneath the thermocline and much more than 1500 feet down a more normal signal will be detected.
Yeah that's what I have read and maybe even the thermocline (& other layers) could be actually preventing a vertical path of ultrasonic sound, so it leaves a couple of questions.

External Quote:
The TPL-25 is capable of operating at depths up-to 20,000 feet
(approx 6Km) which is much greater than the claimed depth of the seabed in the search area of about 4 to 4.5Km

So I wonder how long the tow cable on the Ocean Shield is and at what depth they are/were making measurements at ?
External Quote:
The Ocean Shield pulls the pinger locator at a depth of 3,000 meters
Hmm easy to find that quote. Wonder if that's it's max ? I know to be towed @3Km must be more than 3Km of cable. Still long way from seabed (1.5Km)
Point being, is/was the tow cable long enough to be placing the hydrophone below the thermocline ?
And...
The actual maximum depth the HMS Echo can effectively work her magic bathymetry at ?

I can still tell you that these 2 ships are in basically the same 25Km grid of ocean in which Ocean Shield first heard a 'ping'.
Going round & round..
JACC website doesn't seem to have reported anything new.
Oz's PM said what ? Oh my, I am not sure what to make of what was said by Tony Abbott, lol
 
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Oh my, I am not sure what to make of what was said by Tony Abbott, lol

Angus is the man to listen to here. Politicians just can't help themselves.

There was an interesting development overnight with claims that the First Officer tried to make a cell phone call from the aircraft after it turned off course.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/12/mh370-co-pilot-phonecall-malaysia

If true it probably means he was locked out of the flight deck. Reasoning: there are plenty of ways to communicate with the outside world from inside the flight deck.
 
....claims that the First Officer tried to make a cell phone call from the aircraft after it turned off course.

WoW!!! :eek:

"TW", you and I both know some stuff. About better security for the flight deck door. And, an ability to lock someone out, if a person is alone inside. It's also interesting to note (I had read elsewhere, forget the exact source), the F/O was pretty new to the airplane, and this was his first regular scheduled line trip after I.O.E. (that's what we called it...Initial Operating Experience) with a line instructor, or flight examiner pilot (terms vary, but the principle is the same, for all airlines).
 
Over the years I have participated in several hundred 'on land' Radio Foxhunts (RDF).
The techniques used are no different to locating an 'audio' signal (Pingers = 37.5 khz UltraSonic Sound)
Here's why I feel the way Ocean Shield's method of locating a source signal sucks & leaves room for improvement.
WAY ONE: Using a low tech quarter-wave whip (The equivalent to an omni-directional hydrophone - same as TPL-25 has)
I drive 12 Km along a road in a straight line. I constantly make measurement of the source signal's strength.
1. 'IF' I am lucky the signal strength varies in a linear fashion, allowing me to make JUST ONE plot along that line the strength was greatest.
(useful but for only ONE useful 'directional' plot, I need more measurements just like this - to make it fully directional - travel the lines: then join the dots from other lines, intersect is source)
____________________*____________ <-- * represents the point the signal was strongest.

2. But what if I was far away from the source ? The signal strength maybe varies by a little across the whole 12 Km distance. (not as useful)
_____________*************_____
3. By using this method what would happen to my plot, if the source peak volume wasn't constant ?
I would have no way of really knowing this without measuring 'at the source'.
It could really mess things up.

WAY TWO: (now adapting some words for underwater use)
Using a directional hydrophone, or an array of half/full parabolic hydrophones.
4. Ok, this time I travel same 12 Km straight line and make 4 specific 'directional' measurements.
I stop at each '*' turn my single directional hydrophone until I determine direction of greatest strength,
I draw a line on my map in 'that' direction for each line = the intersect point is my source.
(A hydrophone array requires a single 'burst' measurement)
*__________*__________*__________*

How could I apply this to finding a pinger ?
Well there maybe/most likely some 'deep water' intricacies I have no idea about that limit this, but I continue.
EG - Time it takes to get Hydrophones into position - pressure bla, bla (other things I know squat about)

Parabolic Array - 3 or more hydrophones - parabolic microphones are not science fiction & backed up by 'hand-held directional pinger locators' are commercially available, I also assume it would be hard to keep 'my array' perfectly still underwater and that's a good thing and hence the need to be calibrated / direction determined by an underwater electronic compass.

PROs of using 'something' with directional properties.
1. I instantly know which side (North, South ?) of my 12 Km straight line my source is (not the case in 1. or 2.)
2. For travelling 12 Km I have 4 directional plots, lines can be drawn on a map, the intersection point of those lines is our source.
(can be further fine tuned by travelling along another path and making further directional measurements and plotting on same map: IF source signal continues)
3. My second 'straight line' will most definitely be closer to the source (North, South ?)
(not the case in 1. or 2. for a 2nd pass: they in fact may end up further away !)
And no, not a good idea to directly head towards source for a 'second run' you may get signal saturation and that is not helpful.
4. Maybe I can move between the 4 points faster & I am not required to measure the strength constantly 'in between' - which then requires complex algorithms to analyse.
5. Range & Signal Gain: Using a parabolic hydrophone I can hear signals further away, as another benefit I get an improved signal to noise ratio.
6. My readings are not sent to 'hell' if the signal source's power supply is depleting/fluctuating.
(volume output varies)
(1. or 2. depend on 'constant' source power/transmission volume, both along & between 'measurement paths')
I can still get a very good sense of direction even when the 'volume' is varying.

OK so that was a very basic comparison of 2 'Direction Finding' (DF) techniques, there are more.

Now take a look at the "High-Tech - TPL-25", a single omni-directional hydrophone mounted over a 'string-ray' like body.
Clearly the body is designed to swim through the water with minimal drag, useful I guess, if you have NO idea where the source may be.
But then once you actually detect a signal, oh what a pain & waste of time getting any sort of 'directional sense' from a TPL-25 would be.
The 'in-boat' 'display' part of 'the system' would be a glorified oscilloscope capable of recording freq., time & strength.
This is the END of what I know and have had 'real life experience with'

Now I need a seaman / fisherman to tell me how long they think it would take to lower/raise a suitability weighted 'device' on cable 4 Km long ?
Answer as quoted from http://www.jacc.gov.au/media/interviews/2014/april/tr006.aspx
External Quote:
Peter Leavy: .....Ocean Shield...... , it will be approximately two hours to recover her towed pinger equipment. ...........another two to three hours to redeploy the equipment.
Would it be necessary to be raised completely just to move to another suitable measurement location.?
Or maybe could it remain extended at depth ?
I guess the diameter of the reel housing the cable & 'reel guide' (to prevent tangling whatever) would be important to deploy a cable.
I have read 'turning' Ocean Shield with the TPL-25 on tow takes hours, maybe this is with the TPL-25 remaining at full depth.?
I also read in what seems a well written article that "Ocean Shield" is pulling the TPL-25 at a depth of 3 Km on 4.5 Km of cable - 'the max length' - (needs confirmation) if correct - 3Km (while moving) is the max working depth, so, is it deep enough ? Could this explain intermittent reception ?
External Quote:
as above source Peter Leavy: .....As you can appreciate, she has 6000 metres of tow behind her
OK, it seems maybe I am splitting the tools in the 'hunt' - Then maybe how could the existing tool be improved ?
Well for starters, if the TPL-25 had 2 hydrophones, separated by a medium designed to block/filter/limit a signal from it's opposite side, rather than just one hydrophone, that would help LOTS.

Equal signal @Both = source either in-front/behind. (directly below)
Greater signal @left/right = gives you an idea to steer towing ship to 'balance' both, and a general directional plot of source.
Ship keeps moving trying to balance left/right - if it decreases equally at both hydrophones, maybe you are moving away. (increases = towards source.)
Even if you have have the situation of 'decreasing equally at both hydrophones' , keep going, if you can travel a straight line and keep balance continue until loss,
then turn round and draw a straight line path back, it may just take you over the top.
But for sure, 2 Hydrophones would be MUCH better than 1 !

I guess what I am saying is from my point of view, this technology seems to have miles of room for improvement.

This is why I said previously, it feels like a "Wasted Opportunity" of several hours 'constant' signal reception. (total of 4 events)
Now days have ticked by... Where's the plane ? Are they really 'any' closer ?
I guess I had better check JACC's site, been working across week-end and had almost no time to read up on updates.
 
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Thanks, from that article (Dated April 15th ? LOL isn't that date in Brissy yet ! 10.46 PM April 14th as of this post)
External Quote:
The Bluefin-21 can operate at a maximum depth of 4½ kilometres and travels at a maximum speed of 4½ knots, or less than nine kilometres an hour, its manufacturer said.
Travelling at a walking pace, each search mission would take the Bluefin-21 at least 24 hours, with only 16 of those spent searching the ocean floor, Air Chief Marshal Houston said.
Creating a 3D image of ground, using side scanning sonar, the Bluefin-21 would cover an area of 40 square kilometres on its first day in operation.
It takes the vehicle two hours to reach the sea floor. It can then search for 16 hours before taking two hours to return to the surface.
It takes four hours to download the data it has detected for analysis by a team of about 10 US contractors aboard the Ocean Shield.
Maybe I overlooked this, but the date they actually plan to deploy the Bluefin-21 is ?
JACC has my answer. Maybe in the morning.
http://www.jacc.gov.au/media/interviews/2014/april/tr009.aspx
JACC mentions today & yesterday's 'plan' as re-crawling the same paths as previous looking for pings, and no further signals heard over either.
 
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sayin 40 click area.........so guessing its a long but not so wide eg 2 by 20........
Here's the answer, source as in previous post by me.
External Quote:
The first mission will see Bluefin-21 cover an area of approximately five kilometres by eight kilometres, an area of 40 square kilometres.
25Km by 8Km should roughly extended past the verified area of 'ping detections' by Ocean Shield and take 5 days.
 
External Quote:
Wow, 2 hours to dive down there, 2 hours back to surface.
Only 6 hrs of 16 (useful deep water -side scanning sonar) hours. Hope this is not going to be a pattern forming.
16hrs = 40 sq/km - 1hr = 2.5 sq/km - 6 x 2.5 sq/km = 15 sq/km of seabed searched.
Then the time it takes to acquire the data from Bluefin-21, weather/conditions permitting she will be deployed again today.
They had already stated that 4,500 metres was on the very edge of 'max working depth', now we know what happens when it's exceeded (bang ! rises to surface)
Maybe they need an alternate Autonomous Underwater Vehicle(AUV) capable of greater depth, I wonder if anything has been pre-prepared ?
I cant wait to see the 'hot area' pings were heard to be scanned.
I wish them the very best luck.
 
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James Cameron, and his obsession with deep sea diving submersibles.

The director of “The Abyss” has reached the abyss.
Gutsy chap, 8 hour solo dive in the Deepsea Challenger to the Earth's deepest point, the Mariana Trench.
A 7 year project - must have been a real thrill to notch off 'this achievement'
Maybe National Geographic could pool some resources into 'this mission'.
Sure would make an interesting documentary.
I hope a suitable outcome is reached quickly, but something tells me the 'end' is not yet within sight.
 
Gutsy chap, 8 hour solo dive in the Deepsea Challenger to the Earth's deepest point, the Mariana Trench.

Yeah. But, that was two years ago.

http://deepseachallenge.com/

A bit of an ego-driven testosterone moment. With personal wealth to burn!!

Oh, and seems primary photography was in 2012, with release of the final film slated for this year. (2014)

Let's wish that a man like James Cameron, who of course has "no designs on profit" (sarcasm)...will assist soon, in the South Indian Ocean.
 
This sounds bad.. but I really and truly hope if that plane went down in the middle of nowhere in the ocean... every single person died on impact or prior to impact. Drowning is a bad way to go... dying of heat stroke and dehydration is worse. It'd be great if they survived and were on some remote island somewhere.... but I seriously doubt the odds are on their side.
 
This sounds bad.. but I really and truly hope if that plane went down in the middle of nowhere in the ocean... every single person died on impact or prior to impact. Drowning is a bad way to go... dying of heat stroke and dehydration is worse. It'd be great if they survived and were on some remote island somewhere.... but I seriously doubt the odds are on their side.

An uncontrolled impact on the water is as bad as on land. Not survivable, due to the G-forces.

OTOH, a controlled ditching in the water, if the seas and swells are favorable, IS survivable. But in that instance, there would have been AMPLE evidence, by now. Every Slide-raft and cabin-carried Life-raft have their own ELT beacons.
 
The results of the first 6 Hours sonar are in: Nothing of interest found.
The (AUV) scan track has been adjusted & has been deployed again.

In another JACC quote: Bit more insight into Bluefin-21.
External Quote:
Peter Leavy: Just to provide a sense of the information that's gained from the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, the Bluefin-21.
Once it's deployed, it operates around 35 to 50 metres above the seabed and is able to look around 3-400 metres either side of its track.
So that should enable it to provide a very detailed map of the ocean floor, which will be analysed by experts on board Ocean Shield.
 
External Quote:
Bluefin-21 forced to resurface this morning to rectify a technical issue.
data downloaded, nothing significant, redeployed and continuing search.
Anyone know of a map of side sonar progress ?
 
AMSA :: Australian Maritime Safety Authority has ceased updating the Cumulative area searched (handout) last update the 11th April
The 'Cumulative area searched Charts' seem to have become part of the JACC :: Search and recovery continues for Malaysian flight MH370 daily releases.
So if they plotted that info, why not plot the "Sonar Scan Progress"

Is that something they're sharing freely?
At first I didnt need a map, I had calculated 5 days to clear Ocean Shield's 'hot zone' of 'no underwater wreckage found' based on 40 sq/km per day
But with a pattern of interrupted side sonar scans -- who knows ?
 
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This grid (pictured below) I have plotted on Google Maps is 15 Km x 25 Km (16 Km x 25 Km = 10 days of uninterrupted Bluefin Side Sonar Scanning)
I have also previous accumulative data from known 'other' plots from marinetraffic.com so I know that the most important sector is in the lower quadrant.
It makes perfect sense that when they 'first' deployed Bluefin, that they would lower her into the 'hottest' part (That area that the 'experts' with all their towed locator data felt was 'best')
So for each day that passes, sadly Bluefin moves to a 'cooler zone' (Well, based on 'expert' data anyway)
c63bf555024f2acebc5786037e390e71.png

I guess I don't need a map, I can mostly judge progress by comparing Ocean Shield's position to the previous day.
 
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This grid (pictured below) I have plotted on Google Maps is 15 Km x 25 Km (16 Km x 25 Km = 10 days of uninterrupted Bluefin Side Sonar Scanning)
I have also previous accumulative data from known 'other' plots from marinetraffic.com so I know that the most important sector is in the lower quadrant.
It makes perfect sense that when they 'first' deployed Bluefin, that they would lower her into the 'hottest' part (That area that the 'experts' with all their towed locator data felt was 'best')
So for each day that passes, sadly Bluefin moves to a 'cooler zone' (Well, based on 'expert' data anyway)
c63bf555024f2acebc5786037e390e71.png

I guess I don't need a map, I can mostly judge progress by comparing Ocean Shield's position to the previous day.
It all seems kind of pointless to be honest with you. If we are to believe that this plane hit the ocean, the probability of it breaking up into hundreds if not thousands of pieces is very high. Are they really expecting to find an intact plane at the bottom of the sea, and would sonar be able to see small fragments at the bottom. Like part of a fuselage, or wing, or chair. Could it also be possible for the plane to have broken up in such a way that the black box and or voice recorder were separated from the air craft and fell to the ocean floor on its own accord. If thats the case, will sonar every be able to see a black box at the bottom of the sea. So the question I have is how small of a piece can they actually detect using sonar a few miles below sea level?
 
It all seems kind of pointless to be honest with you. If we are to believe that this plane hit the ocean, the probability of it breaking up into hundreds if not thousands of pieces is very high. Are they really expecting to find an intact plane at the bottom of the sea, and would sonar be able to see small fragments at the bottom. Like part of a fuselage, or wing, or chair. Could it also be possible for the plane to have broken up in such a way that the black box and or voice recorder were separated from the air craft and fell to the ocean floor on its own accord. If thats the case, will sonar every be able to see a black box at the bottom of the sea. So the question I have is how small of a piece can they actually detect using sonar a few miles below sea level?

But you've no idea how the plane impacted the ocean, so you have to assume all possibility.

The search for AF447 is directly relevant now:
https://www.informs.org/ORMS-Today/...8-Number-4/In-Search-of-Air-France-Flight-447

This is the sonar image of the AF447 wreckage:
86915e7b6636cb2f9ee15bb1775d3462.jpg


The black box is unlikely to be that far from the main wreckage, so if they find the body of the plane, they should find the black box.
 
the probability of it breaking up into hundreds if not thousands of pieces is very high
I hear ya, I have read many suggest this is the case, however others argue it's possible.
I guess the reality is we just do not have enough data from 'ghost planes' flying till fuel is expired over an Ocean, then what comes after..
So 'anything is possible' maybe one piece, maybe not. Time will answer this.
So the question I have is how small of a piece can they actually detect using sonar a few miles below sea level?
An excellent question & one I will try & seek an answer.
I hear from Sonar Results they are looking for unnatural shapes - so really not sure of the exact resolutions.
I have one too, to compliment that one ;)
c757d861d843f04d2f59ac4e77df16e3.png
 
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I hear ya, I have read many suggest this is the case, however other argue it's possible.
I guess the reality is we just do not have enough data from 'ghost planes' flying till fuel is expired over an Ocean, then what comes after..
So 'anything is possible' maybe one piece, maybe not. Time will answer this.

An excellent question & one I will try & seek an answer.
I hear from Sonar Results they are looking for unnatural shapes - so really not sure of the exact resolutions.
I have one too
[Broken External Image]:http://www.upload.ee/image/4006317/AF447_DebriField-info.png
In that 2011 Remus survey it looks as if they objects are scattered over an area of about 500 meters. Does anyone know if that plane impacted the ocean nose first based on its descent into the ocean. I think a nose first impact might limit the debri field as opposed to a cart wheel affect on the surface. How does this search are differ from the one MH370 likely went into?
 
I believe the image I posted:
86915e7b6636cb2f9ee15bb1775d3462.jpg

was the first image that actually identified the Air France plane. Subsequent images were much more detailed. Basically they home in, with increasing resolution.
 
I believe the image I posted:
86915e7b6636cb2f9ee15bb1775d3462.jpg

was the first image that actually identified the Air France plane. Subsequent images were much more detailed. Basically they home in, with increasing resolution.
So I'm assuming in order for the sonar to come back with something positive, the airplane debris would have to be close together, otherwise they might be interpreted as anomalous.
 
So I'm assuming in order for the sonar to come back with something positive, the airplane debris would have to be close together, otherwise they might be interpreted as anomalous.

I think they would still be quite apparent even in a much wider debris field, as the hard pieces of metal reflect sound a lot better than the soft sea bed. So you are still going to get a pattern of bright dots scattered around.

And I doubt the debris field could be vastly wider than what we see there.

More detail:

http://www.smh.com.au/national/sear...0-crash-site-wreck-hunter-20140416-36qnu.html
External Quote:

“They have got four very, very good detections with the right spectrum of noise coming from them and it can't be from anything else.”

Mr Mearns, an American, was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his work after he found the wreckage of HMAS Sydney in 2008, 66 years after it had been lost in the Indian Ocean during World War II.

He also helped find the wreckage of Air France flight 447 deep in the Atlantic Ocean in 2011.

Mr Mearns believes search officials are being cautious for the sake of the families of the passengers and crew who were on board, while they wait for the Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle to bring back photographic proof of the plane wreckage.

Each AUV mission takes 16 hours to complete.

The sonar device takes about two hours to descend 4500 metres before scanning a five- by eight-kilometre search area. It then returns to the Ocean Shield vessel for a battery change.

Analysing data from the device can take up to four hours.

Data from the Bluefin-21's first mission, on Monday, which was aborted after six hours, has been analysed but "no objects of interest were found", the Joint Agency Coordination Centre said on Wednesday.

US Navy Captain Mark Matthews, told Fairfax Media that the Bluefin-21 is tasked with surveying a possible debris field and measures the density of the objects which will determine if something is silt or metallic, which could indicate jet wreckage.

Once man-made objects are identified, search operators can reprogram the Bluefin-21 to gather high resolution images.

“You can then then swap out sonar system with imaging system, a camera system to go take pictures of the debris field so you can positively identify that it is aircraft wreckage or something else,” Captain Matthews said.


He also said searchers had “a number of positive indications” they were in the right area, including the four sonar acoustic signals detected and an oil sheen identified on Monday.

 
He also said searchers had “a number of positive indications” they were in the right area, including the four sonar acoustic signals detected and an oil sheen identified on Monday.
What does the above underlined mean? Is this an oil sheen below the surface of the ocean or on the surface? How exactly does sonar detect oil? Why is this a significant find considering all of the oil rigs there are in that region of the world. Couldn't oil have come from other ships, sea floor, or oil rigs hundreds if not thousands of miles away?
 
What does the above underlined mean? Is this an oil sheen below the surface of the ocean or on the surface? How exactly does sonar detect oil? Why is this a significant find considering all of the oil rigs there are in that region of the world. Couldn't oil have come from other ships, sea floor, or oil rigs hundreds if not thousands of miles away?

The oil sheen would refer to a visible thing on the surface, not underwater or sonar. ("oil sheen" always refers to a surface effect).

While the oil might have come from elsewhere, it's still a handy indicator. The searchers are using probability to focus their search, and a region with an oil sheen simply has a better probability than an region without.
 
How many oil rigs are off the coast of Western Australia? I can't find any info on it.
Not so much off the coast of Australia, but north and north east there are. I didn't understand the quote, but Mick cleared it up for me.
 
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